Chick flicks don’t have to be about PYTs. Being 50-plus and sexy, is what Aparna Sen’s new film Sonata is about.And that’s what makes it so special. The film’s trailer in English has three of the most vibrant contemporary actresses Shabana Azmi, Lilette Dubey and Aparna Sen bonding over giggles, wine and yes, some hiccups.
The trailer is a bit of a post-feminist cliché. The trio guffawing over the fact that they are not “even” feminists…But beneath that self-deprecatory laughter is the emptiness that this genre has faced in India. Where are are the Indian films that celebrate the midleagedwomen’s sexuality?
Says Shabana. “It was a great fun shooting this film. How many times do we get a chance to do a film where three actresses of a certain age get to have a ball?”
Though the exterior surface of the trailer gleams with giggles, there are undercurrents of tremendous frisson and anguish. While AparnaSen plays a woman who has turned her back on love,Lilette plays a woman trapped in an abusive marriage. Shabana has the most complex role as she unravels layers after layers of closeted yearnings through her character.
Sonata seems to work because there are three beautiful actresses navigating Aparna Sen’s dream to fruition. And yes, that’s her real-life husband Kalyan Sen being yanked out of his academic kingdom to play his wife’s long-standing love intetest. This is not the first timeAparna has invited her husband to face the camera. In ParomaAparna’s then-husband Mukul Sharma had played Raakhee Gulzar’s lover.
The trailer of Sonata works because the trio of actresses are as free-spirited in real life as they are on screen.Sonata promises a return to form for director Aparna Sen . Her last film Arshinagar a Hindi-Muslim take on Romeo & Juliet, was a disaster.