One of the reasons why the otherwise-stunning content of Abhishek Choubey’sSonechiriya has not found widespread acceptance is the film’s language.
The spoken dialogue in this gritty dacoit drama set in the Chambal valley is Bundeli. So impenetrable is the Chambal dialect for the average Hindi moviegoer that the film carries English subtitles from the first frame to last.
This is not the first time that director Abhishek Choubey has had to resort to subtitles to make his “Hindi” accessible to a pan-India audience. In Choubey’s Dedh Ishqiya andUdta Punjab too subtitles had to be carried.
Explains director Abhishek Choubey“If you remember, Dedh Ishqiya was in Urdu with English subtitles. In Udta Punjab the characters speak in Punjabi. We again used English subtitles.I think my characters will always speak the language they are meant to.Our pan-India audiences are mature enough to accept any language that the characters speak.”
Apparently the producers of Sonechiriya and the film’s leading man Sushant Singh Rajput were not sure that the Bulundi dialect would work with a pan-India audience. ButChoubey refused to compromise with the spoken language of his characters.
Isn’t it ironical that language which connects people in this case has ended up isolating the audience from the characters.