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Trailer Review Sonechiriya: Is It The Best Dacoit Drama Since Bandit Queen?

After 2018,it looks  like 2019 will be  another  golden year for Indian cinema. First Yuri which is on release  and thenSonechiriya speak about a simmering war raging at the  fringe of  society, The characters speak an  unvarnished  truth about life at the edge.What we see   is  not always pleasant but never  uninteresting.

Raw wounded, brutal and  violent…The trailer  of Abhishek Choubey’s fourth feature  film Sonechiriya  is a dacoit drama without horses.  For  years we’ve been  brainwashed by Bollywood into believing that  dacoits travelled  by horses when in fact there are  no horses  in the Chambal valley. The Dacoit Drama  and the  Tale  Of  The  Poetic Taawaif are the most sublime  misrepresentations  of  Indian cinema.

The last time I  saw a dacoit film without red-eyed  bandits  scampering  around on horses was   in Shekhar Kapoor’s Bandit Queen.And now in Abhishek Choubey’s  Sonechiriya we are introduced  to  a powdery wasteland where the ravines are raw and the wounds even rawer. It took me a while to recognize Sushant Singh Rajput, Manoj Bajpai, Ranvir Shorey, AhutoshGowarikar and  Bhumi Pednekar under all the grim grime.

The  trailer shows all the  bandits to be on the run. Their fugitive status is  neither pitied nor ridiculed. Sonechiriya seems to be a celebration of outlawry in all its grimy gritty glory.  There are  bouts of humour in the  blitzkrieg  of non-choreographed  violence.We see  a couple of  dacoits resting it out on a rooftop for the night,when  one  of them wonders if he would get mutton in jail.

“Why  only mutton,” retorts his  compatriot, “The jailor his daughter every Sunday for you.”

Ahem.

Brutal  to the  bone, Sonechiriya touches  raw nerves in our socio-cultural DNA which has allowed inequality to  foster  for generations.Now  it’s too late  to  even try to rectify  the  economic imbalance. The  film shows fringe people accepting their place and fighting for  what they believe  to be their fundamental right to  survive.

In many shots of the trailer I  was reminded  of Sunil Dutt’ s Mujhe Jeene Do.Without  the  horses, of course.And  the  tawaifdancing to  the  sublime sound of Lata Mangeshkar’s Raat bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi chand bhi hai kuch madhyam madhyam.

The  night us neither drenched  nor is  the moonlight mellow in Sonechiriya. For that we will have to wait for the  next RajKhosla  dacoit drama. May his outlawed souls  rest  in  peace.

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