A Not So Sprightly ‘Sonata’ by Aparna Sen!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Aparna Sen’s film ‘Sonata’ is stagey and doesn’t enthuse you much. It is quite natural to see expectations soar high when three veterans like Aparna Sen, Shabhana Azmi and Lillete Dubey come together to share a frame but unfortunately you end up sulking to see these women trying hard to make you believe that you are watching a cinema. Sonato is a film made based on Mahesh Elkunchwar’s play with the same name. Aparna Sen’s attempt to transform an otherwise wonderful play into a film fails to have any cinematic appeal.
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Three college friends who are at the autumn of their life goes on rambling about life, sex, poetry, Beethoven, Rabindranath, marriage, family, sex reassignment surgery, marital abuse, and what not. And all this happening in a Mumbai apartment surrounded by other high rise apartments where two friends Professor Aruna Chaturvedi (Aparna Sen) and banker Dolan Sen (Shabhana Azmi) are roommates since 20 years. To make the verbose more painful and superficial they are joined in by another old friend Subhadra Parekh who is a journalist. A chirpy Subhadra and a feisty Dolon gulps glasses after glasses of wine and opens a Pandora’s box on many topics and tries to pull in a restrained and self-disciplined Subhadra. Each one of them have their own story of relationships and its failures, loneliness, unfulfilled dreams, pains and their share of guilt.
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Sonata would have definitely kept appealing and held our attention if it remained as a play but a hurried and not so skillful approach to transform the same into a movie makes it an average movie. Having said this, there are moments these talented powerhouse actors do pull your heartstrings but that is so momentary that it doesn’t linger on and therefore you feel the drag.
The climax of the movie is inconclusive and leaves you wondering what the filmmaker actually wanted to say. Well, if you want to see these veterans together go and watch otherwise forget it and hear some other melodious and sprightful ‘Sonata’. Aparna Sen dished out an average movie and left us go through the pain of watching it and she stays ‘Nirlajjam Sada Sukhi’!!!
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2/5
Cast: Aparna Sen (Aruna Chaturvedi), Shabhana Azmi (Dolon Sen), Lillete Dubey (Subhadra Parekh)
Director: Aparna Sen
Producers: Vinod Lahoti, Anjan Ghosal, Dipankar Jojo Chaki, Aloke Vohra
Based on the play: Sonata by Mahesh Elkunchwar
Screenplay: Aparna Sen
Cinematography: Shirsha Ray
Music by: Neel Dutt
Production Company: Vinayak Pictures, Ghosal Media and Entertainment, HK Studios Production
Production Design: Tanmoy Chakraborty
Date: 21st April, 2017
Duration: 104 Minutes