Love Sonia

Not rated by wogma

How does one evaluate a movie on lives where obvious racism feels like a secondary issue? Fragmented narrative feels trivial. At the risk of giving the movie away, what happens to lives that never get better? What do you call it? Human-degradation tourism? Thankfully hopeful? Unrealistically optimistic? Or are these phrases a viewer’s way of shirking reality because we find it uncomfortable to watch? How can you discuss performances and stories that wrench your gut, chill your spine?

Cannot review. Cannot tell you whether you should watch the film or not.

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Director: Tabrez Noorani
Running time: 120 minutes
Genres: Social
Review: Love Sonia review by meeta is expected on 14 September.

More Movie Info

How does one evaluate a movie on lives where obvious racism feels like a secondary issue. Fragmented narrative feels trivial.

At the risk of giving the movie away, what happens to lives that never get better?

What do you call it? Human-degradation tourism? Thankfully hopeful? Unrealistically optimistic? Or are these phrases a viewer’s way of shirking reality because we find it uncomfortable to watch? How can you discuss performances and stories that wrench your gut, chill your spine?

Cannot review. Cannot tell you whether you should watch the film or not.

- meeta, a part of the audience

21 reviewers(?) - 7 yays 10 so-so 4 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Devansh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Tabrez Noorani is known for his work as a line producer for Hollywood films set in India for a long time. Love Sonia marks his debut as a director and he too has made an impressive beginning. It's a well written, well crafted product bringing to light a problem the general public tends to ignore. The film just doesn't raise the questions but offers some answers as well, ultimately stating that one should keep on fighting for one's survival even in the face of the most adverse of circumstances...... full review

Thumbs up, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, FirstPost : ...But the soul of the film is Mrunal Thakur. She makes your heart lurch for the naïve and petrified teenager who often appears to be burrowing deeper into an airless tunnel. When the two-hour viewing ends, one feels the need to take a deep, deep breath.... full review

Thumbs up, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Freida Pinto as the delusional manipulator, Sai Tamhankar as the brothel agent, Anupam Kher as the wily money lender, Rajkumar Rao as the rescue worker, Manoj Bajpayee as the evil brothel owner, Sunny Pawar as Sonia’s ardent love interest and above all Riya Sisodiya and Mrunal Thakur (using nuanced expressiveness with amazing felicity) – literally live their roles and make this experience a stunningly potent assemblage of performance and craft!... full review

Thumbs up, by Jyoti Sharma Bawa, Hindustan Times : ...Love Sonia is well-meaning enough to impress that point on you, only if it had the pause and depth that made you take the thought home.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Love Sonia is a special film backed by some exceptional names. It falls short at places but is very informative and it portrays a hard-to-swallow reality in a very genuine way. Watch it only if you have the appetite to digest such dramas.... full review

Thumbs up, by Pankhurie Mulasi, Movie Talkies : ...Tabrez Noorani’s directorial debut is impactful, disturbing and thought-provoking. The cinematography is fantastic and makes the film come alive on screen. AR Rahman’s music blends perfectly with the narrative and the dialogues also are very natural. Watch this film to enjoy good cinema and great performances.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sreehari Nair, Rediff : ...This is why: She may be a naïve little village girl, but she surely can tell the difference between a kiss and some random fluttering.... full review

So-So, by Mayur Sanap, Deccan Chronicle : ...The film keeps you occupied in parts and draws you into the lives of the characters as if you were there as a reluctant observer. In the end, despite a certain emotional void created by average plot, Love Sonia is an honest attempt in portraying authentic horror of an issue clearly so close to filmmaker's heart. It is a shame then this essential story was not further fleshed out to make it wholly persuasive.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...But despite the talent and the good intentions, Love Sonia trips in the second half. The story moves from the gullies of Mumbai to Hong Kong and eventually to sprawling mansions in Los Angeles. But this doesn’t have the same authenticity and impact as the Mumbai section. The characters have little depth – Demi Moore and Mark Duplass make a cursory appearance. The plot feels like it is designed to reflect newspaper headlines and everything gets resolved so easily that it seems implausible. But Sonia’s tortured face will haunt you.... full review

So-So, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...In a way, it says that what we shouldn’t be distracted by are the protagonists; they are real. Noorani has produced titles like Slumdog Millionaire, Life Of Pi, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Hundred Foot Journey and Lion. In each of them, the hero is invariably a newcomer; Lion in fact lost steam as soon as little Sunny Pawar exited the film. Some may call this the white gaze or exoticization. But I look at it this way: The objects of hope, in these times, simply need to be more fact than fiction.... full review

So-So, by Suhani Singh, india today : ...But these inconsistencies can't take away from Mrunal Thakur's work who essays the character with conviction, capturing its naiveté, guilt and fractured spirit adeptly. If you love Sonia by the end of it, it's because of her.... full review

So-So, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Manoj Bajpayee skips his normal hamming and gets down to underplayed acting of a high level as Faizal. Adil Hussein makes a mark as the beleaguered, unscrupulous yet repentant father later. The boy who plays the sisters’ friend is quite good, as is Riya Sisodia as Priti.... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...In his directorial debut, Tabrez Noorani is so consumed in narrating the dangerous reality of survivors of sex trafficking that he ignores the fact that he has to also engage audiences with his characters — for them to actually feel their plight. For instance, even in her multiple attempts to escape the world she’s dragged into, the warranted tension and concern one has for the lead here is faint. In many ways, it’s just not possible to feel much for this Sonia.... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Despite the disjointed narrative, which leaps from one idea to another, the unconvincing plot turns, and the unending agony that awaits Sonia at every turn, the movie doesn’t waver from its focus on the inherently exploitative nature of sex work... full review

So-So, by Troy Ribeiro, Sify Movies : ...The only thing that holds the film back is its basic story, though brazenly told and impeccably presented, the tale is quite familiar. Also, the mixed style in the tone of the narrative makes the film lose its sheen, especially during the second half, where the film drags and you feel the plot is over dramatised just for effects.... full review

So-So, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Love Sonia is an important film that’s told sincerely but it lacks the emotional depth of a provocative human drama.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Hardly any films about prostitution—after the titillating scenes of the girls’ trauma are done-- seriously take a look at what happens after they are rescued; do they succeed in getting back into the very society that shuns them. Love Sonia stops short of that stage too.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...More focus on what happens to the girls when they are yanked from that life would have made Love Sonia fresher, and given the characters more to play with. That is not something we see too often, and there is a tiny glimpse of it in the film. The rest of it is same-old.... full review

Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...We have seen enough cleavage in Bollywood films and now sex thanks to Netflix India and Sacred Games. This pure crassness is a little too unpalatable to spend multiplex money. Perhaps the foreign audience is gullible and offered funding to what was supposed to be 'realistic depiction of the horrors of human trafficking' and they should be disappointed with this skin flick. When Richa Chadda's character slashes her wrist dramatically, you wish you had done the same as the film progressed.... full review

Thumbs down, by Kennith Rosario, The Hindu : ...after all Love Sonia did make its way to several Indian film festivals abroad before hitting the screens here. There’s also a peculiar Western saviour syndrome that permeates the climax of this film... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of sexual violence
  • Language: Abusive language – some of it muted
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Lots of explicit and implied sexual content
  • Concept: Human trafficking
  • General Look and Feel: Grim, dark and intense

Love Sonia - Cast, crew, links

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120 minutes
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