Sona Spa

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)

quick review:

Sona Spa is a metaphorical treat for reviewers. A film about a spa that cures insomnia is itself bland enough to put you to bed.

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Director: Makarand Deshpande
Running time: 120 minutes
More Movie Info

Sona Spa - Preview

Sona Spa eerily sounds and looks similar to Table No. 21 - out of ordinary concept like sleep and dreams transfer with an underlying catch that gets you curious; a veteran actor who seems to play a character who is in complete control of all the weirdness around; a spa environment to start the scene out with. Even if this guess is right, I sure hope the climax and great reveal isn't as lame.

The poster of Sona Spa intrigued me immediately. Naseeruddin Shah as the main lead is exciting by itself. The name and other elements of the poster only added to that excitement. But, the trailer is rather disappointing. Especially, Naseeruddin Shah's reather superficial pronouncement of the film's name.

Also, the title song sounds ridiculously cheesy. I assume there aren't too many songs in the film because there weren't too many music reviews out there.

All put together, the heart is excited but the head warns against it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

It'd be safe to say that of the five people who showed up for the screening that I was at, at least 4 of them were there for Naseeruddin Shah. And what a cheat that turned out to be. Not that I was surprised. And actually, the tone he was talking in for the few seconds he is on screen, I am only thankful that there wasn't more of him.

The film otherwise, is pretty much what you see in the trailers. There are people who can't sleep for whatever reason. There are other people who sleep well and through some "bonding" one from the latter group can sleep on behalf of one from the former group relieving the stress. As we are told (again in the trailer itself) if someone sleeps your sleep, they are also going to dream your dreams. There's no new knowledge beyond that, for the characters barely do anything after having new knowledge about each other.

Obviously, the dreams makes for the bulk of Sona Spa and we would have such a boring if film if these dreams weren't deep and dark secrets of the sleepless people. Now, how people who don't sleep dream so that people who are sleeping for them can dream the same dream, is a minor technicality and thus not addressed at all.

Even so, what an interesting premise this was for some psychoanalysis! The original person's dream is a representation of his deepest desires/insecurities. The dream though is so real for the sleep-worker that they believe them to be true. But, none of this is explored at all.

Instead you get some superficial philosophical talk using lines that are supposed to sound profound. Except for Nivedita Bhattacharya (Meenakshi), Aahana Kumrah (Ritu) and the guy who plays Sachin (Indira's brother) all other actors are mostly stiff and the three mentioned are better only in comparison. Pooja Pradhan (Indira) actually looks like she's being held together by the make-up plastered on her face.

In fact, the cinematography is so grainy that you can see the smallest pore on everyone's face. I don't know what artistic purpose this serves, but even in real life you cannot see the face in such gruesome detail.

If only you saw even a fraction of that detail in coming up with stories of insomniacs that were complete. Or at least they'd have some meaning for the viewer, even if the meaning wasn't deciphered or understood completely.

Watching Sona Spa is like having 15-20 minute boring dream played on repeat for two hours. I really wonder how Sona Spa would've turned out if it were a short.

- meeta, a part of the audience

18 reviewers(?) - 0 yays 3 so-so 15 nays

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

So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...It has to be admitted, however, that it takes courage to back such a film and release it with a fair amount of promotion, when the only known face is Naseeruddin Shah, who appears to have done it as a favour to a fellow theatrewala.... full review

So-So, by Martin D'Souza, : ...It is only Meenakshi (Nivedita Bhattacharya) a sleep worker who once led a 'colourful' lifestyle, who injects some purpose and emotion in the film. ... full review

So-So, by IANS, Hindustan Times : ...The hypnotic hypothesis of Makarand's play renders itself into a quirky, sometimes exasperating, sometimes invigorating peep into the troubled psyche of sleepless souls. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Deccan Chronicle : ...Snoring with the enemy... full review

Thumbs down, by Trisha Gupta, FirstPost : ...Sona Spa cannot live up to its dreams... full review

Thumbs down, by Swati Deogire, : ...Sona Spa is a nightmare!... full review

Thumbs down, by Fatema H Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...Based on his own play, the film banks on a unique theme and Deshpande mixes the outlandish with social realities in its several characters that seem as eccentric as the film is. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...Sona Spa made me recall famous Ajit jokes ( 'Mona ke saath sona'), and led me to random thoughts about good actors being used so badly that they cause unsurpassed hilarity... full review

Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Live Mint : ...Deshpande doesn’t explore the cinematic and philosophical possibilities of a person being able to crawl into the psyche of another person.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shakti Shetty, MiD DAY : ...Even the characters are ambivalent at times. The thin line between dreams and realities confuse even more... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...Go to sleep. Avoid the film!... full review

Thumbs down, by Divya Solgama, MoviezADDA : ... This movie guarantees to get rid of your insomnia...... full review

Thumbs down, by Karan Anshuman, Mumbai Mirror : ... Naseeruddin Shah is becoming more of an enigma every day for his fans (such as me). ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now : ...Sona Spa is a shoddy representation of what could've been an otherwise innovative and extremely fresh concept. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Preeti Arora, Rediff : ...makes for one confused piece of work, leaving one’s cinematic sensibilities feeling similarly... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Snooze alert!... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanyukta Iyer, Star Blockbuster : ...Great concepts, disappointing film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...There are sub-plots of each of these characters including that of the receptionist who has an annoying smile pasted on her face all the time and an equally annoying retard for a brother who keeps copying Shah Rukh Khan from My Name Is Khan.... full review

17 tweeters(?) - 2 yays 0 so-so 15 nays

renukaVyavahare: #sonaspa has great concept. Cud have been used better. Still defi watchable

NEERAJGUPT4: #SonaSpa the film is as good as #SonaSpa the play. Bravo!

TheRestlessQuiI: Sitting in a 50 degrees Sauna Spa for 3 hours is less torturous than seeing 'Sona Spa' in an AC theater for 3 hours !

SuparnaSharma: Just cry yourself to sleep - my review of #SonaSpa via @theasianagenews

snoringman: Director: Makarand Deshpande: Behold and lo! Here's the Wizard of Doze. That's Naseeruddin Shah, in what could...

shivom_oza: My First Ever '0' Star Review - Sona Spa - Hatt, Fuckall! Vaahiyat! Read. And Spread.

rolandlanders: Thanks to paid news even movies like #atma and #sona spa get a rating of 3

Rohatgiswati: Nightmarish #SonaSpa

rjstutee: #sonaspa 's novelty starts n ends wid it's ultra weird concept!story is abt hirin othrd 2sleep fr us.hire sum1else to even watch this film:p

RJADITI: Aatma & SonaSpa is not up to the mark .. so better to go for #Rangrezz .. ;) share ur views too

r1kartik: Just when you thot that the worst was in the past, a certain Makarand Deshpande proves you woefully wrong SONA SPA

one_by_two: Sitting in a 50 degrees Sauna Spa for 3 hours is less torturous than seeing 'Sona Spa' in an AC theater for 3 hours !

NixChat: Watche SonaSpa only if you are looking for self-mutilation of the mind..hmpf!

Jhajhajha: SONA SPA...Naseeruddin Shah more prominent in the posters than in the movie..hardly there for 5 mins...snored thru the bizarre bombast!!

BOLLYWOULD: Rangrezz (3 stars) Aatma (2.5 stars) Sona Spa (2 stars)

bollywoodthree: Review : Sona Spa - A Sure shot Miss

BabaJogeshwari: Dream Mein Bhi Hamming #SonaSpa

No readers have rated this movie yet.

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

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few gunshots
  • Language: A few abusive words
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of scenes with cross-dressing, etc.
  • Concept: What if you sleep well?
  • General Look and Feel: Grainy, dull.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:

Sona Spa - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Background Score:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
120 minutes

Comments (2)

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Trailer looks like one of a b-film!As for Naseer saab,he might be a great actor but he needs to learn how to shut his mouth on certain occasions....a wannabe commercial actor who ended up gaining fame only through "parallel films" has no right to be dissing Amitabh Bachchan ans Sholay repeatedly in almost every interview of his!Especially when he makes a complete fool of himself in roles like the one's he played in Krrish,The Dirty Picture and now this!

@Anuj Well, he has a right to an opinion. If he disses someone and we diss him, it all boils down to the same thing, no? I actually liked him in Dirty Picture, allI remember of him from the film, is the urge to give him a tight slap. And as far as Sona Spa is concerned he is barely there for a minute and a half!

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