Film: Sonali Cable
Cast: Ali Fazal, Rhea Chakravarthy, Anupam Kher, Raghav Guyal Cockroaxz
Director: Charudutt Acharya
Produced by Ramesh Sippy Entertainment (after a long hiatus) ‘Sonali Cable’ has the distinction of being amongst the first scripts from an International Screenwriters lab in India, to be made into a Bollywood film. And that’s probably the most exciting aspect of this movie. As debutant director Charudutt Acharya narrates it, there’s little connect and not much empathy to go along on the expensive multiplex ride.
Sonali (Rhea), a Maharashtrian 20 something youngster who runs a cable-internet service faces the typical strife’s of the profession and as is wont to happen to small-time players in the business a big ‘Shining’ corporation is set to swallow them up whole.
It’s a David versus Goliath run-up to the climax and showcases Sonali and her team’s efforts to overcome the handicap of a small player and rise above her situation while putting her love, life and survival on the line. Her love interest Raghu (Ali Fazal) is the son of an ambitious local corporator (Smita Jaykar). The greedy old tycoon (in comic-villain form played ritualistically by Anupam Kher), who owns the big evil corporation likes crunching ‘khakras’ and wants to grab ‘akkhi Mumbai’ like stereotypical Bollywood Dons.
The story in fact doesn’t get fleshed out the way it should have been, the characters lack serious motivation and the setting is not consistently above board either. Rhea as the foul mouthed, spirited Maharashtrian girl expresses well but she doesn’t sound Maharashtrian at all. And that’s quite a major failing.
Anupam Kher does his Tycoon in over-the-top fashion. Fazal looks and acts earnestly enough and Swanand Kirkire shores up the effect with some realistic chops.
The script, penned by Acharya himself, was one of the eight scripts selected for Mumbai Mantra-Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab 2012, through an evaluation process of submissions from around the world, including the United States and France.
Probably it had its merits especially in the premise which did sound interesting. Unfortunately the manner in which the narrative plays out there’s not much purchase to be had for the viewer.