Movie Review: Sonali Cable

Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Ali Fazal, Anupam Kher, Raghav Juyal, Smita Jaykar, Swanand Kirkire

Direction: Charudutt Acharya

Production: Ramesh Sippy & Rohan Sippy

Duration: 2 hours 7 minutes

Story: The film traces the life of Mumbaichi Sonali Dattaram Tandel (Rhea), a local broadband provider who decides to stand up against the monopoly and arm-twisting tactics of a corporate giant which invades her territory to expand business.

Review: Whether it’s malls eating into the business of local baniyas, studios muscling out smaller films from the multiplexes or multiplexes pushing single screens out of the game, in the wake of independent businesses struggling to survive in big cities owing to corporate giants’ rising dominance, Sonali Cable comes at the most opportune time.

However, the relevant premise (an underdog’s fight for survival) gets marred by an ineffective performance from the protagonist and inconsistency in the pace, character buildup and narrative. The storytelling fails to evoke a sense of urgency that the character should ideally portray. Everything seems hunky-dory, with unnecessary songs plugged in, until characters get randomly killed.

The film fails to strike a chord as Sonali battles it out with the chairman (Kher) of a rival cable company. You don’t feel the shrewdness of the villain or bravery of the lead character and therein lies the film’s core problem. The forced humour doesn’t salvage the situation either.

Rhea Chakraborty tries hard but doesn’t fit the role of a typical Maharashtrian girl as she doesn’t look or even remotely sound like one. In spite of getting an author-backed role, she fails to capture the nuances of her character. She ends her loud sentences with cuss words as if she was reminded to do so.

Ali Fazal is Rhea’s love interest. He plays second fiddle to an actress once again and is likeable in his character. Smita Jaykar and Anupam Kher (comic villain) are impressive and probably the only actors who lend some significance to the film. Ace lyricist Swanand Kirkire is surprisingly good in his brief role. Dancer Raghav Juyal is decent too.

The film has a good concept but lacks the vibrancy and spirit of the city it is set in. Overall, it faces ‘connectivity’ issues.

TOI*

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