Movie review ‘Sonali Cable’: An urban fairy tale that fails to impress

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Cast: Rhea Chakraborty, Ali Fazal,

Director: Charudutt Acharya

Rating: 1 star

sonali cable_0Director Charudutt Acharya’s Sonali Cable deals with the done to death theme of corruption in the system and encroachment of big players in the local market. The script, which had been selected for the Mumbai Mantra-Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab 2012, falls flat on the big screen.

Sonali Cable is named after it’s owner who is a tough, working class girl from a fishing village in Mumbai. Sonali (Rhea Chakraborty) has built a small internet service provider company from scratch with the help of a few boys from the locality. The cable centre supplies internet to 3000 homes and claims to have never have any down time. Then just when things are beginning to look up – enter the big evil corporation, Shining headed by the evil business owner (Anupam Kher).  Sonali is a self-made, hard-working and honest girl, and her life perks up with the return of her childhood crush, Raghu (Ali Fazal), who is the son of Meena Pawar (Smita Jaykar), a local MLA who supports the cable centre. It’s only a matter of time before Pawar teams up with Anupam Kher’s evil businessmen, who are buying out the competition to ensure that his organisation takes over the city.  Shining wants to conquer the whole market, from soap to oil to water to cable.

The film is basically an urban fairy, where apart from the princess, her prince, his evil mother and their nemesis, there is a vamp who distinguishes herself through skimpy clothing! Acharya has introduced an identifiable local vibe and engaging characters, such as Fazal’s conflicted rich kid and Sonali’s father (Swanand Kirkire), a former party grunt who regrets his violent past. But the film never attempts to raise the bar for itself, be it in its love story that requires the needed chemistry or in rest of things it is attempting to say. Rhea Chakraborty, who leads the mandate, cannot convince the audience of her pain, angst, love, passion or energy. Ali Fazal, who was a surprise package in the Vidya Balan starrer “Bobby Jasoos” has been wasted in this film. Raghu Juyal of Dance India Dance fame plays Sada in the movie, and is better than the leads. Juyal actor does a good job enough to be remembered. Smita Jaykar essays the role of a ruthless MLA with seasoned expertise. She exhibits the required subtlety and the desired political viciousness. It is a wasted plot that tries too much and eventually achieves nothing of it. A comic climax and the predictable storyline makes the film a hard to sit through.  Infact the climax seems like a crash course on how to get an elephant do disco.

You can see the screenplay fall flat when conflicts are being resolved through hidden cameras, when terms like ‘online’ and ‘virus’ are used as life metaphors, when Ganpati idols and ant-elephant proverbs are used to symbolise situations, when a little girl breaks open her piggy bank to fund a corporate vs local battle, and finally, when theprotagonist begins her apparent thought-provoking speech to her nemesis and says “tune meri le li”.

Sonali Cable has a bunch of sincere actors who are lumped with a scrappy narrative. The laughs are unintentional, the swag flops and eventually all that remains is just a bad film, which is hard to sit through.

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