Home >Mint-lounge >Features >Film Review | Sonali Cable

The title is the only original and catchy element of this debut film by Charudutt Acharya, unless you count an assistant to Sonali who bebops and dances whenever he gets into the frame.

Stuck beneath this insipid and shallow film is a great idea. Through the example of a local cable operator fighting off threats from a shiny big business with a multi-crore marketing budget, Sonali Cable touches on a modern capitalist reality. The gobbling up of small business by big companies is conveyed by juxtaposing a run-down one-room cable business with a chrome-and-glass high-rise.

Anupam Kher is a parody as a khakra-eating megalomaniac and head of a conglomerate, Shining, spreading its tentacles into every consumer service, including prepackaged khakra. His nemesis is the ambitious, dedicated and burdened Sonali Tandel, lassoing cables across terraces and fixing error messages in a flash. But in order to surmount the threat from Shining, she has to take on local politicians and goons, face gunmen and resort to hacking, delivering a preachy speech and invoking her traumatic childhood when she was abandoned by her mother.

Rhea Chakraborty struggles to pull off the Marathi-speaking daughter-of-the soil act. Ali Fazal plays Raghu, the son of a local MLA and Sonali’s childhood lover and pillar of strength. Raghu is a sparsely fleshed character that never quite rises to the challenge—charming as he is on screen, there’s not much Fazal can do with such a role. The supporting characters, such as the politicians, henchmen and policemen, are caricatures, easy to lean on when you want to pay lip service to themes of corruption and social inequality.

The script lacks the kick of the green chilli often shown being served with khakra or on the side of a vada pav (or “Indian burger", as the MBA manager at Shining describes it). The only time you smirk is when a local vegetable seller hoists his basket on his head, ruing that vegetables are now available cheaper in air-conditioned stores—another example of the plight of small vendors in New India.

Sonali Cable released in theatres on Friday.

Also showing

The other English releases of
the week

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Kill The Messenger

Jeremy Renner plays the role of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb in this thriller based on the journalist’s life; it is directed by Michael Cuesta.

The Judge

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What If

A PVR Director’s Rare release, this romcom, which released in the US last year, is about a medical school dropout played by Daniel Radcliffe, who discovers love after many bad relationships.

These movies released in theatres on Friday.

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