Soni premiered in the Orrizonti (Horizons) section of the 75th Venice International Film Festival last year and released on Netflix recently. The film shows the lives of two policewomen – Soni (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) and her reporting head Kalpana (Saloni Batra). Set in North India, the film is about gender inequality. Debutante director Ivan Ayr has presented a story that needed to be told.
Soni is a volatile person – not afraid to bash anyone’s head in. She is not one to take injustice lying down. She hardly ever eats at home and clearly loves her job. The movie starts with her on a bicycle. She starts getting followed by a guy. Soni stops and asks him what’s wrong. His inappropriate behaviour invites Soni’s wrath, and leaves the guy with a broken jaw, much to his senior’s dismay. Kalpana speaks to Soni about following protocol, one that is broken several times later in the scenes that follow.
Kalpana is Soni’s reporting head and is always seen trying to keep Soni in check. She clearly loves her passion for the job, but is always trying to handle the repercussions of her actions. Her husband calls her too soft, rightly so.
As for the men in their lives, Soni’s ex is seen throughout the film, trying to win her back, but she keeps blaming him for not being there when she needed him. Kalpana’s husband, a senior police officer is seen asking to keep Soni’s actions in check.
We see fragments of our day to day lives in this film – ones that women, at least, have grown used to.
The camaraderie between Soni and Kalpana is amazing. Kalpana always stands up for Soni, while trying her best to keep her actions in check.
Soni’s outbursts gave us pleasure. Her actions are in line with what goes on inside us – those are the things we would love to do – but the fear of being suppressed by power holds us back. There is a scene where Soni heads to the women’s washroom, where she catches some guys smoking. She asks them to step out and when they don’t and start mouthing obscenities, she slaps one of them. We would call that scene symbolic of the harassment women have been facing since ages and still are. Her reaction is how women wish they could react.
What’s Blah: Nothing.
Parting Shot: One of the best films on Netflix – definitely a must watch.
Cast and Crew
Cast: Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (Soni), Saloni Batra (Kalpana)
Director: Ivan Ayr
Producer: Kimsi Singh, Kartikeya Narayan Singh
Netflix’ Soni is streaming now