Movie Review: Sona Spa
First things first. Those who are expecting to watch Naseeruddin Shah play a prominent role in the film, keep your hopes low
Dir: Makrand Deshpande
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Aahana Kumrah, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Shruti Vyas
The veteran actor has a minuscule part to play in this drama bordering on sci-fi. Armed with an incredibly cinematic idea, Makrand Deshpande has not only written but also directed something that has so much potential - in terms of storytelling - but falters miserably thanks to tepid execution.
Sona Spa deals with a topic that’s mostly suffered but seldom discussed in the urban milieu: insomnia. However, sleeplessness isn’t in focus here and nor are the people suffering from it. The emphasis is on the cure - founded by Naseer saab’s Seattle-based baba - in the form of sleep workers. These folks rest on your behalf while you slog away. Of course, it’s a commercial deal. You pay them. They sleep for you. Sounds great, right? Wrong.
The plot fails to examine why and how this unscientific miracle becomes a possibility. Or how does the bonding between the client and the sleep worker turn into a transferable account of sleeptime? We simply never get to know. In fact, one of the sleep workers confesses in the middle of the film that she herself doesn’t understand the dynamics of the whole process. Weird. Yes, there are a few sequences inspired by Fight Club’s opening scenes to make the layman realise that the whole thing is too neural but that’s that.
Even the characters are ambivalent at times. The thin line between dreams and realities confuse even more. A man in coma keeps flickering his closed eyes. One of the two protagonists who’s introduced as ultra-traditional easily slips into a swimsuit in front of her friend’s boyfriend. Cheap thrills, someone? Several scenes are unabashed fillers and quite cringeworthy.
Among the actors, Nivedita Bhattacharya merits mention for a remarkable performance as a poetic prostitute-turned-sleep worker. All things said, the very thought of exposing how lack of sleep can be the root cause of troubles is commendable. Other than that, forget it.