Soni Review: Ivan Ayr's masterpiece is more powerful to watch than expected!

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Online streaming giant Netflix is known for bringing well-polished stories to its audience, however, with so much content to surf through; some stories never really say the light of the day. Soni, directed by Ivan Ayr, is one of such many stories.

Set in the backdrop of Delhi, the story revolves around Soni (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan), a sub inspector in Delhi Police who along with her boss (Saloni Batra) tries to keep the streets of the capital safe for woman. She walks down the abandoned streets in early afternoon where some man tries to assault her. One day, while she was doing the same, a man on a cycle tried to come close to her and reached out to her breasts the very moment he got an opportunity.  She pushes him off the bike and he was soon surrounded by the Delhi Police personnel. The man was arrested and the cop in plain clothes- shakes herself mentally only to stand on another deserted road, hoping to keep the woman safe.

Soni is unapologetic and doesn't care everytime she faces sexism and misogyny- from the streets of Delhi to inside the ‘safe’ confines of work and home. One can say Soni is a repeated offender in a world where men entitled and woman are underestimated despite all their achievements. Kalpana, on the other hand, is Soni's IPS boss and married to a senior officer. However, when the uniform comes down, Kalpana is just another housewife in her marriage, who is harangued for not having children despite being in her 30s. Coming back to Soni, who is estranged from her husband Naveen, fights demons from within every day. She is often counselled by her neighbours about what is a woman without a man. And as these lines between her professional and personal life get blur, things take another turn for her. Some think a lone woman, who wears khaki, can be an easy target.

These two woman, who are dedicated to what they do, form an unlikely friendship because of that dedication and passion. There is a scene where Soni is adamant on quitting her job and Kalpana reaches out to her with author Amrita Pritam’s seminal work Rasidi Ticket is poignant in its handling.

The script and dialogues create deep layers with each character, making them three-dimensional characters who have to face up to societal expectations, demands of the job and tyranny of gender roles. David Bolen’s camera is discreet as it never intrudes.

This film is not about finding answers but it does not dramatize problems too. It simply shows how life is and that brings even more power to the screen! Perhaps, Soni is one of the most amazing Indian films on Netflix! SEVEN STARS!

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