Six years after Tigmanshu Dhulia’s largely fictitious retelling of an athlete-turned-dacoit, Paan Singh Tomar, Abhishek Chaubey’s Sonchiriya is ready to hit theatres. And looking at Hindi cinema’s relationship with the Chambal valley (Bandit Queen and Paan Singh Tomar), boy, does it have massive shoes to fill. One look at the impressive teaser, and you might believe the film knows the magnitude of what it’s about to attempt.
After all, Chaubey is the same guy who came up with the delicious world of the small-time crooks, Khalujaan & Babban, in the Ishqiya films. And he educated the Bollywood audience about Punjab’s drug problem in Udta Punjab, with multiple vantage points. And now, he’s visiting the dusty ravines of Chambal to tell the story of the daakus of the area.
The teaser has Chaubey’s signature humour, as we hear someone say in the teaser, “whoever tries to be a hero, will be greeted with a bullet in his ass”. The director does not seem to be compromising on showing the wild ways of the hinterland, given how he opens the teaser with a spattered brain of an alligator(?). The film was famously stuck in hibernation before being picked up from the film’s controversial producers – Kri Arj Entertainment.
Rescued by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP, the film stars the who’s who of character actors across Bollywood. Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana hold fort in a cast led by Sushant Singh Rajput and Bhumi Pednekar. This is Rajput’s second collaboration with Screwvala after Abhishek Kapoor’s Kedarnath.
Here’s the teaser of Sonchiriya:
Sonchiriya is expected to release in February, 2019.