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Love Sonia movie review: Love Sonia ends up like a latter-day Salaam Bombay.

Love Sonia movie cast: Mrunal Thakur, Richa Chadha, Frieda Pinto, Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Adil Hussain, Sai Tamhankar
Love Sonia movie director: Tabrez Noorani
Love Sonia movie ratings: 1.5 stars

The trafficking of girls keeps returning as a theme in films. How village ingénues are lured to the red-light areas, how they are beaten and threatened into submission, and how they survive, are familiar tropes. Love Sonia revisits the territory with an interesting cast, but doesn’t come up with anything remarkably new, plot-wise, or treatment-wise, ending up like a latter-day Salaam Bombay.

The real find is Mrunal Thakur who plays Sonia, the younger of two sisters, both victims of the vicious men and women who trade in flesh. Sonia gets ensnared in a brothel even as she struggles to discover the whereabouts of her sister Rashmi. She has no idea where to start, but she has no intentions of giving up. As Sonia is ‘readied’ to get her ‘seal broken’, and sent overseas as merchandise, one looks for newness, but finds mostly clichés, geared towards foreign eyes.

Along the way, she encounters the ruthless guy (Bajpayee) who runs his house like a ‘business’, the other girls with tragic back-stories, including one played by Chadha. And the well-intentioned Manish `bhaiya’ (Rao) who works with a NGO committed to the cause of rescuing and rehabilitating the women.

More focus on what happens to the girls when they are yanked from that life would have made Love Sonia fresher, and given the characters more to play with. That is not something we see too often, and there is a tiny glimpse of it in the film. The rest of it is same-old.

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