Film: Sontha Vooru
Cast: L.B. Sriram, Raja, Teertha
Direction: Sunil Kumar Reddy
Sontha Vooru, directed by ex-journalist and now director Suni Kumar Reddy, is a two-hour ten-minute film. It is in fact not a film, it’s an emotion.
The director pours out his anguish on the seizure of virgin lands by the government, vents out his helplessness and frustration on the erosion of values, relationships in a village, the loss of purity, innocence and threat of extinction on account of Special Economic Zones( SEZs).
With symbolic representations he entertains, moves and educates the audiences on the importance of preserving the villages.
L.B. Sriram plays an undertaker who is attempting to come to terms with the disappearance of his village and a swift exodus of his people to the city, the betrayal by his daughter-in-law and how he faces the problem of raising his grandchildren, anything to go by.
Thought-provoking and hard-hitting dialogues are highlight of the film. The film needs to be applauded for the controlled clarity of vision, its extraordinary detail to pinpoint the pros and cons of both the village and the city life.
The dedication and performance of its cast, especially the trio Malli (Teertha), who plays the prostitute and personifies the city, Bujji (Raja) a handicapped youth who represents the village and L.B. Sriram, the undertaker, resonates.
Tanikella Bharani influences the people to sell their lands and move towards progress and development. Malli lures Bujji for momentary pleasure but Bujji seeks marriage with the prostitute, a quest for a harmonious balance between the roots and the growth of culture.
Debate thrown open
Sunil Kumar moves you profoundly with his direction, and as the characters show their colour, we are there with them, empathising and contradicting their nature.
The director also throws open a debate towards the end and by then our loyalties have shifted so much that we find it hard to even care.
Go for it
Finally, after watching Sontha Vooru, we certainly can’t miss the implications of all of this in a world that’s swiftly moving towards development, with more isolationism and less compassion.
Ignore the absence of commercial aspects and watch the film for its sharp insight, dialogues, fulfilling performances.
It’s rare to find such films with this level of passion & integrity, keep an eye out for it…
Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY