Critic reviews and ratings

  • Chaubey and Sharma recreate a bygone era's lore and legends, groom it like a Western, pace it like a thriller, infuse it with surprises and social relevance around lyrical visuals and impactful writing, even its booming dishkyaons hit harder than all the empty pooh-pahing we hear around us all the time.

    79

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  • It’s an intricately woven script which strings many threads and themes together—crisply, economically with hardly a note out of place. The sure-footedness, self-assurance all adding to a deadly impact.

    79

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  • ...a powerfully performed, masterly etched gritty fusion of struggle, pain & redemption that gallops skillfully on its merits and provides a rivetingly haunting movie experience for the audience who look for sensibility and meaning in cinema.

    79

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  • ...is unafraid, it is aware and it cares.

    79

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  • Devious and unforgiving, Abhishek Chaubey’s filmmaking lugs Sonchiriya into uncharted mainstream territory. Its reflective pace might puzzle a few, especially audiences unaccustomed to revisionist cinema, but I’m hoping for the humour to sell.

    79

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  • Gripping, tense and unpredictable, despite being a slow-burn western, Chaubey’s period thriller makes for a riveting watch.

    69

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  • ...is a film of searing sincerity and insight, whose central characters are drawn with real complexity.

    69

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  • The story is told brilliantly and keeps you glued to your seat.

    69

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  • ...offers a potent blend of dacoit drama, karmic lesson and caste politics with some realistic action thrown in for good measure. The performances alone are worth the price of the ticket.

    69

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  • There’s a question that recurs through Sonchiriya: what is a dacoit’s dharma? At one point an answer is given: to protect one’s people and caste, to live and pass away in the ravines, to die from a bullet. A fatalistic response, and a bracingly nihilistic film.

    69

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  • ...a fabulous fable of a flawed land that eschews easy options and sticks to its guns all the way through.

    69

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  • ...is a well-made and a well shot movie with a strong narrative and brilliant performances as its USP.

    59

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  • ...this may be Chaubey’s best crafted film, but feels superficial, and is needlessly heavy-handed by way of metaphor.

    59

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  • Having found his space in stories emerging from mofussil towns and the deep hinterlands, Chaubey may be in his comfort zone here. But he tries to keep the proceedings from seeping into tropes and weaves in a range of emotions that humanise — if not immortalise — his characters.

    59

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  • ...tries to blend Spaghetti Western style-action drama with social commentary but it isn’t entirely satisfying on either count.

    59

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  • The story, the performances keep you engaged, yet the film drags making it predictable because there’s just too much time to think.

    59

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  • Though not as impactful, dramatically, as other socio-politically inclined bandit movies in its genre, ‘Sonchiriya’ is cinematically well crafted.

    59

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  • The writing by Chaubey and Sharma has as much bite as the bullets sprayed here. The attempts to tear into the soul of the dacoits and show them as real people with fears, faith and fervour, comes across effectively.

    59

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  • The film itself is a tangle of ideas, and works better as an existential mood piece than the heavy-duty action drama it often resembles.

    49

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  • ...is very watchable, but sometimes, when some parts are so great, it’s a bigger disappointment when the rest of the film falls behind.

    49

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  • ...is more a display of wonderful cinematography through which the aridness of the Chambal is lensed, and a series of kinetic hold-your-breath-till-they-end set-pieces (which includes Chaubey’s fondness for Mexican stand-offs), than an exploration of despairing people on the edge of the wedge.

    39

    Critic rating (?)

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