Shut Up Sona
Thank God It Is Friday and the weekend yet again brings with it some freshly brewed content. From documentary to webseries to movies, this weekend has it all and lets get to them one by one. First up, I decided to review the documentary Shut Up Sona which is based on the singer Sona Mohapatra who I believe is highly underrated. I am no music guru but she does have a powerful voice as far as singing is concerned. Unfortunately for her, she has been at the receiving end of the trolls and at times the media due to some of the relevant issues which she stands up for. Now I may or may not agree to all of them but you have got to admit her gutsy nature and standing up for what she thinks is right. So I was really looking forward to this documentary which would potentially give a behind the scenes glimpse of her personality. Now that I have finished watching Shut Up Sona on Zee5 here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
Shut Up Sona follows the story of the singer Soma Mohapatra as she treads away past many controversies. The documentary might seem disjointed at first as there is little context provided considering that these issues which had surfaced was of 2016. This made me jog my memory as to what had happened back then. But slowly you begin to warmup to the documentary which is raw, unabashed and unapologetic. The raw treatment definitely makes you invested in it more as you begin to explore the world through Sona’s gaze and get a peek into her psyche. The controversies are scratched upon the surface and none of them go right into the depth of it but it is the personality of the singer which is so powerful that it overshadows them all. The kind of issues which she does standup for did make sense to me although the other side of the argument could be that that would only be an ideal world scenario. But then shouldn’t we all stand up and make it an effort for an ideal world with equal opportunity for all?
I have been privy to many documentaries lately and the think which sets this documentary apart from the rest was the manner in which it was shot. There are no interviews or perspectives shared from various personalities. You vaguely get to see Ram Sampath consoling his wife Sona or guiding her on how much of it needs to be put on social media to avoid any legal hassles. In other words, most parts(or rather all of it) of the documentary is through the gaze of the protagonist who has been standing up for gender equality issues, the LGBTQ issues or even vaguely political issues which definitely hits the right kind of notes.
What the documentary also touched upon was some mythological reference based on which the singer did get into legal trouble. I am not a subject matter expert in it so I would reserve my comments but the documentary made of effort to show the other side of the picture which was brave of the makers. It did its bit in putting the other side into the public domain but in a dignified manner.
The documentary did make me think of whether it is a level playing ground for men and women. My thinking is no! If women go through their menstrual cycle once every 28 days where there are cramps and blood and pain which they have to deal with but men do not have any such cycles to deal with, then it is not a level playing field to even begin with. Feminism is a word which is used derogative manner these days. In the truest sense it does stand for gender equality. But often it is miscontrued in our society as gender heavy. I feel this originates from a level of insecurity partly from men(not all but some of them). As I have said earlier, it is not a level playing field to begin with so even if the scale is slightly tilted in the favour of the women it shouldn’t be a problem.
I also feel that freedom of speech is a powerful tool which I understand that it should be exercized with caution so as to not hurt anyone or their sentiments. But I don’t think one should be accountable for every small think to avoid a legal hassle. Joining two unrelated events just to suit a narrative isn’t right and artists, men and women, should be allowed to wear anything which they desire to while performing. One thing though is that you need not have opinion about every trivial issue especially in times of social media. And that is something most of us need to realise, that way only the major issues would be highlighted. With that the faceless trolls might also be eradicated!
Shut Up Sona is a raw, unapologetic and an unabashed documentary which is well worth your time. Available on Zee5.