Director: Bejoy Nambiar
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Sai Dhanshika, Neha Sharma, Sruthi Hariharan, Arthi Venkatesh
Not many films can have the uncommon honor of running in theatres for just a day and stirred enough interest (and controversy to an extent) in just that one day. With the film, Solo, back on screens after close to 10 days, I thought this would be the best time to have my say on this anthology.
After David, which was almost shot as an anthology until the climax where the sub-plots divulge, Bejoy Nambiar is back to Tamil cinema with four tales which aren’t inter-related to any of them. What makes Solo even more interesting than David is the attention to details. Of course, it is something you gain when your mentor is known for such detailing (none other than Mani himself), but incorporating it in a fashion which doesn’t get easily figured out is a knack that not all can possess.
Solo sees the trials and tribulations of Shekhar (Water), Trilok (Wind), Siva (Fire) and Rudra (Earth), all played by Dulquer Salmaan. And yes, from the names you could’ve deciphered that different facets of Lord Shiva and each story has its own element playing a major part. Since it’s a collection of four stories, let’s take a look at them one by one. I’ve tried to make sure they’re spoiler free as possible
World of Shekhar
The first film showcases the story between Shekhar, a college student who stammers and Radhika, a blind dancer/student. This heart-warming love story has the water element incorporated in it and throughout the film, one will find references to water and the colour blue. In one particular scene, even the headset used would be blue in colour. That’s the importance to detailing I’m talking about. Watch out for a scintillating performance from Dhanshika.
World of Trilok
IMO, the world of Trilok was the least favourite and this is due to a number of reasons. Apart from factual errors, as a story, it’s not gripping enough. What work are the fact that since this segment has wind as its element, the stars wear a light shade of blue and the materials used are flowy and light, which is nothing short of a visual treat.
World of Siva
This portion takes the colour schemes to a different level altogether. In this film, the men wear black and white to denote good and bad as well as the ashes while the women are the fire so they are in shades of red and yellow. More interestingly, in this role, Dulquer doesn’t utter a word if I’m right. Racy yet touching, this one has the best background score of them all.
World of Rudra
This is the portion that led to the so-called controversies thanks to an ending that many didn’t buy. I personally liked it and it is quite a gutsy move to end a film in such a manner. As far as the look and feel are concerned, this segment denotes Earth so there are a lot of earthy colours used such as brown, military green and so on. Neha Sharma looks super-gorgeous and I’m sure she’s going to make rounds in Tamil cinema.
What I loved, as you might’ve imagined, is the colour scheming they’ve used in the props and costumes. As the films are more of short stories, not all of them leave an impact in you as there isn’t enough time for the emotions to build up. But with one of the best music and background scores one might’ve heard in recent times, Solo makes sure there’s something for everyone. Dulquer looks tailor-made in every character he plays and while we’re at it, let’s also address the fact that crew has nailed the casting. The love tracks are pretty good and the Mani Ratnam touch only makes it better. I personally like how the right heroines are chosen for the right films as two out these four doesn’t give much scope for the female leads to perform. The non-linear narration is also fascinating and doesn’t spoon-feed the audience thereby respecting their brilliance. Another impressive feat is that, despite being bilingual, there isn’t any messed up lip-sync scenes as they’ve painstakingly reshot almost all the sequences which is quite visible. I might be a bit lenient with my verdict but I’m awe-struck with the nuances that have come to play here and if you’re someone who would relish that, then this film is definitely for you. If substance matters to y0u more, then Solo could be a hit or a miss.
Overall, Solo is a set of four distinct stories which will mostly leave you wanting for more but even if the film isn’t for you, you’ll still praise it for its technical excellence and experimentation.
My Rating:- 3.5/5
CLICK HERE to read my interview of Solo’s art director Amaran and costume designer Gopika Gulwadi