Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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‘Siya’ Movie Review: Manish Mundra Plays Safe With A Hard-Hitting Story On Rape Survivors

Outlook rating
3.5 / 5

Pooja Pandey and Vineet Kumar Singh starrer ‘Siya’ has been creating headlines for being Manish Mundra’s debut directorial. Is the film worth your time? Or can you skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

A Still From 'Siya'
A Still From 'Siya' Instagram

‘Siya’: Cast & Crew

Director: Manish Mundra

Cast: Vineet Kumar Singh, Pooja Pandey

Available In: Theatres

Duration: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

‘Siya’: Story

A small-town girl called Siya decides to fight for justice after rape. She is fighting against all odds and ends up starting a movement against the vicious system. Will she be able to win against the system which is trying to bring her down? Or will she come out with flying colours and make an impact that will change the entire system itself? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

‘Siya’: Performances

Pooja Pandey is the star of the show. She has brought the necessary depth to the story with a performance that’s laden with a very intricate and layered character. Her portrayal brings out the nuances of how a girl turns from being a rape victim to being a rape survivor, who wants to pick a fight against the entire system and bring some noteworthy change. That transition in her character is what makes her performance stand out.

Vineet Kumar Singh’s portrayal is quite different from what he is usually known for. His character is subtle and subdued in his mannerisms. Portraying a lawyer, his character doesn’t thrive on highly energetic dialogues in the courtroom, but on the contrary, it tries to show a much more realistic approach to such a complicated case. Singh manages to hold on to the character really well throughout the presentation. Even though his screen time is lesser than Pandey’s, it’s his character that pivots and gives the story a different direction.

‘Siya’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Manish Mundra, who is famous for producing some of the most soul-stirring films, turns director with ‘Siya’. As a first-timer, he has managed to tick all the necessary check boxes that define his production house. He has taken up a fantastic human-interest story of rape survivors. Not only that, he has represented it onscreen in a way that is not just relatable but even describes the horror and pains of the rape victims. The detailing that he has brought in some of the scenes is mind-blowing. There is an entire abduction scene which is so intensely shot, that it is sure to send chills down your spine. However, there are a couple of places where he could have actually pushed the story harder, but he preferred to take the more audience-pleasing route, which kind of gave a soft blow rather than being that hard-hitting knock-out punch to the system.

The writing by Haider Rizvi, Manish Mundra and Samah is possibly the only soft spot in the entire movie. The writing tries to play it too safe. Rather than taking the logical route, which is more pleasing to the audiences, the writers could have actually written about the ground reality a bit more. That way, it would have felt more real, and the audience would have been able to get a sense of what actually happens in the life of a rape survivor rather than just thinking about how is she going to get back at the culprits. I agree that would have made the movie a lot more artsy and less commercial, but that depth in the writing could have actually made ‘Siya’ the best film on rape survivors to date.

Rafey Mehmood and Subhransu’s cinematography is top-notch. As the film has been shot mostly in real-life locations in rural India, the scenes come up very vibrantly and make you feel the intensity of the situations. As mentioned before, that abduction scene has been shot so aesthetically yet it manages to give you the necessary chills.

Manendra Singh Lodhi’s editing is crisp and keeps the presentation to the point. He managed to keep the film lesser than 2 hours, which is commendable considering the number of nuances the storyline has.

‘Siya’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook Verdict

There is no doubt that ‘Siya’ is a hard-hitting film which draws inspiration from the real-life rape cases in Hathras and Unnao. However, director Manish Mundra has picked inspiration from the incidents and then built upon them to create an audience-pleasing story. However, he could have managed to push the envelope a bit further to show the horrors in reality much more. However, it's indeed a Must Watch. I am going with 3.5 stars.

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