‘Soni:’ A placid attempt at highlighting violence against women

The horrific case of Nirbhaya brought into sharp focus the crimes against women in Delhi. (Screen shot)
Updated 12 September 2018
0

‘Soni:’ A placid attempt at highlighting violence against women

VENICE: The horrific case of Nirbhaya — a young medical intern who was raped on a moving bus in 2012 — brought into sharp focus the crimes against women in Delhi. Ivan Ayr’s “Soni” plays on its after-effects as two female police officers show us what it takes to keep the streets of the city safe at night.

Screened at the Venice film festival, “Soni” is a no-nonsense movie about a young policewoman by the same name (Geetika Vidya Ohlyan) and her boss, Kalpana (Saloni Batra). Together, they scout the streets of Delhi to prevent rape and other acts against women. In a highly male-dominated, patriarchal society, theirs is no easy task.

Ayr’s narrative relies on the simple complexities of a young female cop whose married life is in shambles, but whose passion and dedication toward her profession continues to remain strong.

And while “Soni” could have succumbed to exaggerations and unnecessary dramatic turns, Ayr stops himself short of falling into this trap.

That doesn’t mean the movie is not flawed in any way. The protagonist has a mercurial temper and is not forgiving. When her estranged husband arrives home to surprise her, Soni is cold, distant and hostile even as he begs her for a second chance.

Outside the home, her temper gets her into a slew of troubles. In one of the early scenes of the film, as she cycles through Delhi on a cold night, she is harassed by a man. Something snaps in her, and, in a fit of rage, she unleashes her wrath on him, eventually landing him in hospital. The incident puts Kalpana to shame, forcing her to question whether Soni needed to “have hit him so hard that he had to be rushed to hospital.”

Ayr walks us through several such confrontationist situations, where Kalpana is at her wit’s end trying to help Soni curb her temper.

But even that does little to temper the film — while it has its emotional high points, it runs a mostly placid course otherwise.


Negin Mirsalehi takes Vegas awards show by storm

Updated 15 November 2018
0

Negin Mirsalehi takes Vegas awards show by storm

  • Mirsalehi shared the news with her 5.1 million followers on Instagram
  • The winner of the “Influencer of the Year” award is decided through fan votes

Regional fashion sensation Negin Mirsalehi has been named “Influencer of the Year”at the recently concluded Revolve Awards in Las Vegas — a second for the Amsterdam-based Iranian beauty.

Mirsalehi shared the news with her 5.1 million followers on Instagram, where she posted a picture of herself with Victoria’s Secret Angel Romee Strijd — both carrying the iconic Revolve trophy. Strijd won the “Model of the Year.”

Mirsalehi, who has her own hair care brand, Gisou, wore a floor-length Michael Costello dress to the live audience awards ceremony, complete with a plunging neckline and thigh-high slit.

The winner of the “Influencer of the Year” award is decided through fan votes. When Mirsalehi first won in 2017, she took to her website to thank her fans  and ascribed the award to her “strong relationship” with them.

The star was also named as part of Europe’s 30 Under 30 list by Forbes due to her hair care line, which made $3 million in sales last year.

Many other style icons were present at the glittering awards night held at the Palms Casino Resort last week, including Aimee Song, Camila Coelho, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner, who took home the “Icon of the Year” plaque.

The influencer is the founder of the brand Gisou Hair. (Getty Images)

The “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star, who has a 98.3-million strong following on Instagram, walked the Revolve Awards red carpet in an eye-catching feathered bandeau dress.

Revolve is multi-brand online shopping site known for its exhaustive use of influencer marketing.

The ceremony came after a successful Victoria’s Secret fashion show in New York, which Mirsalehi attended, where a bevy of models with Middle Eastern roots walked the runway, including Melie Tiacoh, a French-born model of Lebanese heritage; Shanina Shaik, whose father is Saudi-Pakistani; and the US-Palestinian Hadid sisters.

Sixty models put on an Amazonian display of luscious waving locks, slender bodies and sun-kissed makeup for what is considered one of the most competitive gigs in the industry.

Scheduled to be televised on Dec. 2, the 2018 show was distinctive by a collaboration with London-based designer Mary Katrantzou that showcased psychedelic bodysuits.

Negin Mirsalehi won the prize for ‘Influencer of the Year.’ (Instagram)