Director Bejoy Nambiar makes his debut in Malayalam cinema with ‘Solo’ starring Dulquer Salmaan and a host of other actors. This is one of those films that is experimental and a form of cinema where the creativity of the director truly needs to shine.
‘Solo’ is anthology of four stories in which Dulquer plays the protagonist. The four stories are about Shekhar, a college student; Trilok, a vet; Siva, a gangster, and Rudra, an army officer. In the first story, Shekhar falls in love with Radhika, a blind dancer, and faces strict opposition from their families to get married. As for Trilok, he falls in love with Ayesha and marries her but loses her in an accident. Meanwhile, Siva’s mother leaves him at a young age and he turns into a gangster. Rudra, the army office, is in love with another army officer’s daughter, Akshara, but she leaves him.
Bejoy Nambiar has included a strong romance element in each of the four emotional stories which are woven together beautifully using the four prime elements of water, wind, fire and earth. Lord Shiva and poetry are used to introduce each story and this is something novel for the audience which loves commercial masala flicks.
Dulquer has essayed four very different characters and he is flawless to say the least in all of them. The two stories that stand out in this anthology are those of Shekhar and Siva. The romance between a blind dancer(Dhanshika) and the long-haired musician (Dulquer) who stutters is visually breath-taking elevated by excellent performances. Siva’s gangster story is also well written by the director – the narration is gripping and the way it has been shot makes it edgy and on point. In this narrative, Dulquer has hardly any dialogue and it’s his actions which speak volumes.
Trilok and Rudra’s stories could have been better crafted – the former focuses on revenge and the latter on letting go. Both are not on par with the other two and are a little jarring in this film. Rudra’s love story has a bizarre ending while many elements seem to be missing in Trilok’s.
The ladies in ‘Solo’ – Dhanshika, Arthi Venkatesh, Neha Sharma, Sruthi Hariharan – have performed well. However, Dhanshika’s outing as the blind dancer and Neha Sharma’s wild girl act are quite memorable.
One of the major highlights in ‘Solo’ the mind-blowing music that Bejoy Nambiar has put together. Music director Prashant Pillai along with musicians like Masala Coffee, Thaikkudam Bridge, Govind Menon, Filter Coffee, Sooraj S. Kurup, Sez On The Beat, Abhinav Bansal and Agam, have made this album one of the best in recent times. The mix of Carnatic music, rap, trance, rock, Hindustani and kuthu to showcase the four narratives has to be applauded.
Get a glimpse of ‘Solo’ starring Dulquer Salman here:
‘Solo’ is a journey into the world of four different men and those who want to see Dulquer in numerous roles in one film will definitely love it. Bejoy Nambiar’s anthology is different and quite enjoyable for the most part.