Solo is a 2017 bilingual experimental anthology art film co-written, co-produced and directed by Bejoy Nambiar with Dulquer Salmaan in the lead role. Shot simultaneously in Malayalam and Tamil, production began during November 2016. Solo tells the story of four different people, each story revolving around four different elements: Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, each with the different facets of Lord Shiva. The film was released on October 5, 2017 in both Tamil and Malayalam worldwide.
Strange can be the ways of love. But, narrate any love story and many of them would have milestones and moments that most people can instantly connect with, despite sounding clichéd. Solo puts together four such tales, which can take many on flashback rides through the ragged emotions, stupidity, dreams, turmoil and melodrama of young romance, in the backdrop of some insistent music. The stories are connected to different demeanours of Siva too, in spirit and framework. And some of them work, some don’t.
Solo has four segments – the worlds of a college student named Shekhar, Trilok, a doctor; gangster Siva and army man Rudra. All of them differ in their personalities. However, what connect them are the elements of lost love and the indignation thereafter. Mostly set in urban spaces, each of the worlds has their own set of strengths and fallacies as well.
The team deserves credit for trying a handful of novelties in presentation, corresponding to the various elements the stories stand for. For instance, in the World of Shekhar, the element of water is beautifully incorporated in many shots, through water dancing, rain and even the mere splashing around in a pool that add to the overall beauty of the frames. A lot of the film is visually rich and compelling, sometimes even distracting you away from the flaws through lovely colours and combinations. Dulquer Salmaan, who plays four distinct characters, has also showcased a worthy performance. Especially as Siva, the gangster, he looks a lot more convincing in Solo than in other movies in which he has tried the role. Not all the leading ladies get enough space to perform but Dhansika and Sruthy Hariharan has done justice to the individuality and temperament of the women they play, with élan.
At certain junctures of the stories, the characters get a little too melodramatic and strained, which make the proceedings dull. This is true especially in the case of the last segment of Rudra, which has a strange tale. Certain portions of The Worlds of Rudra and Siva sound like poorly dubbed versions of television programmes. At times, the music content of the film also becomes a little too dominant and distracting.
Most of the segments in Solo strike a chord with their serene and thrilling moments and the movie can be a delightful watch, if you are in a mood to explore something different.
Directed by Bejoy Nambiar
Produced by Abraham Mathew, Anil Jain & Bejoy Nambiar
Written by Karthik R. Iyer (Tamil Dialogue) Dhanya Suresh (Malayalam Dialogue)
Screenplay by Original Screenplay: Bejoy Nambiar
Additional Screenplay: Anjali Nair, Karthik R. Iyer & Sreedevi Krishnan
Story by Bejoy Nambiar
Starring Dulquer Salmaan, Dhanshika, Neha Sharma, Sruthi Hariharan, Arthi Venkatesh, Manoj K. Jayan
Cinematography Girish Gangadharan & Madhu Neelakandan
Edited by A. Sreekar Prasad
Production Getaway Films & Refex Entertainment
Distributed by Abaam Movies
Release date 5 October 2017
Running time Malayalam: 2 hours 34 minutes
Tamil: 2 hours 32 minutes
Language Malayalam / Tamil