"Ssssona Ssspa.yehan aap neend kharid sakte hain..neend nahin aane ke kayi kaaran hai,kaam , tension, bimari..yehan ladkiyan aapke saath nahin, aapke liye soyengi..sleep workers.." This is Seattle based Baba Dayanand(Naseeruddin Shah) who appears for a few seconds, probably three times, seated on a throne like chair.Like all babas,he disappears, letting Sona Spa and its people take over. So be warned, Naseeruddin Shah, plays less than a cameo here.His video is seen streaming inside Sona Spa, the voice playing like a sonorous mantra.
Written and directed by Makrand Deshpande(a popular name in Hindi theatre, also known for indulgent plays) Sona Spa starts off with a Sci fi feel in its concept and treatment and spins off into totally unbelievable zones. Rucha is a young girl concerned and upset with her rich dad who spends every night at dance bars since he cannot sleep. Ritu has a sister who wants to break her engagement and gets nightmares, which keep her awake. She also has a father who is in a coma. The girls meet at Sona Spa. Besides sleeping for their own kin, they also sleep for other clients. Only it is not as easy as that. When they sleep, they access the clients' frightening dreams, which end up disturbing them. Rucha's client is a wealthy and obnoxious married man, Choksi, with three mistresses. Ritu's client is a corrupt cop who thrives on pimps and prostitutes' earnings. One of the prostitutes, Meenakshi ,has moved on from being a sex worker to a sleep worker. Much to every client's surprise, the moment the girls start sleeping for them, their problems and issues get miraculously resolved. Their own personalities change.
It is this whole philosophy of the internal cleansing and a deep change within from the subconscious, played out through these characters; which might have made Sona Spa interesting. However, the characters themselves are more bizarre than real. If there is something fantastical about Sona Spa, the portrayal of the girls, their personal stories and their clients' lives is also far removed from reality.
The treatment, abrupt and badly shot scenes, overwritten lines and bizarre plot makes Sona Spa more like an amateurish long-short film from a film school, full of pop psychology.
The actors are below average. The only one who stands out with her confidence and screen presence is Nivedita Bhattacharya as the poetic and spunky ex prostitute.
Sona Spa, remains as vague as a dream and as unsatisfying as a bad night's sleep. Assign it to Makrand Deshpande's indulgent pipe dream..pun intended.