We’ve all heard of the horrible atrocities of human trafficking, but the new film “Sold”, paints a vivid portrayal and account of one girl’s experiences and ultimate strength to regain her freedom. Based on the novel by the same name by Patricia McCormick, “Sold” tells the story of a girl, Lakshmi, from Nepal who is sold by her father with the idea that she will move to the big city to work for a family to pay off the loan. Once the loan is paid off it is understood by Lakshmi that she will return to her homeland and be able to buy a tin roof for their home to protect against the heavy rain storms. Of course once she crosses the boarder and enters the big city of Kolkata, India she is introduced to her new home – a brothel, run by an evil madame who quickly immerses the young girl into her new trade.
Lakshmi is a smart young girl, but she is confused and reluctantly does what she’s told, while never losing sight of regaining her freedom. When a U.S. photo journalist, played by Gillian Anderson sees Lakshmi in a window calling out
to her, she helps ignite a lengthy plan to help Lakshmi and the other girls who are trapped in the house escape. With help from a local NGO (Parambrata Chatterjee) and an American volunteer (David Arquette), the team strategically plan a raid, often succumbing to patience over action to deal with the extreme dangerous sex traffickers.
McCormick’s story and director, Jeffrey D. Brown’s vision both place emphasis on the young girl Lakshmi’s point of view. From her fear of the unknown, to her incredible strength, intelligence and resilience to endure her horrific new life, the viewer is immersed into this thriller of a story, that is not only compelling, but never deviates from the eyes of our protagonist. Rather than using the star quality of Anderson and Arquette, both writer and director subtly infuse the film with their talents, peripherally to help maintain emphasis on this real life crime that affects 55 million children worldwide according the U.N.
Niyar Saikia who plays Lakshmi shines in her first feature as a young girl who conveys fear of the unknown, a fighting spirit and savvy strength which she demonstrates more in her expressions and acting choices, rather than the dialogue alone. She’s a compelling lead who carries the film, while allowing audiences to dive into her journey, which is often difficult to view. Parambrata Chatterjee, who plays Vikram also does a great job of conveying the delicacies and dangers of dealing with these traffickers. Finally, Saptarshi Basu Roychowdhury, who plays the young boy Harish offers some comedic relief and ultimately becomes a friend to Lakshmi during her darkest moments.
SOLD is an important and timely film that brings the inside story of human trafficking and sex trade to the surface which is a crime that is often silent because it exists in the background. McCormick’s story is a thriller that will engage and ultimately promote a larger call to action. SOLD is now playing in New York, but will open in LA on April 8th, followed by the San Francisco, Bay Area on April 15th. To look for future dates visit: http://www.soldthemovie.com/screenings/ Follow on Facebook: Facebook.com/SOLDmovie and Twitter: @SOLDMovie