Margarita With A Straw is neither an intelligent film, nor a thought provoking film. It never even tries to educate us about cerebral palsy and it never sympathises with the protagonist-Laila Kapoor, played by the gifted and really special artist Kalki Koechlin.
A few minutes into the film and you forget Laila’s on the wheelchair. She’s just like any other teenager, she wants to explore life, irrespective of her disability or the perceptions around her. The director Shonali Bose who has also written the film deserves a standing ovation for keeping each and every moment real, for being fearless and true to her vision, as it really isn’t easy to pull something like this off, especially in an over emotional country like ours.
Laila is just another curious teenager who masturbates, writes songs for her college band, hooks up, travels to New York to live her dream and even discovers her sexuality. She’s fearless and unapologetic about everything in the world. She isn’t perfect and makes a lot of mistakes, just like any of us. That’s where Bose wins again.
MWAS isn’t just about Laila, it’s also about Laila and her mother’s beautiful relationship and Revathi’s nuanced performance will be remembered for years to come. She’s always there for Laila, giving her the strength and the courage to live life without any regrets, but at the same time she gets awkward when Laila tells her that she likes a guy in college. The characters have been structured beautifully and all the credit goes to the writers, that’s how most of the middle class families are.
Bose dealt with a lot of complexities in this film and keeping our conservative society in mind, it could’ve gone either ways and could’ve looked gross as well, but not even for a moment do you fall out of it. You’ll be smiling through the entire film, until the climax when you’ll have tears in your eyes. Laila is so cute that no matter who you are, you’ll end up falling in love with her. The ‘bi’ confession is the cutest and the most innocently captured moments you’ll see on screen and again, the writers deserve some serious gunshots-Respect!
Talking about the technical aspects: The camerawork compliments the film brilliantly, the background score and music too, fits in really well.
The casting is this film’s biggest high and each and every actor’s perfect.
But for me the film solely belonged to Sayani Gupta, Revathi and the majestic Kalki Koechlin.
No one could’ve pulled it off, except Kalki and I can say that with full confidence. She lived with the character for an entire year. She spoke like Laila, she ate like Laila and she lived like Laila. The dedication speaks for itself and it’s really hard to find such committed artists over here and if last year it was Kangana Ranaut, this year it’s Kalki.
The ‘K’ factor really works for our actresses, if I may say. 😛
MWAS will make you think about the dreams and aspirations of those, whom we tend to ignore sympathetically, as we forget that they’re as normal as we are and you’ll come out of the theatres questioning this ignorance and loving Laila, as well as Shonali Bose, the genius who deserves probably all the credit for this heartening film.
Please go and watch Margarita With A Straw right away, you really won’t regret it.