Most Bollywood films take on the conventional path with no risks, focusing solely on the commercial success; glamour, action, and a story that hardly manages to touch a chord with the audience. Even the recent biopic, Mary Kom, which was supposed to come with a strong and hard-hitting message on success, racism and patriarchy, lost its essence between all the glamour and drama.
Hardly any film in Bollywood comes with an original storyline that is true to the audience. Most films are either takes on Hollywood films or are inspired byx the south Indian cinema.
Shonali Bose however has come out with a film that explores a theme never experimented with before – disability and sexuality – in her film Margarita, With a Straw. The film stars the talented Kalki Koechlin who plays the wheelchair-driven girl suffering from Cerebral Palsy.
Margarita, With a Straw revolves around Laila’s (Koechlin) journey of self-discover as she struggles with everyday life on the wheelchair. Laila is a student and struggles to deal with the prejudice her fellow mates and teachers have against her. She struggles with love and heartbreak until one fine day when she gets into the New York University on a scholarship.
Laila travels to the United States with her mother (Revathi) where she falls in love with a female activist, Khansum (Sayani Gupta). In her chaotic discovery of the self, Laila goes on to explore her sexuality which disrupts her relationship with her mother.
The trailer highlights the storyline and gathering from it, Koechlin seems to have done a brilliant job. The actress, who has been critically acclaimed for her unconventional roles in films like That Girl in Yellow Boots and Shaitan, seems to have taken it a step further as Laila in Margarita, with a Straw. The direction of Shonali Bose seems flawless too. Watch the trailer below:
Margarita, With a straw has been dedicated to the director’s cousin, Malini who suffers from the same disability. However, it is not a story based on Malini’s life; Bose was inspired to direct a film on sexual-discovery of the self, struggle for acceptance and affirmation, and disability after she had a conversation with her cousin.
The film was released in the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival under the category of “contemporary world cinema programme” and is scheduled for national release in India sometime in 2015. The film has been critically acclaimed worldwide with all of them praising Koechlin’s performance as that of “brilliance”.
Margarita, With a Straw, after being acclaimed worldwide is now desperately being awaited in India as well with people looking forward to watching another of Koechlin’s talented performance.
Image Source [Google]