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Margarita, with a Straw (2014)

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Margarita, with a Straw review.

My Ratings: 4.2/5.

Good news for the cinema-lovers.

Shonali Bose the director of Amu (2005) is back (almost after a decade) with her second film Margarita, with a Straw.

Co-directed by Nilesh Maniyar, the film Margarita, with a Straw is probably one of the best made films you will see this year. 

Margarita-with-a-StrawStory of a college-going girl named Laila (Kalki Koechlin) who is a talented lyricist and a gifted chess player; a girl who is not afraid to fall in love, even to explore outside the stereotypical norms of our society; who is determined to live life in her own way.

And also, Laila is permanently on a wheelchair, a young girl with cerebral palsy.   

Margarita, with a straw is one such rare cinema that treats a sensitive topic of disability with the right proportion of sympathy, dignity and sentimentality. Never goes over-the-top, so natural and intuitive, very emotional yet perfectly balanced.

And what a brilliant performance by Kalki Koechlin! Her innocence, her vulnerability, her dialogue delivery, her body language, expressions, her smile – she is the reason to watch this film.

All the other actors also did great – Revathy as Laila’s mom, Sayani Gupta as Laila’s girlfriend deserves special mention. 

Margarita-with-a-Straw-posterResul Pookutty comes in for sound design, great script, captivating performances and overall the joy of watching a good cinema.

A comparison with Aamir Khan‘s Taare Zameen Par (2007) is inevitable i guess.

The challenges and the determination to overcome these obstacles by a dyslexic kid Ishaan Awasthi (Darsheel Safary) in a certain way seems similar to that of Laila’s struggle to fit-in but of course due to the age difference of the characters their perspectives and needs are completely different.

And speaking of ‘needs’ and desires, Margarita, with a straw is probably the only Indian film that dares to explore the sexual urges of a disabled person and also makes us realize that their attractions and infatuations are in no ways different from any of us.

A 100 min film with an extraordinary first half, a good second half and a bit pretentious ending. Overall a must watch.

 

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