“Margarita, with a straw” is a rare and special film. It is a story of a differently -abled girl. She is intelligent, ambitious, adventurous, talented and suffers from cerebral palsy. But the beauty of the film is that the writer and director, Shonali Bose doesn’t ask for your sympathy towards the girl. Instead, she wants you to join her on her journey to self-explore and enjoy all facets of life, without feeling sorry for her. And there lies the unique strength of this film. The second strength is Kalki Koechlin, who is nothing short of brilliant and leaves no stone unturned to make her Laila believable and admirable. The character is 100% well-etched and the performance is as flawless. Revathi as the mother gives a very strong and competent performance. Sayani Gupta as the blind lesbian, Khunnam also does a very fine job.
There are no stereotypes in characters and situations. The back-ground music is not called in to make you emotional, even once. There are songs, but they are all happy. In fact, the music score by Mickey McCleary, who has been associated with Lucky Ali and A. R. Rahman in the past, is outstanding. The portion of story where Laila discovers her sexuality is bold and perhaps never seen on Indian screen. There is extreme sensitivity in capturing those moments.
Margarita…is a very beautifully balanced film, which says a lot and never preaches. Shonali Bose, who earlier directed the national award winning “Amu”, a decade back, is likely to walk away with accolades and awards. The movie is a must for all those who wait for a really different and intelligent film to come that once in a while. Even, for the regular film-goers, the film won’t disappoint. In spite of being in the same genre as the celebrated Khamoshi, Taare Zameen Par and Guzaarish, this one is different from all of them as its mindset is totally different. Here, the protagonist is hell-bent on enjoying her Margarita, albeit with a straw.
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