The movie Margarita With A Straw was earlier called Choone Chali Aasman in the domestic market, while the other name was given this year for the overseas market in 2015. The movie is directed by Shonali Bose, which has Kalki Koechlin in the leading role, who plays the role of a girl suffering frm cerebral palsy. The film showcases her life and her struggle and showing things about her daily chores. This film is among the five movies chosen for Work In Progress Lab of Film Bazaar of 2013. The movie had its world premiere last year in September, which was part of the Contemporary World Cinema Programme at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was later screened at a number of other places, which include 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The movie later went on to be screened at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, BFI London Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and theSanta Barbara International Film Festival.
The director deserves all accolades for taking up such an intense and sensitive issue of helplessness and frustration, which was attached to the unfulfilled sexual desires of any disable person. Considering the fact that a majority of people in our society call the disabled people as sexless beings, this is indeed a movie with daring move. This film has a disabled girl called Laila played by Kalki Koechlin, who suffers from the disease called cerebral palsy, which is a medical condition that bring in to impaired muscle coordination making it difficult for the patient even to walk or move the other body parts. She is always seen on her wheelchair, while she is free to take up her individual life, thanks to the support of her naive and sensitive mother played by Revathi and her loving father played by Kuljeet Singh along with her younger brother played by Malhar Khusbhu.
Her parents support her to own her individual personality, while Laila’s world is very much similar ot other teenager grappling with their sexual desires. The strength of Laila is seen when she experiences a sense of intimacy by another wheelchair bound classmate called Dhruv played by Hussain Dalal. However, her first love is Nima played by Tenzin Dalha who when turns out her proposal, she is seen all shattered unlike any other teenager. The good things about the movie are the practical, realistic and matter of fact treatment of Laila’s condition just the way her family do things for her treatment. You will never find any melodrama, no dramatic outburst reminding Laila that she happens to be different from the others.
Her mother is seen in worries about sexual urge but doesn’t seems to make any noise about it. In the first half you can find the film grapping you in Laila’s life, which comes out to be a roller coaster one showcasing both the painful and delightful moments along with the growing desires via desperate measurements or natural progression. However, in the second half, you would be disappointed with the pace of the film along with catering too many complications on a single plate. Laila then goes abroad and seen involved in a lesbian relationship with a blind girl. This follows the grave sickness and end in her family adding more miseries in her life.
Ironically, this otherwise positive and bright movie is seen transforming into a convoluted script giving many moments that turn out to be incredible at several point of time. But a couple of fiercely sensitive touching moments fails to cover up the flaws found in the script, which include the scenes when Laila gets in the middle of night and sees her father crying or the one when her mother gives her a dress to change herself wherein she has to literally fight are simply memorable.
Now talking about the performance of Kalki in the role of Laila, it is simply awesome. The posture of a disabled person as tried by Kali went on improving as the film progresses ahead. At times, her head lolls is perfectly held. In other words, she has simply gone out of the way to play this character with utter confidence and professionalism, hats off to Kalki. The others in the lead roles like Revati too was seen delivering the best in this act, but Kalki on the other side has convincingly overshadowed others with her incredible performance. The other elements like editing, screenplay, music and direction, everything went par giving a reasonably nice movie to catch.
Margarita with a straw- Last Word
The central idea of the movie is that Laila is limited by cerebral palsy; however, she is not constrained by the same. She can be heard and thus turns out to be a complete woman despite her body not allowing the same. Yet you can find the movie undercutting this very basic idea of the film by subtly enhancing the physical conditions of Laila just when the story is seen blossoming. Lastly, Margarita With A Straw is a movie with loads of heart and robust performance from Kalki Koechlin, without getting the feeling that Laila could deserve much better than expected.