Rating                                  ★★★★

Directed by                        Shonali Bose

Produced by                      Shonali Bose, Nilesh Maniyar

Written by                          Shonali Bose

Starring                               Kalki Koechlin, Revathi, Sayani Gupta

Music by                              Mickey McCleary

Cinematography              Anne Misawa

Edited by                             Monisha R Baldawa

Production Company     Viacom 18 Motion Pictures

Release dates                     April 17, 2015

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that could damage and affect the ability to move, balance and to walk in a normal posture. Difficulties with speaking or swallowing are also visible symptoms, but that doesn’t play down the level of intelligence in a brain or the degree of passion in the heart. So next time, if you have luck to meet someone having Cerebral Palsy, greet him/her normally. Try not to be abnormal!Well, that was an FYI. Otherwise; why to discuss, give importance or rather even care to mention something like CP, if you already have plenty reasons to celebrate a better syndrome called ‘Life’. MARGARITA WITH A STRAW is a passionate, moving and inspirational drama that is hardly any normal, regular or ordinary.

Well, that was an FYI. Otherwise; why to discuss, give importance or rather even care to mention something like CP, if you already have plenty reasons to celebrate a better syndrome called ‘Life’. MARGARITA WITH A STRAW is a passionate, moving and inspirational drama that is hardly any normal, regular or ordinary.

Maharashtrian mother [the ever-gifted Revathy] married to Punjabi father is driving a matador van with a sliding platform for her wheelchair-ridden daughter Laila (the exceptionally good Kalki Koechlin). And the daughter doesn’t blink her eyes while showing her middle finger to a traditional Indian saree clad socialite for being shamelessly and insensitively sympathetic to her disabilities. Laila is a rare breed. She is ready to fall on all the cute faces around and boldly explores every bit of her maturing sexuality, first with the emotionless sex-toys to a friend-for-all seasons [Hussain Dalal], Nima- the cute faced lead singer of her college band, the supportive batchmate in the university of New York and later, with Khanum [Sayani Gupta]- a rebellious visually impaired lesbian born to mixed parents from Pakistan & Bangladesh.

Shonali Bose’s MARGARITA WITH A STRAW is a delightfully delicious slice-of-life film that doesn’t accept to exploit the empathy ‘normal’ people build up for these differently-abled souls; not for once. And kudos to Bose and her co-writer/director Nilesh Maniyar for keeping that unflinching honesty and unadulterated emotions intact in the script! The highlights of the film are the reflective moments between Laila and her mother especially when the latter realizes about her daughter’s sexual preferences. Meanwhile, Bose gifts us one of the most beautiful characters in Laila who could inject varied emotions in you effortlessly, without making a fuss about it. She smiles, you smile! She cries, you don’t because you know she’ll bounce back the very next minute. Kalki Koechlin is not just there to fill in the blanks. She gives more than what required and transits her soul in Laila. It’s one of the toughest roles ever came to Indian actors, physically and emotionally too, and Kalki makes it look like an expert’s job. Neat, clean and sparkling!

Revathy, too doesn’t fail. Her ever-understanding, encouraging and extremely caring mother is a perfect pitch. Watch out for her immaculate performance in front of the mirror in her bedroom where she sheds it all after the day is over [I don’t put spoilers]! Be ready as the heartbreaks and bleeds. Sayani Gupta as Khanum adds sparks, sensuousness, and susceptibility. The background score is soft and uplifting so is the cinematography. Nice, cool and glittery!

 Review Written By : – Gaurav Rai

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