Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 17th April, 2015
Time : 100 minutes
Directors & Writers : Shonali Bose, Nilesh Maniyar; Music : Mikey McCleary
Starring : Kalki Koechlin, Sayani Gupta, Revathy, Kuljeet Singh, Malhar Khushu, William Moseley, Tenzing Dalha
I’ve never liked films about disabled people – but that is probably just me, my journey through life, I guess. There are several enjoyable moments in the movie but equally was squirming uncomfortably at times
It’s the story of Kalki, who has cerebral palsy, lives in Delhi, and just wants to be treated normally. She goes to Ramjas College, has a good circle of friends, an extremely loving, supportive family, is a lyricist, and is also quite keen to explore her sexuality.
Her journey also takes her to New York, where, among others, she meets a gorgeous, blind Pakistani activist, Sayani Gupta and also the Brad Pitt kinda cute William, who volunteers to help Kalki write.
Kalki does a great job – having seen a lot of kids with cerebral palsy – she gets the mannerisms, hand motions, postures, expressions down pat. Kudos to her and the director for achieving this.
But the standout performances for me came from Sayani (beautiful, confident, sensuous) and Revathy (simply brilliant as Kalki’s mom – a South Indian married to a Sardarji).
Some of the moments that made the film for me
– a certain award-winning moment that gets ruined – the last thing anyone with a disability wants is condescension
– The relationship between Kalki and Hussain, college-mate on a wheelchair, including when they fall out and make-up
– The genial, Kuljeet Singh, the Sardarji Dad – always smiling – and the moment of the film, when he complains about getting veg food all
the time…and Malhar’s (Kalki’s brother) priceless intervention
– Revathy’s expressions, once in front of a mirror and another time when she opens up a certain website on Kalki’s laptop
– The music – fascinating blend of different genres – one OST I would love to own
I did feel there was a lot of focus in the film on Kalki’s sexuality, experimentations. Probably some scenes that were gratuitous…or maybe that was just me being squeamish. Wasn’t sure during several points in the film as to where this was all leading up – and the ending worked for me only partially in assuaging those thoughts…
But I did sense a thread of genuineness in the film, the story…confirmed for me by the director’s heartfelt quotations, dedications at the end of the movie…And I guess, in todays day and age, you cant ask for much more !
Review Written By: – Apurv Nagpal, Author of Eighteen Plus