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Margarita, with a Straw

India, Hindi, 100 mins

  • Director: Shonali Bose; Nilesh Maniyar
  • Writer: Atika Chohan; Nilesh Maniyar
  • Producer: Bhanu Bhaskar; Shonali Bose

CGiii Comment

So...many kind words have been said about this film...some are genuinely justified.
But...with the war raging regarding trans*actors playing trans*characters...where is the narrative concerning disabled actors playing disabled characters?
Kalki Koechlin delivers a 'credible' performance - the measure of that 'credibility' can only be ascertained by those living with cerebral palsy...as a portrayal of the condition, it is just that...a portrayal.
Admirably, the film is very clear in pointing out that CP does not affect the mind...and Laila - the character - certainly has all the faults, desires and impulses of an able-bodied person. She also has the traits that most, most despise (and practise)...selfish self-centredness, mocking infidelity...the usuary of her condition!
Now...that could be seen as the film's strength and/or weakness...Laila is a perfectly unpleasant woman...so much for the stereotype of everyone in a wheelchair is an angel!
The sentimentality that slowly evolves...works. The Bollywood moments...don't. The story does suffer from distraction...and, some pivotal flaws. Credibility has to be raised when considering the relationship between the two women...a blind carer?!?!
The film is a little erratic...some stringent editing could have fixed a few of the problems. But, when the director is erratic...and when that director is the producer those and other problems get out of hand - as is the case here.
Still, worth watching...for the shattering of stereotypes.


The(ir) Blurb...

A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.

Cast & Characters

Kalki Koechlin as Laila;
Revathy as Shubhangini;
Sayani Gupta as Khanum;
Hussain Dalal as Dhruv;
Tenzing Dalha as Nima;
Kuljeet Singh as Baljit;
Malhar Khushu as Monu;
Blair Wing as April;
William Moseley as Jared;
Jose Rivera as NYU Professor

Due to the massive amounts of spam we receive, the comments section is curated...so, no spam, no swearing, nothing unrelated to the film...they just won't be published! Time is precious, let's not waste it!

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