Laila, who?

In the world of celluloid where Chameli, Munni and Sheila rule, there comes a girl called Laila. Now you might ask, Laila who? Laila is a young, rebellious teenager who aspires to be a writer. Doesn’t sound much different, does she? But what makes Laila stand out is the fact she is afflicted with cerebral palsy.

The film I am talking about is Shonali Bose’s Margarita With a Straw. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, the BFI London Film Festival and the Busan Film Festival earlier this year, it earned lot of accolades from critics. Recently, a brand new trailer was released with the title Choone Chali Aasman. And we absolutely love it.
 
Slated to release on April 10, Choone Chali Aasman promises a lot to Indian audiences. Here are five things you must know about the film:
 
  • The film traces the story of Laila, played by Kalki Koechlin, and her journey through sexual, academic and emotional self-discovery as she pursues her ultimate dream.

 

  • The character of Laila was inspired by Shonali Bose’s cousin Malini Chib. Chib is an Indian disability rights activist and the author of One Little Finger. She completed her book in two years by typing with only one finger.

 

  • Kalki Koechlin underwent intensive training sessions with Malini Chib’s speech therapist and physiotherapist to learn the mannerisms.

 

  • Homosexuality is still a taboo in our society. Bose aims to contribute to the debate of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code through her film. Laila is portrayed as a bisexual in the film. Not only does it focus on her cerebral palsy, but also the sexual awakening of a woman.

 

  • It took Kalki six months to prepare for her role. In order to understand the depth of the character, Kalki spent a lot of time with Malini Chib. She worked with her, partied with her and also got drunk with her.

 

  • The film also stars Revathy and Hollywood actor William Moseley (of the Narnia fame). 

 

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