Here’s a film that will make you smile, make you cry and will leave you with a warm feeling of happiness. A film with no villains. No item numbers. No hate. Margarita With a Straw is a benign yet profoundly powerful film.
Shonali Bose’s Margarita With a Straw tells the story of Laila, a young student studying in Delhi University. She is an aspiring writer who crafts lyrics for her college band. Born with cerebral palsy, Laila is just like any other sexually curious teenager and she harbors a secret crush on the lead singer of her band. Though she is confined to a wheelchair, Laila never lets go of her adventurous self. Following a heartbreak, Laila moves to New York to continue her studies.
The film is based on experience, situation and exploration. It’s an exciting tale of self-discovery with an emotional streak. A well-chosen cast makes the story come to life. Kalki Koechlin shines as Laila. This is one of her best performances so far. Equally compelling is Revathi’s portrayal of Laila’s loving and protective mother. Laila shares a very tender bond with her mother. And Kalki and Revathi bring out the best with their performances. It is truly praise-worthy. Sayani Gupta, Kuljeet Singh, Malhar Khushu and the rest of the cast also give strong performances.
Most of the film is about Laila’s sexual discovery. And Shonali Bose flawlessly embodies the various stages of Laila’s journey of self-discovery. Just like the rest of the film, Bose very gently shows the romance shared between Laila and Khanum (Sayani Gupta). It’s delicate and innocent.
Though the film deals with a serious issue, the light humor will charm you. For instance, when Laila tries to tell her mother that she is bi (sexual), her mother misunderstands the word with ‘bai’ and says, "Main bhi bai ban gayi hoon". Sprinkled with such warm moments and light jokes, Shonali Bose’s film takes us on a fun yet poignant journey of soul searching.
Another factor that boosts the film is the superb music by Mikey McClearly.
Why should you watch the film?
Shonali Bose’s Margarita With a straw is a rare feat. It is rich in all aspects. There is humor, emotion and tension. She perfectly blends all the ingredients and gives us a delightfully fresh film. This Margarita is perfect for your weekend.