In a country where disability is still not accepted with an open mind and where the infrastructure of the cities make it difficult for the differently-abled people to live, comes a refreshing movie that throws light on how their life is no different to the life of an abled one.
Director: Shonali Bose
Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Revathi, Sayani Gupta, Hussain Dalal, Tenzin Dalha
Margarita With A Straw is a story about a young teenager, Laila (Kalki Koechlin) who is bound to a wheelchair as she suffers from cerebral palsy. Studying at Delhi university she aspires to be a writer and creates electronic sounds for an indie band. She falls for a guy who goes onto reveal that he has no such feelings for her.
At a time when she in pain owing to her heart break, she receives an admission letter to the New York University. This is where she comes a young activist Khanum (Sayani Gupta) with whom she falls in love and embarks on a journey of sexual discovery.
Laila's mother (Revathi) too comes across a critical point in life, where she has to choose between taking care of Laila like a child or to let her grow into her own. While both Revathi and Kalki have performed their respective roles to utmost perfection, there are certain flaws in the movie.
Here are a couple of critics review...
Tanul Thakur of Firstpost:
The most notable triumph of Margarita, With a Straw is that it keeps asking disconcerting questions of its characters and us, without spelling out the answers. A good film respects its audience. A better film respects its audience as well as its characters. Margarita, With A Straw, for most part, is a better film.
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV:
Kalki is absolutely brilliant as Laila - so powerful and convincing that she completely sucks the audience into her complex world.
The seasoned Revathy and the one-film-old Sayani Gupta, the two women who bear witness to Laila's struggles to find her footing in life, provide perfect foils to the central performance.
Do not pass up a sip of Margarita, With A Straw. It could be life-altering. If nothing else, it will soak you with its warmth.
Srijana Mitra Das of The Times of India :
MWAS is deeply moving, a philosophical film which makes you wonder if the body is a palace or prison - and evokes mothers to lovers who've cherished your soul.
Surabhi Redkar of Koimoi:
I will definitely recommend the film in spite of its loopholes. Including the glitches, it is still a better film than most Bollywood dramas you will watch. It is a slice of life film and Kalki Koechlin's best.