|Image Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margarita_With_A_Straw|
Revathi, Sayani Gupta, Kuljeet Singh, Hussain Dalal, Malhar Khushu, Jacob
Berger, Tenzin Dalha, Shuchi Dwivedi
Company: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Shonali Bose, explores the life of a Delhi University girl suffering from
Cerebral Palsy. This is a motor disorder, which restricts the movement of the
person, but does not affect the intellect at all. In our country,
unfortunately, every specially-abled individual is either looked at as a result
of a curse or an object of pity. This film tells us that every individual is
God’s own creation and unique in their own manner and beyond any judgment.
Shonali brilliantly puts across the story of Laila, a very sharp, talented,
intelligent person and a music lover too. Very touchy topics viz. her growing
physical and emotional needs, desires, her exploration to ascertain her own
sexual preferences, her taking pleasure by visiting porn sites, her lesbian
relationship, her being bisexual as well, her infatuations etc. are depicted
with great dignity and sensitivity. Simultaneously, Shonali wins the audience’
hearts with her portraying a wonderful mother-daughter relationship through her
story; a family not discriminating between their two children etc. But, what supersedes
is the journey of a girl to become self-reliant who gets absolutely comfortable
with her own self, falls in love with self, seeks inner happiness by going on a
date with self.
Cerebral Palsy. Initially one struggles to understand her speech but as the
frames move further, it becomes easier to understand her speech. How realistic,
this is how, it happens in real life as well. She is a Delhi University student
who dares to explore her sexual desire with another classmate (a
specially-abled boy). She gets infatuated with Nima, a college band singer, and
writes lyrics for the band but gets heartbroken when her love is not
reciprocated by Nima. Laila wants to escape from the college environment, and
to her respite, she gets a scholarship to study in New York University.
accompanies her to USA for making her settled there. Laila falls in love with
an young activist. What happens thereafter, how Laila explores her life
further, how she evolves into a self-reliant individual, how she fights with
the odds / struggles of her life etc. forms rest of the story. Brutally honest
Laila surprises you.
are shown. Moments worth mentioning: Laila shares with Shubhangi regarding her
first love, her heartbreak, her demand of privacy, expression of her sexual
preferences, Laila leaning on the shoulder of Shubhangi while the later sings a
classical song etc.
shades to her character – at times selfless, at times selfish, at times
manipulative, at times sensitive, at times a rebel.
without a tinge of guilt, or getting preachy or becoming judgmental. It does
not even regret her being confined to a wheel chair, rather projects her
physical challenges with lot of hope and brightness. A story which is very
sensitively handled and focuses on any individual’s personal choice, freedom to
live his / her life irrespective of the odds.
transformational journey of Laila to be a self-reliant individual. It will
definitely prompt you to go on a date with your self and sit back to enjoy