sat 24/08/2019

LFF 2014: Margarita, With A Straw | reviews, news & interviews

LFF 2014: Margarita, With A Straw

LFF 2014: Margarita, With A Straw

Margarita, With A Straw: Laila (Kalki Koechlin) doesn't let cerebral palsy stop her from being normal

Kalki Koechlin plays a normal girl with cerebral palsy in festival sensation Margarita, With A Straw

In the vein of My Left Foot, Inside I’m Dancing and Gaby: A True Story, Margarita, With A Straw focuses on living a full life with cerebral palsy. Laila (Kalki Koechlin) is a young woman who lives in Delhi with her supportive and loving family. Despite ructions between mother (Revanthi) and daughter, Laila’s life is pretty good. Growing up is another matter and after one particular embarrassment, she takes on an opportunity to study in New York City. There, she discovers physical love with blind activist and girl power proponent Khanum (Sayani Gupta).

Well structured and intentioned, writer and co-director Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar’s debut feature won’t shock western audiences as much as it has apparently upset Indians. It is refreshing, however, to see differing ability treated as normal rather than the expected bullying or exaltation. Koechlin, like Robertson in Inside I’m Dancing, does not have cerebral palsy herself. The young actress, born of French parents in Pondicherry, may well find more roles come to her as they did to Daniel Day Lewis after My Left Foot. Koechlin works very hard at creating a realistic, credible character.

As a story, Margarita, With A Straw (the title referring to Laila’s first alcoholic drink) is not a maudlin affair. It is a straightforward tale adept at capturing intimacy if production values plunge in larger scenes. Most noteworthy is Koechlin's central performance which enhances the film’s unwavering focus. Everyone's triumphs and struggles are the same and as Laila finds her way, we stop seeing her cerebral palsy and see only her.

As Laila finds her way, we stop seeing her cerebral palsy and see only her.

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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