Margarita With A Straw- Movie Review

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Margarita with a straw is the story about Laila (Kalki Koechlin) a sensitive, beautiful, and vibrant young woman living with celebral palsy in India. Laila lives with her little brother as well as her middle-class parents (Kuljeet Singh and Revathy). Lailas best friend at the university is also differently abled and wants to be more than friends with Laila. 

Laila is a creative writing songs for a student band and fantasizes having romantic episodes with the band leader Tenzing Dalha. However, when she finds that her dreams won’t come true, she drops out of university. Laila believes that she can fit and be accepted in a world full of able-bodied people much to the chagrin of her friend.

While many people in Laila’s position would give up, she’s clearly planned her life ahead and applies for a scholarship at New York University to study writing. After she’s accepted, her mother decides to help her settle down. In spite of all the challenges Laila faces, she still exudes fearlessness and is willing to explore more of the world than she has already.

As Laila discovers New York, she also finds out that she’s got desires she had no idea of and is introduced to a yearning she never thought she’d experience. To add more fire to the spiritual force that she’s already experiencing, Laila meets a girl, Khanum, who is half-Bangladeshi, half-Pakistani and is street smart-something that Laila isn’t.

The two women start a friendship that ends up with them becoming lovers. Laila’s fantasies of connecting with someone romantically finally come true and her quest for sexual ecstasy is finally fulfilled through this passionate connection with with Khanum. To Laila’s surprise she discovers that she’s got bisexual desires so she also gets intimate with her classmate Jared from her creative writing class.

One the fire of desire is lit; Laila and Khanum spend some time with Laila’s family. Laila decides to tell her mother about her sexuality.

Many of us can identify with Laila’s situation when overburdened by self-esteem and self-doubts that follow Laila throughout the events of her life. The best of Laila comes up when she discovers the unconditional love of her mother and the romance of Khanum. It should be noted that the actress who plays Laila (Kalki Koechlin) doesn’t actually have cerebral palsy but her performance is astonishing. 

The director of this movie, Shonali Bose has created a heart-wrenching movie about the yearnings we experience and the transformations that come out of them. Laila’s mother, played by Revathy also shines with her performance. At the end of the movie, are two lessons the audience can learn:

–       The first is to always be you. Acknowledge yourself and take note of the person you are without definitions or explanations.
–       The second lesson is to always think about your achievements. Remember to truly give yourself credit and praise even when no one else will. 
–       Celebrate yourself even for the small achievements that may seem too insignificant for you. 

The movie is a must-watch.

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