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Margarita, With A Straw: Movie Review

Rating: 4/5
Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Revathi, Sayani Gupta
Director: Shonali Bose
Genre: Drama

“Margarita, With A Straw” is a soul-stirring tale of a teenager, Laila (Kalki Koechlin) with raging hormones battling to handle unfulfilled desires. She has one of the most loving and caring families. Laila falls for Nima (Tenzing Dalha), a lead singer in a college band, who considers her just a friend. This revelation shatters all her dreams of leading a normal life with her man, despite her being physically challenged.

Laila suffers from cerebral palsy and hence is ridden to a wheelchair. The world looks at her with pity, but she is not willing to accept their sympathy. She wants to live a free life on her own terms, Laila's loving mother Shubhangi (Revathi) supports her through college. But what happens when Laila meets Khanum (Sayani) and discovers new shades to her sexuality?

Can Shubhangi cope with Laila's secret - and Laila with Shubhangi's?

Margarita with a Straw is an acting triumph. Kalki is amazing, imprisoned in a wheelchair but her spirit flying as she tastes the delights and dilemmas, from crushes to creative pushes, of a college student's life. Giggling, crying, even masturbating, Kalki portrays Laila, charmer, bummer, winner, with unabashed perfection, cheekily asking a shopkeeper for vibrators, the man, thinking of mobiles, responding, 'Maine toh apni wife ko bhi vibrator pe daala hua hai!'

Margarita, With A Straw has some bold lesbian scenes, which have been shot rather beautifully. The idea of two disabled people making love could be a little gawky but director Shonali Bose have made it appear smooth.

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.

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