With the trailer of Ek ladki Koh deka to aisa laga , I was anticipating yet another Bollywood romance and was quite unaffected by ” The most unexpected romance of the year ” tagline it came with.I was just hoping that it doesn’t become a Namaste England .The title track hooked on to me and has never left is grip.I happened to note an article on a newspaper that outlined the theme the film was centered around.
I revisited the trailer. A silhouette of two women pulled apart forcibly by men in turbans and women in salwars.A girl resting her shoulder on an other as she remarks ,” What is the magic of true love when there aren’t any complications?” ,and a girl in yellow salwar extending her hand to the one in green silk as the title goes : How I felt when I saw that girl! It is a Bollywood story but of two women in love- a touch of goosebumps and buoyancy hit the heart.The film however is also about a young playwright who is struggling with his writing and meets the girl who adds magic to his story and life.He rescues her ,chases her from Delhi to Moga ,falls heads over heels in love with her only to find that her orientation towards love is different.Her love has been mocked at and shamed ,it had remained a secret and a guilt .The confession comes only in the interval followed by loud streaks of laughter.The vulnerability Sonam displays as Sweety explains all the loneliness she has been doomed to. The young girl prays the Lord that she be reformed.She is overrideen by guilt and helplessness regarding her love ‘s direction that is stigmatized as disease. She braces herself to compromise for the smiles of her loving Punjabi family that has raised her and her brother with an innate sense of conventional discrimination – her’s is a family that happily hops together to click a selfie with designer jalebi ,a family where men aren’t allowed inside a kitchen exempting situations when the oven needs a fixing .Well ,now you can imagine the odds that go into seeking acceptance for Sweety’s love .Anil Kapoor ,from fighting with his mother for the TV remote , cooking stealthily in the kitchen to exploding on what is normal towards the climax adds meaning and amusement to his part as Sweety’s Beloved rich Punjabi Father.His flirtations with Juhi are a delightful charm that overflows with genuinity and innocence.Raj Kumar Rao,redefines the part of an aspiring writer who is fulfilled that he has found a friend than a girlfriend.More power to his rescue and awareness mission !He leaves Moga ,not in despair but contentment.Thanks to the lack of the baseless, passionate lover boy in him who could have added drama with Ek ladki Koh deka to aisa laga Melody playing as he bids bye to Sweety from the train.
We have all the essential humour to make us laugh – humor that is relevant and not largely distracting .The presence of the same makes this unexpected romance a special rom-com couched on a sensitive theme.
The prominent people in the film are all dreamers .We have Shahil Mirza ,the struggling playwright who dreams of becoming a good writer , Chatro ,a cheerful woman who follows her heart’s call and pursues her dream of acting,the garment business tycoon who has a flair for the art of cooking.And ,of course ,we have the dream of Sweety that is mistaken as a disease.The dreams are kept alive throughout and their happy endings leave our heart warm.
When Sweety hides from her brother in Shahil’s theatre ,Shahil assures her that there is no place better than a theatre to hide from oneself and the world.It is the same theatre that frees Sweety of the chains tied to her love and enables her unravel the truth.
The portions of romance between the lovely women appear only in montages and one ends up rooting largely for the family’s acceptance of Sweety’s love than her union with the lover.The amour is summed up in a two minute song that has relied on the melody to uplift the underlying emotions.
Shahil promises the Chaudary family a play that owns fresh flavour .He narrates the gist : ” Two are deeply in love.Their families don’t approve of their bond.The couple fight it all out and live happily ever after.”
What is so fresh in this age old love story asks Sweety ‘s grandmother.The same question that hit me when I watched the film’s trailer the first time .What if the two in love are women? – this is the unique aspect of Mirza’s play and this film.
Yet,this is no story that will have a happily ever after.It is a love that must toughen up and battle.
It is definitely gladsome to witness the small world of Sweety in Moga letting love be.It is a happy note that our hearts wish could come true in the nation where Section 377 was scrapped only the last year.
This is a good attempt , a welcome one indeed which creates a short feel good movie that arrives at the surface of same -sex love ,safely and unapologetically distancing itself from larger battles involved.Hope the world lets love be.
Julie Anne Peters wrote :
Cut the ending.Revise the script.The man of her dreams is a girl.
When you do the same to Bollywood movies that mark the affairs of the heart ,you get Ek ladki koh dekah toh Aisa Laga.It is usual ,crowd friendly but unique and heartening.