6 Reasons to Watch ‘Margarita, with a Straw’
Margarita, with a Straw, an offbeat film by Indian American filmmaker Shonali Bose, is all set to release on April 17 in India after its international premiers. It has already elicited warm response from all around at home and abroad. The story of a differently abled, bisexual girl is a slice of real life not a mere fiction. It was born out of the director‘s reaction to her 40-year old cousin Malini’s (a woman with cerebral palsy) wish to have sex. If the genesis of the film fails to persuade you for a watch, the following six reasons will give you a compelling reason to watch Margarita, with a Straw.
Kalki Koechlin’s first lead role
Margarita, with a Straw is the magnum opus in Kalki Koechlin’s acting repertoire. For the first time, she plays a challenging role and multifaceted character in cinema. She was roped in as a supporting actress or the supporting cast in most of her Bollywood movies before director Shonali Bose teamed with her for the protagonist Margarita.
After 10 years of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black
Bollywood will see multidimensional portrayal of a cerebral palsy challenged woman in Margarita, with a Straw after 10 years of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black starring Rani Mukherjee in 2005. In between Black and Margarita, with a Straw, Anurag Basu’s Barfi! gave us an autistic character Jhilmil (played by Priyanka Chopra), but jhilmil was not portrayed in all dimensions. Kalki Koechlin’s physically challenged character is bisexual too. The Shonali Bose film explores Margarita’ physical limits, sexual deprivation and silent aspirations in a full-fledged portrayal.
Directed by National Award winning Shonali Bose
The director of Margarita, with a Straw is none other than Shonali Bose, an award-winning acclaimed Indian American filmmaker. Her debut film Amu starring Konkona Sen Sharma in the lead won the National Award for Best Feature Film in English in 2005. Amu is a bold take on the massacre of Sikhs in the 1984 riot after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India. No doubt, Shonali Bose’s second film on the life of a bisexual woman challenged with cerebral palsy, packs lots of punch.
More than the story of a girl with cerebral palsy
Margarita, with a Straw is more than just the story of a physically challenged human being who the so-called normal society treats as alien. The film explores the limits of the protagonist’s sexual fantasies, the Indian society’s biased attitude towards homosexuality, the nuances of physically challenged existence, and the mother-daughter relationship. The treatment of the protagonist’s relationship with her mother is inspired by director Shonali Bose’s loss of her 16-year old son in an accident.
Globally acclaimed film with several awards
Margarita, with a Straw has been thumbed up by international film critics of repute and won awards at international film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival, Tallian Black Night Film Festival Estonia, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, and likes. The film was recognized as the Centerpiece Presentation at CAAMFest 2015 in San Francisco. Internationally acclaimed for its story, direction, characterization, and background score, Margarita, with a Straw deserves a watch.
Amir Khan thumbed up the film for its content
Last but not the least, Shonali Bose’s Margarita, with a Straw has been championed by Aamir Khan, an eminent actor-filmmaker in the “offbeat” category of Indian Cinema. Aamir Khan himself is known for making and acting in content-rich movies including Sarfarosh, PK, Lagaan, Dhobighat, Taare Zameen Par, and Three Idiots with a message for the mass. His support for the Kalki Koechlin starrer film makes it a must watch.
Margarita, with a Straw will be screened on the opening day (May 4) of the New York Indian Film Festival this year.