A TV actress wrote an open letter to the director of the film explaining why CP patients don't always think about getting laid!
Margarita, With A Straw was evidently a film that advocates the cause of treating a Cerebral Palsy (CP) patient as a normal human being with basic carnal instincts like any human. Applause rained down on it when the film released. Its fan list includes the likes of Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Anurag Kashyap and also Amitabh Bachchan. But along the way, it also found someone who was left shocked, appalled and enraged after watching it. TV actress Sonal Vengurlekar who went to the theatre with a friend suffering from CP, was left disappointed and angered by the film. She wrote an open letter to Shonali Bose, director of the film on a social media site, explaining why sex is the last thing a CP patient has in mind.
Excerpts from the letter:
"Dear Shonali Bose,
I am writing to you as a fan of the Bollywood movies.
I am writing to you as someone who has been a close accomplice to a person with Cerebral Palsy (CP).
I am writing to you as the movie you produced or held up is not closely related to how people with CP are.
The only subject of the film was sexuality. I was embarrassed to see the movie as I was accompanied with someone who happens to be a CP patient. She was infuriated with the storyline as it was only about sex. For a disabled person, sex is the last thing on their mind as there are so many different things to worry about; their relationship with their close one, their talent nurturing, their acceptance in society as normal people, and many more. BUT SEX IS THE LAST THING ON THEIR MIND, I guarantee!!
While in the cinema hall,there were people who were in wheelchair who came to see the film. I’m pretty sure they were left disappointed too.
Just imagine the impact those mothers would have whose children are suffering from CP. Every mother would think that disabled children would turn gay due to non-acceptance by“normal” people. I have utmost respect for the LGBTQ community and appreciate those who come out. But being gay because no one accepts you is as bad a feeling as someone molesting you. Kalki did a fine job as Laila, no doubt in that. But other characters should’ve been developed for the film to be accomplished as well.
How did you educate your audience with the condition that Laila was suffering? You didn’t! The word Cerebral Palsy was uttered twice or thrice in the entire movie. I felt sorry for Revathi’s character (Aai) because of the well-crafted scene where she was combing her hair and the emotions made the audience feel bad for her; but precisely, only for that particular scene. The protagonist (Laila) was straight away victimized in the film. When she was not able to get the-action from the lead singer of her band due to her disability you showed that she go for a physical relationship with Khanoom who is a visually impaired girl".
Sonal also blamed the director for lack of research on the topic. She wrote, "Due to lack of research,the film couldn’t make the required impact on the audience and hence they were left incomplete after the movie.Apart from this my other concern is about the sick people out there. Some of them would have watched your movie and got inspired to molest a disabled person. Would you take the blame for it, if someone molests a person who is immobile? The message through your movie was clear that if you know someone with a disability take a chance and due to low self-esteem the disabled person might have sex with you."
Perhaps to cushion the blow a bit, Sonal also talked about the things she liked in the film. "It’s not that I hated the entire movie. I liked the scenes where Laila was empowered. It was really inspiring to see that overcoming her disability she composes lyrics for her college band. The inter-collegiate band competition scene where she gives the-finger to the judge due to discrimination based on her disability was also perfect".
Sonal ends the letter with a note which might hit where it hurts the most. "Finally, I have one humble request for you. In case, if you make a movie in the future do some extensive research on the lead character and how their persona affects the other characters in the storyline. It would certainly boost the quality of your films and make your audiences content as well," signs off the actress.
Shonali, kindly note!
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