Sonam Kapoor's Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga has hit the screens today. The film, as it is evident by now is a tale of a girl who falls in love with someone from the same gender. Her family is unaware of her sexuality. How she breaks the news and finally gets the acceptance and love she dreamt of, forms the story. Every film needs a hero and in her life it is a struggling playwright Sahil Mirza that is Rajkummar Rao.
What's it about...
Like we told you before it is the story of a girl who has to disclose to her near and dear ones that her choices are different from the rest. This is easier said than done but she gets a ray of hope when she finds a guy who finally understands her. Incidentally, he is someone who fell in love with her at first sight. How he befriends her and helps her reveal her truth to the family is what ELKDTAL is all about. It is told in the format of a rom-com and based in the small town of Moga in Punjab.
First up, kudos to Sonam Kapoor for choosing a character that many mainstream actresses would reject. The same goes to Regina Cassandra who is a big name down South. However, the stars of the story are the two men in Sweety's (Sonam Kapoor) life. Anil Kapoor as Balbir and Rajkummar Rao as Sahil deliver sterling performances. Rao is endearing as the smitten writer turned BFF while Kapoor nails it as a doting dad who dreamt of becoming a masterchef. Brijendra Kala as the house servant Chaubey is simply superb. And so is Seema Pahwa as the cook. Shelly Chopra Dhar captures the ambience of small town Punjab beautifully minus the usual tropes of lassi and sarson da saag. It is also a nice tribute to the love for Bollywood among the aam junta. The writer delves into the issues faced by the LGBTQ community like discrimination, social isolation and mental agony but nowhere does the film seem like a dark one. The songs especially the title track and Chittiya stand out.
One of the main drawbacks is that the story is too simplistic especially when they show the acceptance on part of the film. Yes, art plays a main role in changing mindsets but the journey is a lot tougher in real life. Also, the less screen time given to the actual relationship does not make us empathise with the lead character as much as we would want to. We do not get a glimpse into Regina aka Kuhu's family, which is again kind of disappointing. The film also drags in parts and one of the songs could have been eliminated.
ELKDTAL is definitely a thought-provoking film and its triumph lies in telling a tough subject with a certain amount of humour and lyricism. It can be watched with families without any hesitation. Bollywood has surely found a good story teller in Shelly Chopra Dhar. And lastly, everyone would want a BFF like Rajkummar's Sahil Mirza after this film.
3.5 out of 5
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