7.3/10
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Margarita with a Straw (2014)

Not Rated | | Drama | 14 June 2016 (USA)
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A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.

Directors:

Shonali Bose, Nilesh Maniyar (co-director)

Writers:

Shonali Bose (story, screenplay and dialogue), Atika Chohan (hindi dialogue) | 1 more credit »
10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kalki Koechlin ... Laila
Revathy ... Shubhangini / Laila's mother
Sayani Gupta ... Khanum
Hussain Dalal Hussain Dalal ... Dhruv / Laila's schoolmate
Tenzing Dalha Tenzing Dalha ... Nima / Band member
Kuljeet Singh Kuljeet Singh ... Baljit / Laila's Father)
Malhar Khushu Malhar Khushu ... Monu / Laila's Brother
William Moseley ... Jared
Jose Rivera Jose Rivera ... NYU Professor
Shuchi Dwivedi Shuchi Dwivedi ... Sameera / Band member
Doug Plaut ... Rob
Jennifer Silverstein ... Nancy
Jacob Berger ... Electronics Salesman
Marco Torriani ... Charles
Carlotta Summers Carlotta Summers ... Student
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Storyline

Laila is a teenager with cerebral palsy, studying at Delhi University. She is an aspiring writer and also composes music for an indie band at the university. Laila develops feelings for the lead singer, but is heartbroken when she is rejected. Moving on from the experience, Laila is overjoyed to receive a scholarship for a semester's study at New York University. Despite her father's reservations, she moves to Greenwich Village, Manhattan with her orthodox Maharashtrian mother Shubhangini. Laila meets an attractive young man named Jared, who is assigned to help her in the creative writing class. She also meets a young activist, Khanum (Gupta), a blind girl of Pakistani-Bangladeshi descent, with whom she falls in love. Laila is enamored by Khanum's fiercely independent personality and her positive perspective towards her own disability. The two spend most of their time together, filling in as each other's caregivers. Laila becomes confused about her sexual orientation, as she is ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi | English

Release Date:

14 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Choone Chali Aasman See more »

Filming Locations:

India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$850,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Movie is inspired by the director's sister. See more »

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User Reviews

Bravo! Margarita With A Straw
24 April 2015 | by prasadbabumattaSee all my reviews

'Chune Chali Aasma' singing in my mind, with a subtle smile on my face; gratified and moved, I walk down the stairs of the multiplex.

A fantastic story, elegantly told, powerfully acted and excellently directed is something, I would refer to as VARANASI (a dialog in the film), which is lot of noise but in peace, if nothing else.

This Margarita is spilt all over me; and is definitely intoxicating. Sometimes less is more and Margarita with a straw is MORE.

Bravo! MargaritaWithAStraw In a society where disability has always been invisible and unable to provide for differently-abled people, MWAS is refreshing movie that throws light on the very fact that they are there to be found, normal like us.

Many pluses to the film; exceptional heart wrecking story, which is at the same time elevating, keeps you smiling all the time. There is some very modern and captivating music, beautiful lyrics, aptly lensed and direction is splendid.

There is a scene in the movie where the band performs "Dusokute" (which means in her eyes in Assamese - a rock piece by joi barua) which Laila writes & composes, wins an inter collage competition. While they announce the trophy with a special reference to the disability but for ability of Laila, the expression Kalki delivers and that rage in her action, made me shed my first tear.

Where our writers sometimes fail to execute one just challenge or difficulty to the protagonist effectively, Margarita's script writer and director have convincingly put in multiple challenges. A teenager, Laila (Kalki Koechin) on wheelchair with cerebral palsy, aspiring writer and musician, a normal middle class family, studies abroad, a blind pakistani gay girlfriend (foreign balamwa), mother's cancer, her raging hormones and zeel for life and the count goes on.....whuff !!! Kudos.

Talking about the technicality, its a definitive directors baby (Shonali Bose) with some exception scripting. Unconventionally narrated for the loose ends of the continuity of story has been marvelously draped by sheer excellence of direction, which STANDS out. Well balanced characters with their unique sketches, interestingly woven and patterned.

Alongside, Kalki, the film puts the spotlight on, Sayani Gupta, who plays Khanum, her blind lover from Pakistan with whom Laila embarks on an intriguing journey of sexual discovery. Scary for the character, as she speaks, but a delight for the evolving indie audience. Sayani is indeed SAYANI; her portrayal of a blind person without being weighed down by the condition, is breath taking. There are interesting intimate scenes in the movie, which have been edited without any background score (very unlikely approach), are bang on.

Laila's mother (Revathi), reflecting the undying attitude of a mother towards her child, is a cancer patient. She also shares a considerable story time and has performed her role, as an AADAT for Lalia, with utmost perfection. In one of the scenes Laika speaks -Everyone has mother, but she has an aadat ...and that made me drop a tear, yet again .

The protagonist 'Kalki' is absolutely brilliant as Laila; convincingly powerful and award worthy. She completely sucks you into her world, which is evolving, scattered and at the same time simple. Margarita's on-screen depiction of homosexuality, or of disabled people having sex for that matter, in Indian cinema is very brave. The movie throws lot of questions at you without answering them directly, in your faces. A big movie ,especially , for the ones with human rights and gay and lesbian genre.

I am, kind of ,short of praises for such a bold, proactive film about disability and of course coming out, which is an integral part of this story. A very personal thank you note indeed for the director to have done incredible justice to the story with her binding direction , which otherwise would have been lost in transition. Thank you for making the film available for us to see and reflect upon.

Its far better than most of the Bollywood dramas we dwell upon. Go sip on this 'Margarita- with a straw' Ladies and Gentlemen.

👏👏👏👏👏🌹


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