No one but writer Gazal Dhaliwal could have written this film as beautifully as it has been written. She gave Hindi cinema a much needed love story and director Shelly Chopra Dhar brought it alive on screen. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga is definitely a brave attempt especially since it’s mainstream cinema and also because they’ve broached a sensitive subject like this in a country that still believes in caste, religion, status etc.and where being gay and lesbian is still taboo. Having said that, our country is evolving slowly and now with the Supreme Court banning all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and progressive films like this being made, our country is slowly headed towards progress!
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga is sure to make everyone think, look at and treat such relationships just like they would any normal relationship.The film is based on PG Wodehouse’s A Damsel In Distress and tells the story of a small town girl Sweetie(Sonam Kapoor) who is loved and pampered by her family and now that she is all grown up, the family are on the lookout for a suitable match for her but little do they know Sweetie has already found her match!
The match in question is not Sahil Mirza (Rajkummar Rao) who the family thinks it is but it’s someone from the same gender as her! That’s where the film gets interesting even though thanks to all the media reports, the audience already knew it was coming. That’s not the only subject the film has touched upon, there are issues like how our patriarchal society still decides how or who the girls in the family can love, how the kitchen is no place for a man to be seen in, and how same sex love is treated like a ‘bimari’(disease).
The film on the whole has a warm family feel to it and it’s easy to relate. It also talks about such a bold subject in a very subtle way, without making it loud or obvious.What also adds to the film is the restrained performance of the actors. Another thing I loved about the film is how the whole story is narrated in the second half, in the form of a play where the truth ultimately comes out.
Anil Kapoor, as Sweety’s father dominates the screen and one cannot get their eyes off him! His presence lights up the screen. Your heart goes out to Rajkumar Rao who is like always, very impressive in this film too. It was delightful to watch the chirpy and fun Juhi Chawla.
All the other supporting characters like Seema Pahwa, the household’s woman Friday, Brijendra Kala and Madhumati Kapoor who plays the doting grandmother have given a brilliant performance too.
It takes a lot of courage to break stereotypes and do something different and bold and Sonam seems to be making a conscious effort by doing films like this. She looks delicate, vulnerable and believable as Sweety.
It’s true that this is not the first time we have seen a film on homosexuality but Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga is like a breath of fresh air! It’s a film that should be watched not just for the performances but also for its efforts and courage.