Sweet, soulful, sporadic, but nonetheless, important! Debutant director Shelly Chopra Dhar, I must say, I’m impressed!
Rating – 3 / 5
From 1994 to 2019… so much has changed, and yet, so little! From exchanging detailed glances in the first meeting to the age of online dating, we’ve come a long long way, yet the only thing that remains constant is love.
Director Shelly Chopra Dhar and our favourite ensemble cast bring to you a film with a purpose, which proves to be a completely eye-opener in its tremendous attempt to demonstrate the acceptance of love, no matter what that love may be. ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ takes its title quite literally and tries (a bit too) hard to scream out its message, so much so that, might I say, loses it somewhere along the way.
Set in the tiny little town of Moga in Punjab, the story focuses on the decently functional Chaudhary family, particularly Sweety Chaudhary (Sonam Kapoor), a beautiful 20-something year old ripe enough to get hitched, who accidentally meets and instantly befriends a struggling playwright Sahil Mirza (Rajkumar Rao). And while the rest of her family, comprising of her aspiring-chef father Balbir Chaudhary (Anil Kapoor) and hawk-like older brother Babloo Chaudhary (Abhishek Duhan), become suspicious of her affair with Sahil, Sweety seems to have an agenda of her own.
“True love ke raastey mein koi na koi siyaapa hota hi hota hai…agar na ho, toh loves story mein feel kaise aayegi!”
The film’s strengths and flaws both lie in its overworking attempt to portray modern relevance. The first half is spent solely on setting up a familiar and solid base in order to finally introduce the twist in the tale in the latter half. While this technique turns out to be beneficial in preparing the audience for what’s to come, it takes away from the film’s true intention. The lesbian love story between Sweety and her lover is quite underdeveloped and, in several instances, overshadowed by the rest of the family drama. It is only in the last 15 minutes or so where the plot takes a melodramatic turn as the entire family comes together, united by their guilt and epiphany to support and accept homosexual love. Artistically-speaking, the movie comes off as rather patchy and shoddy, seeming unconfident and hesitant about the topic at hand.
When it comes to performances, all four leads have delivered the best of their potentials. Rajkumar Rao… if you know you know! The man just does not know how to disappoint and goes on to win more and more hearts with every consecutive film. He carried off the role of Sahil Mirza with a great deal of emotion and zeal, both of which can be seen through his acting. I was surprisingly swept away by an adorable Juhi Chawla paired up with the enigmatic Anil Kapoor, both of whom stayed true to their characters throughout. And lastly even though Sonam Kapoor suited the role of Sweety perfectly, her acting skills were still unable to leave a mark.
Altogether, this siyaapa-filled romance should definitely go on your watch-list. So, just sit back, relax, enjoy and #LetLoveBe!
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