Laila, suffering from cerebral palsy is a free spirited teenager, who is an aspiring song writer. Her heart longs for the lead singer of the college band but soon her heart is broken. Keeping the timing right, she is offered a scholarship for creative writing course in New York and she along with er mother leaves for the city. She wants to lead normal life in the city like any other song person and after initial hesitation, the mother allows. Here also she has a crush on a young man Jared in her class. But its her meeting with Khanum, a fiery young activist of Pakistan-Bangladesh descent, that changes her life. Khan is blind and somehow the 2 girls instantly bond. Love soon follows between the two girls and Laila is happy. But she son discovers that she is actually bisexual because she is still very much attracted to jared and even ends up sleeping with him while she is still in relationship with Khanum. The girls are invited to India for their summer break because for the family, the two girls are best of friends. Getting courage, Laila confides in her mother about who Khanum really is. The mother totally disproves of her daughter’s choice but its too late since it is soon revealed that the mother has stage 4 colon cancer. When the mother dies, Laila decides to stay back in India & informs Khanum about her infidelity who believes that Laila just used her to explore her own sexuality. The film ends with Laila going on a date with herself thereby showing she has life in control now.
First thing that comes to mind after seeing the 2 actors is about their disabilities. Its unbelievable that the 2 girls are ‘normal’ yet play the differently abled characters with such confidence and grace. From the director’s perspective, the idea came to her form the thought that “When life hands you lemons you can be bitter and sour or you can make a yummy Margarita with them and raise a toast!”; the essence behind her film. Its refreshing to see that Laila’s character is shown as a perfectly normal girl who is rebellious, free spirit, what’s porn, makes songs, hangs out with friends, has crushes on boys and everything else. She just happens to have cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound. Laila acknowledges her difficulties but doesn’t let them overwhelm her. Khan’s character is another strong minded character who took a while to accept that she is lesbian and would not take nonsense from anyone. The love scenes between Laila and Khanum are aesthetically done that makes you feel tenderness towards the on-screen lovers. The mother’s part acted by Revathy is another essential soul. The chemistry that the mother and daughter share is so pure and real, i loved it.
The film has a lot of heart and very strong performances by the lead actors. A sensitive film and a subject that can be celebrated. (7/10)