By Shonali BOSE


Second film - Completed 2014

& Awards

Busan - BIFF/APM 2014
A Window on Asian Cinema
Toronto - TIFF 2014
Busan - BIFF/APM 2014
BFI London FF 2014
    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Second film, Drama
    • Countries
    • INDIA
    • Languages
    • HINDI
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 117 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Shonali BOSE
    • Producer(s)
    • Ajit ANDHARE (VIACOM18 MOTION PICTURES), Nilesh MANIYAR, Ishan Talkies
    • Synopsis
    • Laila is a spunky, talented, attractive 19-year-old girl from a close knit middle class Delhi family. She was born with cerebral palsy – which meant that at birth her brain was damaged affecting her motor skills. Her speech is distorted and she sits in a wheelchair. But she is super bright and funny. She is also very talented and composes music. A brilliant mind trapped in a disobedient body.
      Laila is very close to her mother, Shubhangini Damle. Her mother has been the one who has fought with society against discrimination and pushed for her daughter to be accepted in the “normal” world. As a result of her efforts Laila goes to college in the prestigious Delhi University. And when Laila’s heart is broken, it is her mother who enables her to continue her education at NYU.
      At NYU Laila meets the fiery, feisty, dynamic Khanum – a blind woman originally from Bangladesh who came out to her parents at the age of 14. And the good looking, chilled out, Californian dude – Jared. Always curious about sexuality Laila never dreamed that she would actually experience it. And how! Confused about it she nevertheless goes with her heart and body and doesn’t limit herself.
      Laila goes home to India at the end of the semester at her mother’s behest. Khanum is invited too. Secrets and lies surround everyone and ultimately become meaningless in the face of death. Shubhangini’s death from cancer – something she had known she had but kept from Laila. As Laila’s world crashes – she embraces her pain and anguish and is ultimately able to rise and grow from it. She realizes how much she has always hated her body. At the end of the film Laila, radiant and confident, goes on a special date. With herself.
      At times heartbreaking, at times hysterically funny – Margarita, With a Straw breaks all stereotypes of disabled women and brings forth a bold character that has never been seen in Indian or world cinema – and yet at the same time is utterly relatable.