Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga Review & Rating|
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga Review: A Sugar Coated Progressive Film
What starts as a regular, we-have-seen-it-many-times romantic comedy comes to a jolt at some point. It is that shock, and how it is handled alongside the senior star Anil Kapoor's masterful performance takes this film a notch above from the similar feel-good romantic comedies with family elements. Yes. There are family scenes. Yes. There are feel-good moments. Yes. There are scenes where the heroine is presented as a cute girl. But everything depicted in this film could be real.
That we get a feeling that such people really exist is what makes Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga such a non-offensive genre-bender. Selly Chopra Dhar's directorial debut turns out to be a film that pushes the borders of Indian Cinema. Is it groundbreaking or once in a generation film like last year's Andhadhun? Only time will tell. Till then, let's dive into Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga review to learn more about this flawed classic.
Sweety's Love Story
The movie starts with Sweety Choudhary bumping into Sahil Mirza, a playwright. She is chased by a few people and she literally grabs the hand of Sahil Mirza and they both run away. After escaping the chasers, Sweety and Sahil settle somewhere. As is the case with boys being boys after all, and the small town innocence of his, Sahil slowly warms to Sweety and falls in love with her.
A word about Sweety and her world. Sweety is from a prominent business family settled in Moga, Punjab. Her family s nearly right out of a Suraj Barjatya film. Loving parents (here o ly Paapa), grandmothers whose sole aim is to see to it that all the children get married and well settled before they book an appointment with God. They are sweet nonetheless. This sweet theme is established right from the beginning through Sonam Kapoor's character. Sweety's brother is a bit carved from the cloth left by Anurag Kashyap. He appears a bit more like a grey character. He adds a bit of salt to the recipe here.
All was going well for Sahil as he was well received by Sweety's family despite him being a Muslim. But his world shatters and the movie comes to life when Sweety unable to keep her secret any more (as the pressure to get married mounts), confesses it to the beleaguered Sahil because she trusts him to be the only person who could listen to her heart and with heart. Unfortunate for him and fortunate for her. The secret, how and if it shatters the dream world of Sahil, and how Mr. Chaudhary and family take it form the rest of the story.
Shelly Chopra Dhar and the other screenwriter Gazal Dhaliwal (who wrote Quarib Quarib Single) took an explosive subject and tried to present it in as non-offensively as possible. Or could we say? tried to present it in a genre-bending format? Whatever it, they followed the highly recommended sutra: present your complex story in a tested format. After all, cinema is a visual medium which means the intricacies of storytelling shouldn't come in the way of enjoying the film.
They started the film as a typical boy meets gal and boy falls in love with the family nearly accepting the match romantic comedy-drama. But by the time of interval, they took the film to the next level with a jolting reveal. But some of the jolt is worn down by the already leaked basic twist. But still, credit must be given to the screenwriting duo for making it a shocking twist all the same. Another aspect of the film to be noted it is, some of the basic feel in the first half of it has similarity to the widely successful Hollywood romantic comedy Crazy Righ Asians.
The direction of the film is mostly good. But unfortunately, Sonam Kapoor (or Soam K. Ahuja as she recognizes herself on her social media handles) despite her sincere efforts, has given a caricature like feel to her character in some areas. An earnest performance in the second half could have made this film an absolute classic. But the damage is covered expertly by another actor, we will come to that in a jiffy. The way the sensitive subject is handled without pretentions and in a sensitive way is praiseworthy. Kudos Shelly and Gazal.
When it comes to the performances, it is Rajkummar Rao who steals the show through and through. He has been becoming the go-to actor for such roles where complex emotion, are to be portrayed in a simple manner. Take, for example, the scene where Sweety reveals her secret to Sahil. Any lesser actor could have given fodder to unlimited memes. Sonam nearly did that. But Rajkummar Rao rose above the rest and delivered a punch of performance. The intricate and minute expressions he displayed on his face are a feast for connoisseurs. He deserves an award, guys! Give him thundering applause.
Anil Kapoor is another actor who covers the defficiencies in the lead actress' performance with acting mastery. The scene involves the big reveal to him. He comes to know about his daughters secret through a dairy. S L O W C L A P S! You have already seen the bit where he has reached his acting pinnacle in the trailer. I am ashamed of you. He blurts out to his daughter. Sweety gives him the ultimate reply. I am not proud of you either dad! He just turns and leaves in the opposite direction. The body language is that of a master.
And for the other Anil Kapoor, the man before being struck by the thunder of this shock, the charming father, he is great there too. After all these years, he still retains the same charm that won him a legion of fans and made him the superstar immediately after Amitabh Bachchan's prime. A tribute to the early 1990s. Juhi Chawla is terrific in the role who has a it with Anil's role. Rest of the actors did their parts well. Regina Cassandra deserves special mention. The noted South Indan actress received a role of her life and she grabbed it with both hands. Ahoy Bollywood filmmakers, the next Tapsee Pannu is here for you.
The music by Rochak Kohli (songs) is sweet. He brought the same haunting romance to the title song which was one of the ultimate love songs of the 1990s. The background score by Sanjay Wandrekar and Atul Raninga. is equally brilliant and complemented the narration rather than dominating it. After all, it is the story that is more important.
The cinematography is has a dream-like feature and suited the vision f the director who wants to tell love makes you free rather than keep you in a cage. Of course, love has no boundaries, and it is also well canned by Himan Dhamija and Rangarajan Rambadran. The editing is crisp and despite the narration taking its sweet time to come to the actual point (read: deliberate pace), it helped to keep the movie not going into bore-zone. The production design is great. The locations are enchanting. The production values are grand typical of Vinod Chopra Films.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga has fallen a bit from becoming a once in a generation film. But it stretches the boundaries of Indian Cinema. In fact, it is the first Bollywood film openly discussing the lesbian/same-sex relationship and tried for its acceptance with A-list actors. The regional film Awe (Telugu film directed by Prasanth Varma) also discusses the same in earnest but it is films like Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga which have far wider audience reach. Not to be missed.
- Basic premise
- Treatment of the subject
- Rajkummar Rao
- Anil Kapoor
- Sensible writing
- Sonam could have been better
- Story takes its sweet time to take off
Pycker Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
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Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is one of the highly awaited movies of the season as the father-daughter duo of Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor and aptly supported by top-notch acting talents like Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla, and Regina Cassandra. The movie was promoted as a story of family, love, and acceptance. The movie has dealt with the sensitive issue of same-sex love, that of the protagonist Sonam Kapoor.
Despite there are films which dealt with the subject of gay and lesbian love, this is the first time, it is done in the form of a feel-good family romantic drama and having huge stars involved. The movie is written by a transgender woman Gazal Dhaliwal, another progressive step forward for Indian Cinema.
The movie seems to have been receiving a unanimous positive response for the way h=it has dealt with a sensitive issue. Expectedly praise is pouring in for Sonam Kapoor's performance and Rajkummar Rao's understated work once again receives great applause. The director Shelly Chopra Dhar's handling of the subject in such a different way is applauded by the early watchers of the movie.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga holds a special place in Indian minds is what one of the early watchers say. It's written by a trans woman, directed by a woman, stars two women and two men, and is a love story between two women. What a time to be alive. A difficult subject is very well handled. Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, and Rajkummar Rao have done a great job.
What is Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga About?
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is not just an ordinary love story. It is the uninterestingly simple love story and who would like to know about it as the heroine Sweety Chowdhury wonders towards the end of the trailer of the film. IT's not an ordinary and uninteresting love story. It's as haunting as the title of the film which is lent from the iconic song from Anil Kapoor's 1942: A Love Story.
Anil Kapoor himself plays the major lead in this film alongside his daughter Sonam Kapoor. Mr. Kapoor plays the real-life role to Ms. Kapoor, her father who is as caring and as affectionate as in their life. And the twist comes when the girl falls in love in an unconventional way. And it is not taken in kindness by her family which till then has been pestering her to get married.
In other words not just watch it. feel it. It is this feel albeit interlaced with a lot of situational humor is what separates this film from many love stories we get to watch on the big screen virtually every other week. Shelly Chopra Dhar directs this coming of age romantic drama.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga Promises
A heartwarming love story with situational humor
Remember the scene where Anil Kapoor's Balbir Chaudhary tells so many things about his daughter's love and asks the protagonist, Rajkummar Rao how he feels about it. To that RajKummar Rao answers that he forgot to bring his dictionary. Those who watched it will understand how big a punch it is but in a subtle way it is delivered by Rajkummar Rao with a flabbergasted expression.
Though the love story in this film is expected to be unexpected, and unconventional to the extent that the climax of the film is hidden from even the actors in it, the family angle and the human emotions are as conventional as possible. A loving father, an elder brother who thinks of family honor, old grannies who want to see all their children and grandchildren settled in their life and friendships of all classes.
Rajkummar Rao's Sahil Mirza
Rajkummar Rao's comedy timing alongside his acting skills is legendary. That he is one of the most sought after young actors of this generation itself is the big proof. He is playing the lynchpin role in the movie. Despite her my-father-is-the-best closeness, Sweety Choudhary couldn't share her intimate feelings with him. But Sahil Mirza Is a different person. He is the one who can look deep into Sweety with a deep sense of understanding which is necessary in her case.
What better actor than Rajkummar Rao to play such a character? He looks inside out of the roles he plays and present them with all the conviction of a seasoned actor. Of course he is. His character is smitten by Sweety’s uninhibited innocence and lively nature. He is also thought of as the potential man for his daughter by Mr. Choudhary. Whatever, Rajkummar Rao’s presence in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga gives the film an even better feel as a genre-bending drama.
Anil and Sonam
Anil Kapoor was the quintessential superstar post-Amitabh Bachchan and he still exudes the same charm of his heyday. And as an actor he's still competent enough to give the current generation stars a run worth their money. He was to play Sonam’s father in the heist thriller Players but backed off as he was not ready. But here we get to see them.playing their real-life roles which is going to authenticity to the emotional arc of the film.
And Sonam Kapoor plays another career-defining role after Neerja where she played a conventional but real-life heroine. But here, she may be playing a fictitious role but written by a transgender woman has all the complexity of the emotions that are real in the lives of such persons. Add to this, Juhi Chawla may have a scene-stealing role at some point in the narration.
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