katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of Margarita With A Straw (FTFF 2016)

Posted on Friday, May 27, 2016 at 05:00 AM

KO Review of Margarita With A Straw (Fairy Tales Film Festival 2016)

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review by Emily Mody

Margarita With A Straw directed by Shonali Bose and Nilesh Maniyar is a feature length narrative film. This story follows Laila (played by Kalki Koechlin), a young adult woman, with cerebral palsy as she navigates the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult with a physical disability. The story begins in India but Laila soon receives a scholarship to NYU and so she moves to New York with her family to attend school. On her journey of self-discovery she unexpectedly falls in love with a young woman named Khanum (played by Sayani Gupta).

I honestly cannot begin to describe how deeply this film moved me. It was so beautiful and if you have not had the pleasure of witnessing this story I don’t know what you’re waiting for. This needs to be a part of life. You will be all the better for it. The acting was superb. The story was wonderful. The script was beautiful. It was just simply perfection. Without spoiling the plot for anyone, the ending just wrapped everything up so beautifully. I was worried for a moment toward the end that the story would become too wrapped up in an extremely dramatic plot line. I thought that if the film continued down this path that it would become inauthentic but the ending more than made up for that feeling.

I connected to Laila on a somewhat unexpected emotional level. I really didn’t know what to think before going to this film but I was so pleasantly surprised. I think that everyone could relate to Laila. Regardless of whether or not you have a physical disability or confusion regarding your sexual orientation, everyone deals with the confusion that surrounds growing up and the fear of rejection. I think that everyone should go see this film because honestly, Margarita With A Straw seeped humanity in every aspect. It was warm and loving and so real. Although this film is considered queer cinema the story is so much more complex than that. This is what I thoroughly enjoy about Margarita With A Straw. The film did not get bogged down in trying to convey the confusion regarding Laila’s sexual orientation. Her journey was far more complicated than that, as anyone’s would surely be who experience the same confusion. All of the characters in the film were extremely multi-dimensional.

If I had to compare this film to another I would probably compare this to In The Turn. Both films are quite different in tone but I think that Laila and Crystal share many similarities. They are often both seen as ‘less than” in society. Crystal is seen as less because she is transgendered and Laila, because she is disabled. They both deal with the harmful societal expectations that ultimately limit their experience and that they have to break out of.

This film is so beautiful. If you have ever struggled with any level of insecurity you should see Margarita With A Straw. This film will be screening as a part of the 2016 Fairy Tales Film Festival on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Plaza Theatre at 9:00pm.

Calgary Showtimes: 18th Fairy Tales Film Festival 2016 >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.