Embarrassing confession: I teared up somewhat staring at Sonam Kapoor’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. However then, I tear up when that stressful child is going ‘Maa… maa’ in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Rohan will get roughed by means of that bicep bag in Koi… Mil Gaya, so let’s simply say my lachrymal glands didn’t improve like my dresser did for the reason that ’90s.
Now, I didn’t break my bucket of popcorn bawling like I did staring at Kapoor and Sons— you’ve were given to have a broccoli instead of your center to look at Fawad Khan in ache and no longer bawl — however Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga was once ridiculously delightful to take a seat thru.
As a cis-gender, heterosexual girl, I’m no longer the appropriate particular person to remark at the relatability of Sonam Kapoor’s persona Sweety — a small-town lady who’s lesbian — and her travails. However I will be able to say from my interactions with queer girls that the movie dramatically tones down the violence and resistance they face in actual existence. On the other hand, the place it rankings is in appearing how the arguably ‘great’ folks—non-Khap kind people who care concerning the folks they love—also are incorrigible slaves to patriarchy, making many lives depressing, together with their very own. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga, due to this fact, might be handled as a cautionary story on how not to be a pleasing douche.
The movie, written by means of Gazal Dhaliwal who additionally wrote Lipstick Beneath My Burkha, makes use of the acquainted tropes of a Bollywood romance and spins them successfully across the love tale of 2 girls. So there’s the standard Bollywood meet lovable amid, in fact, a Punjabi marriage ceremony collection. There’s dancing, hand-holding and a sappy romantic observe. There’s a circle of relatives in opposition to the enthusiasts, there are tears and offended dialogues, after which there’s a type of unrealistic, filmy happily-ever-after. Most effective, as an alternative of boy-meets-girl, that is girl-meets-girl.
The tale revolves round Sweety, who lives in Moga, a small city in Punjab. Her father Balbir (an excessively efficient Anil Kapoor), is an prosperous businessman. The primary part of the movie presentations Sweety sulking more often than not whilst Sahil (performed by means of Rajkummar Rao) falls in love along with her after a possibility assembly in Delhi and follows her to Punjab. Sweety’s circle of relatives, to begin with fearful of an alliance with a Muslim guy, in any case comes round and consents to the fit. On the other hand, Sweety then finds to Sahil that she loves a lady. The remainder of the movie follows the normal Bollywood observe of ways the enthusiasts beat all odds to be in combination.
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A small quibble I had with Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is the disproportionate quantity of consideration that Sweety and Sahil’s tale will get in comparison with Sweety and her lover Kuhu. It’s virtually as though the makers are looking to serve up the lesbian love tale most effective after they have got carried out justice to the heteronormative one. Finally, the movie and Sweety each credit score the person for ‘saving’ the ladies in love.
A small quibble I had with Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is the disproportionate quantity of consideration that Sweety and Sahil’s tale will get in comparison with Sweety and her lover Kuhu.
That mentioned, the movie, with out in point of fact barrelling it in, quietly and successfully issues out how patriarchal biases paintings, and will harm everybody, together with males. Parallel to Sweety’s love tale, the movie explores her father’s passion in cooking. Balbir is continuously chided by means of his mom—an affable outdated girl, performed by means of Madhu Malti — for being within the paintings ‘girls’ do. Any other is how Balbir wrestles with the speculation of his daughter marrying a Muslim, although he eagerly pronounces he has no ‘issues’ with them as a neighborhood. In impact, the movie attracts a beautiful correct map of middle-class India’s biases, regularly perpetuated by means of likable folks akin to, say, your individual folks, making it tricky for queer folks to reside in peace.
In 1998, I used to be 13 years outdated, had by no means heard the phrase ‘homosexuality’ and most commonly learn the Bengali newspapers that my grandfather subscribed to. One night time, as my grandfather and I sat hunched over pages of that day’s Bengali paper, an anchor tale stuck my eye. It was once about an assault on theatres as a result of a movie referred to as Fireplace—which allegedly ‘promoted’ ‘shomokamita’ (Bengali for homosexuality) — was once being screened. The accompanying image of a poster fastened on a film corridor — appearing Shabana Azmi, her head thrown again in laughter, and a smiling Nandita Das— rarely gave the impression of there was once the rest value vandalising. So in fact, I grew to become to probably the most industrious newspaper reader within the circle of relatives — my grandfather — and demanded to understand what ‘shomokamita’ supposed. The object had used quite a lot of synonyms for the phrase ‘proximity’ to provide an explanation for what the movie was once about. My grandfather took one disinterested glance and casually requested me not to be aware of ‘antel cinema’ (arthouse motion pictures shall be an in depth translation) and ‘boroder jinish’ (grownup stuff).
20 years on, my father winced somewhat once I requested him to look at Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga with me, briefly including that he would most likely no longer be up in time to catch an early morning display. Simply is going to turn that in spite of the most productive, loudest, bravest efforts of the queer neighborhood, middle-class morality reveals a dozen excuses not to reform or evolve. We, who imagine ourselves allies, additionally regularly limit our strengthen to Fb statuses, delight marches, events and a small bubble of privileged, like-minded folks, with out in point of fact bothering to claw in the course of the desert that lies outdoor it. A desert that queer people must in fact take care of, on occasion affecting their psychological well being and bodily protection.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, in all its acquainted Bollywood glory, is the dialog starter that you just shouldn’t let slip. Sonam Kapoor is beautiful as Sweety, although she most effective has to appear as disillusioned as any reasonable Bengali combating acidity all through the movie. Additionally, her face, along Anil Kapoor’s, is a very powerful for the movie not to be disregarded as what my people zealously keep away from—‘antel cinema’.
I don’t have any persistence with the horrifying new remix manufacturing unit that has grew to become lots of my favorite songs into musical variations of the confounding quinoa biryani, however I’ll minimize Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga some ‘excellent reason’ slack.
Each and every week, the author will read about how girls are treated in a work of popular culture.