2015 Dallas International Film Festival: Margarita, with a Straw
In this inspirational love story, a Delhi University student and aspiring writer afflicted with cerebral palsy leaves India for New York university, where she falls for a fiery young activist. Unusual only because it’s so rarely seen on screen, Margarita, with a Straw is an exceptional portrait of a woman discovering what she wants, and how to get it.
Laila (Kalki Koechlin) is a student and aspiring writer, crafting lyrics and electronic sounds for an indie band at her Delhi university. Her cerebral palsy doesn’t much get in the way of her life, although it sometimes does for others.
Always seeking more freedom and new experience, Laila wins a place at New York University and leaves India with her mother (Revathy) for Manhattan. There she meets a fiery activist, Khanum (Sayani Gupta), who challenges her beliefs, sparks her creativity, and, eventually, takes her to bed. For these two women, it’s the beginning of a remarkable love story.
Avoiding the pitfalls of cheap sentiment on the one side and moral instruction on the other, Margarita, with a Straw is a consistently rewarding portrait of a young woman coming of age, making mistakes, and finding the unpredictable path of her own desire.