This film is unlike no other. The power and impact that this movie has is something that cannot be explained
Bollywood movies have had this formulaic approach to movies. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, drama happens that tears them apart, and they eventually end up together (except for some movies cc Kal Ho Na Ho). Bollywood’s latest movie ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ challenges that formula in a way that has been very overdue. The story centers itself around Sweety (Sonam Kapoor). She is a part of an overly eccentric family that is set on finding her a nice man to marry. One day she meets a young writer named Sahil Mirza (Rajkummar Rao) and just from a small moment together, the writer falls in love with her. He falls so hard for her that he decides to write his next play in her hometown. Eventually they are in the same room and he confesses his love to her. However, Sweety holds a secret in her heart that she is afraid of letting out. The plot then revolves around Sahil helping Sweety tell her family her secret while helping her have her happily ever after. Without spoiling too much, the secret that Sweety holds in her heart is that she is lesbian and is pained by the idea that she cannot live her true, authentic self in front of her family. The story revolves around this struggle of her coming out to her family.
The acting in this film was excellent. Sonam Kapoor’s character is more on the quiet side, but yet when she had scenes with extensive lines, she stole the show. Sonam had an amazing understand on which emotions to channel in her monologues. And even when she didn’t have lines, her subtle gestures and responses to other characters really made Sweety a full developed character that audiences could relate and empathize to. Anil Kapoor, playing Sweety’s father, was excellent as always. He portrayed his character as one who cared a lot about his family, doing whatever it takes to make sure that they are happy. His character was also one which provided a lot of the comic relief, which in any Bollywood movie is necessary. Even the slightest of smiles was able to make the entire audience laugh.
Bollywood has recently released a few movies that are more socially conscious and challenge a lot of conservative Indian ideas and beliefs. With the recent decriminalization of India’s anti-sodomy laws, this movie has come at a very unique time. This movie humanizes homosexuality in a way that has not been done a lot in the past. On top of that, the film focuses on a lesbian relationship, which is a relationship topic that has not been addressed in Bollywood in over 20 years. This film has a lot of power in it and has the ability to help the Indian community understand homosexuality and accept the LGBTQ community. A particular scene that has a lot of moving force is when Sweety talks about the struggles she faced understanding her homosexuality at a young age. She touches upon the topics of feeling alienated, being bullied, and feeling like she was unlovable. The struggle that queer youth faces in any society is being made to feel different and that they are ‘abnormal.’ This topic of normalcy, or lack thereof, was a major theme throughout the movie, and a theme that most people can relate to. The reason that this movie can and will have such an impact on Indian society is that is a movie that allows this community to relate to homosexuality in the context of their own culture. Many western movies have touched upon many topics including homosexuality. However, these movies have never really permeated Indian society in the same way other western movies have (think Marvel movies). The fact that this movie centers around India, and Indian culture, allows for this movie to relate to a society of people who have shunned homosexuality in harsh ways.
In conclusion, this movie is a great movie. Not only does it have a compelling plot and the acting is top notch, but it has the power to move people. This movie has impact, and a long lasting one at that. This movie touched me personally. It was a movie I took my mother to see and after the movie, she gives me a big hug and tells me that she is sorry that she contributed to the alienation and the pain I felt while growing up and understanding my sexuality. Keep in mind, my sexuality was something she knew about before this movie, but a topic that was never discussed in full. When I say this movie has the ability to change minds and start conversations, I speak from experience.