Films

‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ review: A sweet, small but dull film with such a long title!

It’s a good feeling to realise that stories centred on same sex relationships are being taken up by mainstream Hindi cinema now. But all said and done, it is a dull film on a delicate subject

Pragati Saxena

In 2017, a beautiful film Call Me By Your Name created waves in Hollywood. Years ago Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain created a stir by portraying romantic relationship between two men beautifully, and became a classic film centred on this theme.

It’s not very frequent that we get to watch a Hindi film on same sex relationship or love affair. Remarkably, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga talks about same sex relationship among women and not men. Remarkable yet again is the fact that of late, Hindi cinema can be seen making an effort to portray lesbian relations, but I can’t recall a single film of substance that talks about same sex relations among men (barring Aligarh which in fact talks about a homosexual professor but not his relationship). Is this yet another reflection of a terribly male-dominated society which considers it a weakness to talk about relationships among themselves? I wonder.

This film dares to look at the social aspect of same sex relations among women rather than the personal equation. It highlights certain very valid aspects of a relationship which still is a taboo in our society though surprisingly quite prevalent. And the dilemma of the protagonist whether she is normal or not, is touched upon very delicately.

Although the subject is new and daring, the film with its slow pace makes it rather boring. Rajkummar Rao is a good actor- everybody knows, though his role as a playwright seems to be rather superficial. But kudos to Sonam Kapoor for choosing such a role and though she is an average actor, she has performed very sensitively the role of a coy, submissive small town girl who is utterly lonely and feels a misfit because of her sexual preference .

But if you are expecting a beautiful and moving film like Brokeback Mountain, or a lyrical film like Call Me By Your Name, you will be greatly disappointed, because this is a mediocre film. But it talks about ‘forbidden’ and ‘abnormal’ relationship and dwells largely on how the girls in our society repress their natural urges and inclinations and end up spending their entire life with a person that too with a person of a sex they never felt attracted to. This very fact makes the film worth a watch.

It’s a good feeling to realise that such themes are being taken up by mainstream Hindi cinema now. Music is mediocre. Anil Kapoor, Seema Pahva and Madhumati Kapoor add some spice to this otherwise dull film on a delicate subject directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar. But well, you can watch it once to feel empathy for the girls who suffer just because their sexual preference is different.

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