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A TGIF visit to the movies with friends, and I was watching something that might just be revolutionary in mainstream Indian Cinema – a same sex love story that everyone in the family can watch!
A young girl who is doted upon by her family. The family is at a wedding. As is usual in Indian society, accha ladka proposals begin to come for her. And as luck would have it, the girl does indeed meet someone she likes. Very much.
Sounds familiar? The story of many families across the country, this is how most wedding proposals reach the notice of parents of a possible bride or groom. And this reality is often depicted in our movies. Only, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is different. But we don’t come to know this right until the interval. Because we as a society have no concept of this – that love can come in various forms, and same sex love is just one of them.
What the movie does is exemplary.
Most movies on same sex love that have come not just out of India but also from Hollywood and other international sources usually deal with the subject seriously, and as a woman who is bisexual once pointed out to me, in most of them, one partner in the relationship is often killed off, or the couple might not have a happy ending. This ensures that only the serious, ‘arty movie’ type of audience watches these, and as a result, these relationships take on the patina of the ‘not normal’.
But this Ladki is delightful, and someone even a child as young as 10 can befriend. A rollicking and witty comedy populated by endearing characters that the audience will guffaw through, yet moistening your eyes as it does of an in-movie audience. The roles played by Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla help a lot on this way, educating us in simple, understandable, ‘non-preachy’ ways.
And as if that isn’t enough, many stereotypes that we take for granted are addressed.
A man who loves to cook and insists on it in the face of patriarchal strictures from his mother.
A woman who believes in taking her happiness in her own hands without subscribing to society’s ‘rules’ for a mother.
A man who does not think that a woman who doesn’t respond to his overtures should be penalized. And so many more!
As Rajkumar Rao’s character says at one point, isko dimaag se nahi, dil se dekhiye!
Image source: a still from the trailer of Ek ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
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