Updated: Feb 12, 2019
Ek movie ko deka to Aisa laga...
You all knew someone had to try to be punny with the title, it was too big of an opportunity to pass up. Like taking candy from a baby. Anyway, this post breaks down what I thought of Ek Ladki ko Dehka to Aisa Laga. Not what other critiques thought of it, not even what Rizwan thought of it. Just what Ali Akbar Kassam thought of it (adding the middle name made me feel more important). As a reminder, I am not a professional critique, which means I won't get too technical with the review. I am simply going to call it like I see it: with my glasses on (yes, I just quoted drake in a review of a Bollywood movie). Feel free to comment below whether you agree, disagree, or feel like I missed something.
A Very, Very, Very Quick Summary of the Movie:
There is a guy, and there is a girl. Just like any other Bollywood movie, the guy falls in love with the girl at first sight. The girl does not, because she is in love with someone else. BUT, this girl doesn't just love anyone... she is in love with someone of the same gender as her. Meanwhile, her family is searching for a groom for her, unaware of her sexual orientation. All of these moving parts, leads to the basis of the film. To find out how the movie ends, I suggest watching the movie!
The Movie Review
Okay, now on to the movie review. In recent memory, there has not been a Bollywood movie that has so openly explored the concept of homosexuality. This alone to me was a huge step in a positive direction. As I was watching the movie, I was thinking to myself, "I wonder what my parents would think of this? I wonder what people in India would think of this movie?"And that's precisely the reaction a movie like this SHOULD illicit. That worked in favor of the movie, in my humble opinion. In fact, I vividly remember my sister in the post-credits scene claiming that this movie delivered something she never envisioned Bollywood ever doing. That said, I personally felt this movie was missing that "it" factor. You know, that thing an amazing movie has, but you just can't put it into words. Because of the polarizing nature of the film, there was an opportunity to either rub people the wrong way, or have people crying tears of joy, completely moved by the message of the film. So, for me to walk out of the movie and think to myself: "That was a good movie, but it was missing that it factor".. leads me to believe that the directors, actors, and everyone in between missed an opportunity for this to be an iconic movie.
Now the next logical question becomes: What could that it factor have been for this movie? What could have pushed this movie from good to great? I think the answer is two fold: 1) Have an actor that can truly empathize with the lead character & 2) Work harder to make the audience be "bought in" to the characters. Frankly speaking, these two work hand in hand. And as much as it pains me to say it, the onus falls on Sonam Kapoor in this movie to do just that. As a devoted fan, I can understand why it's difficult for a heterosexual female to play the role of a stressed homosexual female that has been rejected by society. BUT she is a professional!! And maybe, just maybe the writers/directors/anyone else that contributed to the movie off screen could have done more to help her be more compelling.. but I think she was the reason this movie was missing that "IT" factor.
All that said, I still believe Sonam Kapoor is a fantastic actor in general, and that this movie was actually pretty good. I particularly enjoyed the "mind-shattering" Juhi Chawla (don't worry I don't use "mind shattering" in daily language, it's a joke from the movie). I was glad to see her return to the big screen.
With the review finally complete, my rating for this movie is a solid 4/5. Comment below with what you thought of the movie.