Ek Ladki Ko DekhaTo Aisa Laga is a breath of fresh air for reasons more than one. Yes, Sonam Kapoor is playing a homosexual character but thankfully there’s no drama and undue sensationalism around it which is definitely a huge leap from its predecessors like Dostana. The stakes are particularly high for this film because of its one of the rare stories that explore homosexuality from a woman’s perspective.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga revolves around a big Punjabi family based in Moga, Punjab. Balwinder Choudhry (Anil Kapoor) owns the most successful garment business but has always aspired to be a chef deep down.
His daughter Sweety ( Sonam Kapoor) is living a massive secret that she’s been in love with a woman all her life. Gender norms are so rigid in this set up that both father and daughter live unfulfilled lives. Beejee (the grandmother of the house) is of the opinion that men should never enter the kitchen unless to change the gas cylinder. And Sweety is constantly pressurised to get married and when all she can think of is to join an Arts school in London.
This also marks the very first time Anil and Sonam Kapoor are playing on-screen father and daughter, and both befit their roles perfectly depicting the beautiful bond with finesse.
The first half of the film is full on entertainment and the plot picks up the pace when Sahil Mirza (Rajkummar Rao) a playwright and Sweety meet in Delhi. She accidentally enters his theatre to hide from her brother, who is spying on her. They share a conversation about ” love” and how every love story needs some or the other conflict. Sahil feels extremely inspired by her complexity and moves his theatre troupe to Moga in search of true inspiration. And needless to mention falls in love with her.
Watching Juhi Chawla and Anil Kapoor on screen after 19 years is an absolute delight. Juhi’s luminous smile lights up the frame and steals all your attention. She plays an endearing role of a caterer who aspires to be an actress and works in Mirza’s theatre group.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga is a film that is subtly trying to transform the most rigid mindsets, to convince the audiences that love is love, in its many manifestations. And they have managed to do this with pure and earnest performances. The highlight of the film is definitely a track that involves both Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla that brings about the 90’s nostalgia all over again.
Having said that the film falls short in depicting and incorporating the nuances and effortlessness that it needed. Some parts stand out as tad dramatic preachy and exaggerated. But in the end, the film does manage to connect with the audience’s heart and when that is the case one can ignore the flaws and embrace the film with all that it offers.