Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is progressive not because of the content in the film. Because the content in this film is as flat as what Toilet Ek Prem Kadha did with the necessity of toilets. But the fact that a big name like Anil Kapoor accepting to play a pivotal role and a female lead like Sonam Kapoor willingly doing the main role is a good sign that at least our movie industry is no longer insecure about talking about such taboo topics. The movie directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar is that typical Bollywood movie with only a minute tweak in the plot.
If you have no clue about this movie please try to watch the trailer from YouTube. Sweety is the daughter of Balbir Chaudhary, a textile industrialist from Moga Punjab. Sweety is an introvert and Balbir Singh always had this passion to be a chef. The movie Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga deals with the reactions and repercussions in the family when they find out that Sweety is a homosexual.
The tool Shelly Chopra Dhar has used in the movie to convince the reluctant orthodox characters in the movie is a play that ultimately convinces most of the characters that same-sex relationship is not a huge problem. But the real question is does this movie has the juice in it to make a conservative mind become progressive? Well, my guess is a big no. Because when it approaches the core issue, the treatment is extremely preachy. What works here is the humor and that depended a lot on the talent of the actors. There is a sequence featuring Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in the first half (their first meeting). The entire audience with whom I saw the film who were sort of restless till that point burst out laughing seeing the performance of the two. And similarly, there was Seema Pahwa and Bijendra Kala as servants who made all laugh with their betting bits.
Sonam Kapoor’s decision to carry this movie on her shoulders definitely deserves appreciation. But her acting was too filmy. I usually used to wonder when some people unabashedly criticize her acting that whether she is that bad? Well in this movie she has a lot of combination scenes with much-talented actors that clearly exposed her inability to be real. Anil Kapoor is extremely likable and he shifted between the comical avatar and the mature father effortlessly. Rajkummar Rao’s casting as the planner of the whole drama is perfect as he understands the tone of the movie and never really oversimplifies the situation. Juhi Chawla was lovely but she was sadly reduced to a mere comedian. Seema Pahwa and Bijendra Kala score with their wit. Regina Cassandra, Abhishek Duhan,
Shelly Chopra Dhar’s making doesn’t have that emphasis on the nuances to make this that Badhai Ho kind of comedy with a message engraved on it. At one point I felt the movie was doing a very good job in talking about old age relationships in a subtle way seeing the Anil Kapoor Juhi Chawla sidetrack. But the twists and inspirations for the main theme of the movie weren’t that impactful. The screenplay is pretty linear and way too simpler. It is actually the humor that was there in the whole movie after that letter sequence that makes the movie passable one considering its small runtime of two hours. The music was fine and the recreated Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga through the speakers of the theatre felt surreal. The frames are on the glossier side with nothing much getting communicated through them.
There is an off-screen significance to movies like Toilet Ek Prem
When it approaches the core issue, the treatment is extremely preachy. What works here is the humor and that depended a lot on the talent of the actors.