February 2, 2019
The makers were somewhat successful in raising the curiosity of the viewers when ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’s (ELKDTAL) first trailer was unveiled. Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, this ‘secret’ love story of Sonam Kapoor aka Sweety Chaudhary ushers in a kind of new-age romance which the audience has not seen so far in Bollywood.
Yes! There have been movies made on same-sex love but seldom did we see it being treated the way Shelly has done in ‘ELKDTAL’. The setting is Moga, Punjab so you can expect all things loud, grand and full of siyappa. It’s a word you will probably remember and even use it back home.
So, the screenplay kicks off from Delhi where we meet a rich filmmaker’s not-so-rich and struggling playwright son Rajkummar Rao aka Sahil Mirza. The young lad is shown to be someone who wants zilch from his father and instead wants to be a self-made famous writer. His parents—veteran actor Kanwaljit Singh and Alka Kaushal are as usual befitting to the roles they play.
Enter Sonam Kapoor. Boy meets girl, looks exchanged and the next thing we know—he is getting thrashed by her loud, Punjabi big brother played by Abhishek Duhan. A special mention for Veerji because he stands out in this 2 hours long breezy love story. Totally in sync with the Punjabiness in his character, Abhishek surely has a long way to go.
Well, coming back to Sonam and Rajkummar’s love story. No, there isn’t one. But hang on! There’s more than a love story between them, so hold your horses right back.
Juhi Chawla as Chhatro is hilarious, loud and a constant comic element in the movie. Her chemistry with Anil Kapoor is ‘mind-shattering’ (in her accent). You will understand, once you watch this love story which every Indian family needs to go for and sit through.
The plot moves a little slowly in the first half and picks up a jet speed towards second and that’s where the movie gets interesting. Sonam’s confession of her feelings for a girl and NOT a boy cut to the tough life she faced, will compel you to give her love story a chance. South star Regina Cassandra plays Kuhu, who is based in London and happens to be Sonam’s partner. She has very limited screen space and dialogues but yet her presence will stay with you.
Also, it becomes interesting to see real-life father-daughter Anil and Sonam Kapoor play the same on 70mm screens. The veteran star’s dialogues in the climax scene have been powerfully written loaded with emotions.
Regina and Sonam’s on-screen chemistry too doesn’t even once make you feel a little uneasy and is as ‘normal’ as you would want it to be. Kudos to the director for her projection of a complex narrative (especially in our country) in such a buoyant way.
Did the lovers succeed?
Won’t tell but certainly writers Gazal Dhaliwal and Shelly Chopra Dhar’s ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ is a story of acceptance. A long story cut short and in the most pleasant way possible. Cinematographers Himan Dhamija and Rangarajan Rambadran’s smooth work is worthy of a special mention and also Sonam’s stylist has done a fab job in giving her beautiful summery prints. The songs by Rochak Kohli have a great vibe, especially the title track.
Our verdict: Book your tickets to know her ‘secret’ which might solve many puzzles around you.