Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (transl. How I felt when I saw that girl) is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar. The screenplay was written by Dhar and Gazal Dhaliwal, with the story inspired by the 1919 novel A Damsel in Distress by P. G. Wodehouse. It stars Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor,[a] Rajkummar Rao and Juhi Chawla, and features Seema Pahwa, Brijendra Kala, Alka Kaushal, Akshay Oberoi, and Regina Cassandra in supporting roles. The film tells the story of Sweety Chaudhary, a closeted lesbian, and her attempts to come out to her religious and traditional Punjabi family.
Some love stories are not simple, Sweety’s is one such story. She has to contend with her over-enthusiastic family that wants to get her married, a young writer who is completely smitten by her, a secret that she harbors close to her heart and ultimately the truth that her true love might not find acceptance in her family and society. Resolving these issues proves hilarious, touching & life changing.
The film starts off with the traditional boy-meets-girl setup, where Sahil finds himself carried away by emotion. A random, but pretty girl, Sweety, grabs his hand and pulls him into a chase. And the boy, as you’d expect, falls in love and sets off on a path to track the girl down and profess his undying love. Most of the film’s first half is spent in setting up this rather old-fashioned portrayal of courtship. The girl’s loveable, but conservative Punjabi family is also pooled into the story as the usual Beeji (Madhumalti Kapoor), Veerji (Abhishek Duhan) and Papaji, Balbir (Anil Kapoor) bring in the quintessential family drama. The film spends a little too much time setting up the deliberate, but misleading track that is in essence, building up to Sweety’s ultimate confession. Once she does come-out and reveal that the romance between the boy and girl won’t materialise, the film too, changes gears.
The second half, while still a bit predictable, engages in a sensitive and beautiful portrayal of a girl feeling trapped by her own emotions. The story’s track of a father coming to terms with the sexuality and the suppressed emotions of his daughter is touching. Though a bit theatrical, ‘ELKDTAL’ puts forth a progressive and important conversation around personal feelings and the true liberating nature of love. All of this plays out, in the most fun and entertaining fashion, which in a way is the strength of the movie, too.
Welcome to the most Unexpected Romance of the year!
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga Releasing in theatres near you on 1st Feb’2019
Starring: Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla, Abhishek Duhan, Seema Pahwa, Madhumalti, Brijendra Kala
Directed by: Shelly Chopra Dhar
Produced by: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Co-produced by: Fox Star Studios
Story & Screenplay: Gazal Dhaliwal & Shelly Chopra Dhar
Music: Rochak Kohli
Lyrics: Gurpreet Saini
Editor: Ashish Suryavanshi
Director of Photography: Himman Dhamija
Additional Cinematography: Rangarajan Ramabadran
Production Design: Rajat Poddar
Production Design (Punjab Schedule): Teddy Maurya
Executive Producer: Lawrence D’Souza
Line Producer: Alok Sinha
First Assistant Director: Paran Bawa
Costume Design: Sheetal Sharma
Background Music: Sanjay Wandrekar & Atul Raninga
Sound Design: Parikshit Lalvani & Kunal Mehta
Re-recording Mixer: Alok De
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