Bold theme, faulty treatment

Bold theme, faulty treatment

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

Film: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

Hindi (U/A)

Cast: Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Regina Cassandra

Director: Shelly Chopra Dhar

Rating: ** (two stars)

Yes, it’s a girl-meets-girl. But Sonam Kapoor comes out so clumsily that the lesbian love story ends up a train wreck, with a big loud Punjabi family aboard.

Everyone talks hush-hush about the chee-chee topic and one wonders when Hindi cinema will really broach the big subject. Of course, there is Mr Ever-dependable Rajkummar Rao and competent seniors Anil Kumar and Juhi Chawla, but when the “ladki” in question herself has zero conviction, the same-sex tale is bound to burst early.

While one expected a sensible take and some depth on LGBT rights, the limelight is actually gobbled up by a kitchen where businessman Anil Kapoor (‘Mukesh Ambani of Moga’) fights for cooking rights with his mother (Madhumalti Kapoor, very delectable). Enter Juhi Chawla, a chef-cum-aspiring-actress working for playwright Rajkummar Rao, and the bawarchi scene hots up.

Meanwhile, homosexuality remains a taboo theme, with a ballistic brother proclaiming that marrying “a Musalman” carries far less stigma for his “abnormal” sister than escaping to London to be with her girlfriend. Regina Cassandra, by the way, lights up the few scenes she is in, in contrast to Sonam’s hollow show.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga deserves some credit for taking those baby steps, but it is too wobbly to take any pride whatsoever.