“She’s raw, understated, unrestrained and uncorrupted.” – Sukanya Verma, rediff.com
How often do you come across Bollywood movies which compel you to challenge your perspective and broaden your horizons? Kalki Koechin’s movies do this and more, but somehow end up with an impression that might not appeal to the members of generation X. This proposition is backed up by the fact that most of her movies have been given the ‘A’ certificate by CBFC. Yet this in no way makes her works any less remarkable and many critics believe that they are ‘classically underrated.’ Here is a close examination of some of her movies, which, owing to her exemplary acting skills and strong plot has been subjected to critical acclaim across the globe.
1. Margarita with a straw
In this movie, Kalki (Laila) plays the role of a free spirited cerebral palsy patient who embarks upon a journey to discover the world, explore her sexuality and eventually find herself. This social movie is a stroke of sheer genius because it analyses several underplayed issues which plague our society which include but are not limited to, gender issues, the constraints of physical disability and self- love. However, even though I am as unorthodox as one can get, the Indian in me felt the slightest bit uncomfortable whilst watching this movie. Perhaps this discomfort was because of the cultural schooling induced upon all of us since the beginning of time and we can’t really shrug it all off despite our best efforts. Yet the movie is driven by the unabashed confidence of a revolution in the making, and the numerous international awards that it has won speak for themselves.
In this thought provoking artistic movie, a newly wed Koechin (Tara Kapoor Deshpandey) is the protagonist alongside Nasarudeen Shah (Shiv Nataraj). Both of them cross paths when Tara’s husband, post a fatal road accident, is in intensive care in the same hospital where Shiv’s wife is battling comatose. Portraying an expressive and unapologetic young woman, Kalki is a natural. While talking about her loneliness at the time of adversity, she says “You know how many followers I have on twitter? 5900. And how many are here? Zero.” and the enigma of digital life cutting off our physical human contact couldn’t have been described any better. Yet bordering on morbidity, the movie highlights the ethics of medical practices as well as the dilemma every loved one of a critical patient goes through while keeping a solemn tone which might make many of us fidget about in our seats.
3. That Girl in Yellow Boots
A half English girl called Ruth travels to India with the primary objective of finding her father sans a photograph or any tipping information about him. She then is forced to take up a job as a massager to earn her livelihood and forges a love-hate relationship with a drug addict. This movie targets the overlooked minority of white people living in India and highlights the trials and tribulations that they go through on a daily basis. The storyline is kept rather ambiguous on purpose and there are instances of exposing the dark corners of the Indian society which can be upsetting to the conventional Indian.