A very special film has been all the rage this year at the Toronto Film Festival and has obtained the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema Award for Best Asian Film. Margarita with a Straw has been rightly called one of the strongest independent films India has produced in recent years.
Margarita With a Straw hails from the talent of Shonali Bose, the film maker who was highly acclaimed for intense dramas, such as Amu and Chittagong. Her new film might be gathering attention partly because it explores topics that are rare to Indian cinema, such as disability or homosexuality. Nonetheless, the value of the film, which is Bose's most intensely personal project, starring Kalki Koechlin, lies well beyond its novelty. It is the writer and director's (aka Bose's) rare creative poise and humor that give her story a mature hue that is unique to films in India and around the world exploring similar topics, the last one I remember briefly and successfully exploring disability and sexuality being Babel (2006) by Gonzalez Iñarritu.