Bollywood’s coming-of-age love story Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (ELKDTAL) has been finally released. The film is about love being a universal feeling, one that cannot be shackled by societal diktats. Starring Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Juhi Chawla in pivotal roles, the film’s trailer promised a lot of subtext in the narrative. ELKDTAL stirs gender debates in a subtle manner and claims to have its heart in the right place.
Here are some excerpts of the reviews from popular Indian publications:
Times of India: An entertaining and progressive look at love and acceptance
Love stories can get quite cliched, but when you talk about new-age romance, the conversations can get pretty interesting. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is an unconventional tale of finding love and acceptance. The film employs its fair share of stereotypes to tell a modern and relevant story. The fact that it brings, a still niche subject like homosexuality, to a mainstream movie is one of its strengths. Thankfully, the progressive themes and emotional intelligence of the movie, help it rise above the lackluster screenplay.
Times Now: An important, well-intended entertainer that deserves applause
The first half of the movie passes off like a ‘usual’ rom-com. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. The second half is when the movie hits home. Few scenes stand out and will stay with you. The one in which Sonam reveals the truth to Rajkummar Rao. His performance and reaction in that sequence are phenomenal. The whole initial sequence involving Rajkummar and Anil Kapoor is hilarious. The cute romance between Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla will instantly win your heart. Even after all these years, their chemistry is on point.
NDTV: Sonam, Anil Kapoor’s film is a whiff of fresh air with daring vision and entertainment
Screenwriter Gazal Dhaliwal and director and co-writer Shelly Chopra Dhar impart a gentle amiability to the tale, which springs its surprises without seeming to be overly radical in its portrayal of gender identity and homosexuality. Notions like bimari, normality and family honour are invoked in no uncertain terms and a woman’s inner turmoil as she fights for the right to lead her life on her own terms is treated with restraint. The film’s even tone is underscored by the restrained performances from the key members of the cast.
Indian Express: Sonam Kapoor-starrer let down by flaccid writing
The idea is brilliant, and ensemble solid. The two who stand out are Duhan as the brattish brother, and Cassandra, who shows spark. Pity about the flaccid writing which obscures the idea and the intent. What this film needed was more sharpness, more acuity, more honesty. It could then justifiably have been called ‘2019: A Love Story’.
Not just the critics but Bollywood celebrities have also loved the movie and compliments started to pour in the form of tweets as soon as the film’s special screening ended:
Still thinking about this beautiful film, #EkLadkiKoDekhaTohAisaLaga – hats off to this woman! @sonamakapoor take a bow for making this film, deals with an important subject so wonderfully. pic.twitter.com/JWCnUffUmX
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) January 31, 2019
A wonderful movie that stays with you #EkLadkiKoDekhaTohAisaLaga is both relevant and funny. @sonamakapoor is absolutely lovely and @iam_juhi you cracked me up-we have a cousin who speaks exactly like you do in the movie! Folks go watch it ! pic.twitter.com/RVYgWBTz1a
— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) February 1, 2019
— Masaba (@MasabaG) January 30, 2019