Verdict: A long overdue and comforting representation of love.

Ever since we got our first look of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga when the film’s trailer was released, the expectations have been high. The romantic drama first promised us an exciting cast including father-daughter duo Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja accompanied by Juhi Chawla and Rajkummar Rao. Following that was the film’s trailer, which revealed a totally unexpected twist in the plot, calling the film “the most unexpected romance of the year”. With South Indian actress Regina Cassandra joining the film’s cast, let’s take a look at what Bollywood’s first ever mainstream same-sex love story has in store.

What’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga About:

The son of a renowned film producer, Sahil Mirza (Rajkummar Rao) is a struggling writer who is gearing up for the release of his own new play in Delhi when he comes across Sweety (Sonam Kapoor Ahuja) – a woman who will turn his world upside down. From the moment he meets her, he knows that he has fallen in love. But this is not his love story. Sweety comes from the wealthy Choudhary family in the small town of Moga, Punjab. Surrounded by friends and family who are eager to find her the right husband, she meets Kuhu (Regina Cassandra) at a wedding. As time passes by, we find her embroiled in some siyappa when she bumps into Sahil in Delhi. Sahil pursues his love story with Sweety and heads to Moga when he finds out that she has a big secret. Caught in the middle of her father’s (Anil Kapoor) expectations and her protective brother (Abhishek Duhan), Sweety feels helpless. It is up to Sahil to help Sweety and her family come to terms with the unwavering truth.

What Works:

There’s no denying that this unique love story marks a milestone moment in Bollywood. Written by Gazal Dhaliwal and Shelly Chopra Dhar, this big-budget Bollywood romance gives some much-needed recognition to the kind of love that we’ve rarely seen on-screen before. It’s honest, it’s simple, it’s relevant, and it’s a brilliant directorial debut for Shelly Chopra Dhar.

Making the heartwarming film that much more powerful are the memorable performances from the cast. Sonam Kapoor gives us an intimate look into her character with admirable dignity and familiarity. Anil Kapoor’s genuine love for his on-screen and off-screen daughter is evident. It’s also an absolute treat to watch Anil and Juhi Chawla back together on screen. Most of all, Rajkummar Rao shows us just how good he is at delivering a performance that is relatable, inviting, and utterly convincing.

What Could’ve Been Better:

Although it takes the form of a Bollywood romantic drama, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is restrained and doesn’t flaunt all the bells and whistles of a masala film. In that sense, even though the powerful plot and performances are enough to keep you entertained, it can tend to be a bit slow in some moments.

Why You Should Watch:

Following the ground-breaking Section 377 verdict, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is another win for love in India. This one’s a must-watch for its heartfelt expression of a long overdue message, told through some on-the-dot performances. Needless to say, this film really does #SetLoveFree!