Filmmaker Shonali Bose says besides being inspired from her cousin’s life, her upcoming film “Margarita, With A Straw” also has bits and pieces of her own emotional journey.
The film is about a girl with cerebral palsy and her struggles with the normal activities in her life. Shonali says the story comes from her inner-most self and reflects the emotions that she felt after losing her son in 2010.
“It is very difficult to bring a personal story on screen. It is a tough emotional journey. The film is not just inspired by Malini’s life but also mine. I lost my son, Ishaan in 2010. I started writing the story on January 20, 2011 which was supposed to be his 17th birthday. I wrote for 30 days at a stretch. So, a lot of those emotions have been incorporated in the story,” Shonali told PTI.
The filmmaker said it was tough for both Malini and her to bare their life-story to the world, considering both known and unknown people will come to know the reality of their lives.
“I have opened up a lot and invested myself emotionally into the story. Telling your personal story is a very brave thing and it required a lot of courage for me and Malini to bare ourselves to the world. I have been very open about myself,” she said.
“Margarita, With A Straw”, starring Kalki Koechlin, Revathi and Sayani Gupta, had its world premiere on September 8, 2014 as part of the Contemporary World Cinema Programme at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
The movie later went on to be screened at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, BFI London Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Shonali said “Margarita” may have travelled all over the world but it is not a festival kind of dark-themed film.
“Me and Kalki have been telling the audience that this is not some boring, art house, festival film with dark themes. This is a romantic comedy about a teenager. That is the genre and I think the movie deserves a wider audience,” the director said.
After much delays, the film will finally hit theatres on April 17 and Shonali compared the release of the movie to childbirth, saying she feels like an expectant mother waiting to see her baby in front of her eyes.
“The feeling is similar to pregnancy as my films are like my babies. I was very anxious to get the film to release. But the distributors wanted it to travel festivals and then get a release. For me, it was been there and done that. I was more excited about the release. I am terrified as well but it is a great feeling,” Shonali said.
The film has already managed to rouse interest of Shonali’s colleagues in Bollywood. Actor Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao hosted a special screening of the film last night and several others have also notified Shonali about their fascination with the film.
“Aamir is a great filmmaker and a genuine perfectionist. He also loved my earlier film ‘Amu’. Nikhil Advani and Farah Khan are planning to host previews for the film,” Shonali said.