Leela is a film based on the South Asian-American experience. By providing a dynamic expression of the struggles and celebrations of the expatriate lifestyle, Leela has the potential to be ... See full summary »
I really won't take this flick to be mere one of the kinds which come under the category of ABCD, Flavours and other contemporaries. Take it as a story and you will appreciate as how subtly it puts across a narration which is so very engrossing and emotional. Every character has been beautifully etched out. Leela (Dimple) wants to be more than a muse to her flamboyant husband. She decides to give meaning to her living and get in connection with herself. She goes to States as lecturer in one of University. Meets Kris. He may be one of those cliché characters, but wait and you'll find him having restrained sensibilities. And then there is Chaitali (Deepti Naval) estranged from her ex, having a boy friend whom she veils from her own son Kris for she does not want to be looked down upon her own son. Then there is this tumultuous relation between Naushad and Leela where latter finds solace in Kris. Kris is devastated to find hypocrisy of her mother. Chaitali embroils finding a relation between aged Leela and her son Kris. The story works on so many layers. And the lines in the beginning encapsulate every emotion entailed "once touched by fire, nothing remains same". Look for few scenes which are so mesmerizing. When Kris confronts Naushad for ill treating Leela and trying to justifying his love for Leela. And Naushad retorts back with determination in wow that he and Leela have sacred. Look for climax where Leela tries to justify herself to be neither a creation of Naushad or muse of Kris. Chaitali and Kris coming closer and redefining relationship between them. This is rare of cases that you get to see narration with beautiful songs interspersed composed by Jagjit Singh and written by Gulzar. Every composition stands out and has a depth of its own. Renditions by Subha Mudgal and Jagjit Singh bring out emotions of characters wonderfully. Direction and narration is something to look forward to. The story has this subtle content to it. The urdu diction by Vinod Khanna is perfect. He looks flamboyant and devoted husband at same time. Dimple and Deepti have such gravity to their performances. This movie heralds a new beginning where characters are more real and plausible. I hope to see more of these kinds in year to come. But then Somnath next venture was not well received at Osean's Film Festival in Delhi 2005.