At the hairdresser, Laila gets a phone call. Some friends invite her to see a movie. "I have a date", she says. We see her reflection in a mirror (like we often did in the film) and we will later learn that this date is finally a date with herself. Her father gives her a ride to a place where she will enjoy her beloved cocktail Margarita "with a straw". She smiles while enjoying her cocktail and blows a kiss to herself reflected in another mirror. For a moment this mirror frames her like a film image which is again framed in the whole aspect ratio of the film format.After having much struggled in this film with her disability, her journey finally leads her to a moment of accepting herself and finally the things like they are.
A cheerful but at the same moment very moving last moment which also includes the fleetingness of the things the whole film has told about. With this last smile we are finally gently dismissed from the film which was partly inspired by Shonali´Bose´s cousin and partly by the director´s own experiences.
Another draft version of this text included a passage which suggested to define Margarita with a Straw as a kind of "Caméra Stylo", those definition of radical personal films which are filmed like written, a term which fits very different kind of films, documentaries, essay films but also narrative films. For now I discarded this chapter completely. But after watching the whole "Making Of"- bonus features on the Indian DVD I still think this could be another interesting aspect of this film.
I also discarded a comparison from a more recent version of this text in which I compared the last smile of Kalki Koechlin with the smile of Sean Penn at the end of Terrence Malick´s autobiographical inspired The Tree Of Life. This idea was a very strong feeling but probably better saved for an audiovisual essay than a text.