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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bollywood coming up with all merry n gay attitudes!

The latest movies like Dostana and Fashion have again tickled the long subdued topic of homosexuality to the forefront and into the mainstream cinema.

Although every producer- director teams up to bring a ‘hat ke’ project, for long homosexuals have largely been supposed to be out of the orbit of the various formulas and incarnations that control the Bollywood box office.

Movies like Deepa Mehta’s Fire and Onir’s My Brother Nikhil that have made stirring efforts to break the orthodox depiction, but have been labelled as ‘parallel’ cinema. However, the current wave of films, like Fashion and Dostana, may be able to bring the much awaited acceptance to homosexuality.

Mahesh Dattani made a bold effort “Mango Souffle” to look at the gay community without prejudice and to de-marginalize homosexuality in our cinema. But the efforts went in vain as the film hardly got an audience worth citing.

With the release of Karan Johar’s Dostana where the Bollywood hunks and lead actors, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham, pretend to be a couple in a bid to rent an apartment in Miami. Madhur Bhandarkar’s recent release, Fashion, in one of its sub-plots, has Harsh Chayya and Samir Soni play a homosexual fashion designer-couple thus indicating of the acceptance of the odd among the audience.

For many years, homosexual were essentially comic characters meant to lampoon men who, in every day jargon, aren’t “normal”. Like in- Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan in Kal Ho Naa Ho where Shah Rukh and Saif’s characters were mistaken to be gay by the latter’s housekeeper; Anupam Kher subsequently played in Rahul Rawail’s “Mast Kalander” and David Dhawan’s “Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge” and not to forget Sanjeev Kumar playing an effeminate character in A. Bhim Singh’s “Naya Din Nayee Raat”.

Now in Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Page 3″ for the first time a gay character is looked at without chauvinism and comes closest in Indian cinema to portraying a gay character with some air of sensitivity.

The director Madhur Bhandarkar comments: “All the characters you see in ‘Page 3′ is based on people I know. In our films, gay characters are used as props and gimmicks. In my film, Rehaan plays an identifiable character. We cannot reduce any community of people to tokens and emblems. We’ve to treat them as real.”

Homosexuality is still in the pothole of ‘minorityism’ and Hindi cinema has a long way off from pulling it out. The filmmakers can get honest about the matter on screen only when they gain courage to accept their own sexuality.

dostana gay movie

dostana gay movie


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