HINDI FILM AND HOMOSEXUALITY
MOVIES Is this a failing of the screenplay – that Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham appear more of a couple with each other than either of them does with Priyanka Chopra – or is it a deliberately subverThe note on the issue of chemistry between the actors is quite true and the actors are quite at ease with each other as they also mention in the interview, which would explain their comfort level last scene (if they really did kiss in it,that is).
The progression in their attachment to the female character was definitely underdeveloped. Is it deliberate? I don't think so. But I think I might see it once again tomorrow. sive subtext in a story that handles homosexuality to an extent unprecedented in a Hindi film ? however, dont think so. they thought the movie was great fun. when i told them i found it a bit offensive how a movie supposedly about gay relationships is based on the straight public's contempt for, if not right out discomfort around homosexuality, they told me to chill the fuck out. so like any good beard, i am chillaxing to the remix of maa ka laadla bigar gaya. its not my business to shove down my "more PC than thou" lessons down their throats. i film? T
MOVIES Coincidentally, I happened to watch two recently released movies with homosexual narratives sown in, albeit contrastingly- Karan Johar's Dharma productions' Dostana and Madhur Bhandarkar's Fashion. This could run into the need of a spoiler alert at any juncture, so those who plan to see any of them, don't say that I didn't warn.ostana runs more into a comical representation of queer patterns- with the John Abraham- Abhishek Bachan duo attempting an extended version of the Saif Khan- SKR pseudo chemistry.
John Abraham seemed more attuned to the people he was representing than Junior B who went thoroughly grotesque in the comic sequences. Not that I expected an altered version of Brokeback from them, but I personally felt that either his director or AB baby himself was either dismissive or ignorant about the subtlety required from his character, though the narrative did demand the humorous tilt. That said, a couple of sequences did produce a guffaw.
What I did like about the movie was Kiron Kher towards the latter portion of the second half where she actually accepts the gay relationship between her son and her new bahu, and even makes him (the bahu) topple the rice filled kalash to authorize the relationship. Though that could be taken as too melodramatic, sickeningly sweet, and yet another bid at institutionalization, symbolically, that was a great gesture to bellow at the masses. I hope people in the country see the movie for just that part alone.
Besides that, the movie carries more than its fair share of stereotypes about the gay community. But fundamentally, Dostana could be taken as just a flippant portrayal than intentionally indifferent to the community, since this was after all meant as a commercial venture. I would love to have a queer reading on the movie though. Fashion surpassed my expectations. Period. Coincidentally, again, both the movies had Priyanka Chopra too and she gained in my esteem with his one. Madhur Bhandarkar's realistic mechanics has paid off in here.
The greenrooms of the fashion industry have been subjected to the director's microscopes and this coupled with glimpses of the element and we have a full-blown chaotically chic world before us. The gay element here comes in with Sameer Soni's character who plays a fashion designer who has not come out before his mother and probably never will considering that he marries a model- a close friend, who's aware of his preferences. I'd have liked a little more of delineation on their relationship, but then, their's is just a sub-plot.
What sets apart their characterization in comparison to say, the Sandhya Mridul- Vikram Chatwal relationship in Honeymoon Travels was that the latter dealt with the commonest circumstance of all where closeted gays are nagged into marrying unsuspecting women, followed by the drama when he comes clean before his wife (if he does so, that is). That HT suggests that the couple may continue as friends and within marriage was a progression. In Fashion, they take it a bit further and considering Bhandarkar's reputation for extensive research, relationships of the kind he's portrayed in Fashion, may not be isolated ones.
The gay designer's mother comes across as a (realistically presented) lady representative of the majority of the Indian community who'd be ashamed to have a gay son in their midst. What particularly attracted me to the movie theme was I have been in the process of providing emotional support to a friend who discovered that her metro based fashion designer husband was gay and finished with her divorce some time back. This movie was an eye-opener to the other permutations and possibilities out in the world. The parent plot per se, is riddled by issues of substance abuse, alcoholism, wardrobe malfunctions, trophy wives and the casting couch syndrome et al, but the tiny sub-plot captured more of my focus and thought in the aftermath than the larger mosaic.
Kangana Ranaut comes across as an interesting actor to watch out for. Arbaaz Khan is much better at putting in a solemn gravity-laden appearance than the bizarre stuff that he tries to pass of as comedy as in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Harsh Chhaya does a wonderful realistic performance and that's what's the best part of the movie- the casting is near to perfect. But for a slightly commercial climax, the movie could be graded an A+.ed. corrected production house detail //Full Edit", img_item + " Quick Edit Ah, thanks for that Shahpar. I was wondering whether the few laughs I did have were unfair. I can't say about John Abraham (maybe because 'expression' of any kind is not really his forte), but AB did seem insensitive if not downright homophobic in his entire body language however much of hilarity the script may have demanded. I should try if youtube has that Koffee with Karan video. And yeah, Maa Ka Ladla is a fun number. Saw out all the parts in entirety, but after having seen the movie, I must say that the interview didn't affect me at all.
Shahpar, if you found the guys closet-homophobes on the interview, I shudder at what you would think of the movie. Ofcourse, it can be taken lightly too, I guess. Sorry to say, but I am at complete odds with both of these statements! Yes, Dostana could be taken as a fun film, but then so can so many other movies that deal with other cliches and slapstick stereotypes. But Boman Irani's gay character seemed anything but dignified to me. Anyway, if his sensibilities and those of the MSM community are not offended, I'm glad. As for Fashion, I am surprised with his reaction. Harsh Chhaya's character, that of a gay designer cannot be seen as a caricature. It would be mere denial to state that *none* of the gay designers in India have flamboyant body language (in fact Harsh Chhaya's character is claimed to be a true imitation of a famed designer).
One of the most ugly caricatures of the gay community I've seen to date in the Indian media has been that of the effeminate gay designer Maddy played by Rajesh Khera in the Indian version of sitcom Ugly Betty- Jassi Jaise Koi Nahin. He is outlandish (not merely flamboyant), wears spectacular rainbow attire, shuffles and shoves his posture and nasalizes his tone to bizarre lengths. In Fashion, among the designer bandwagon, as much as there is a flamboyant Harsh Chhhaya, there's also a quietly afflicted Samir Soni and a human being in Ashwin Mushran.
I must look about for other reviews now i don't know if the "heroes" are homophobes or whether they are just horrified at being considered gay since they clearly believe a studlike life is crucial to their identity.
Though the overly camp behaviour of AB in that venice story was quite yuck as was some of the broad humour later with boman. but i wouldn't see it as a comment on the movie - it was entirely consistent with their characters - they are basically immature, dishonest and self-obsessed kids - as brangan says, fairly meanspirited. but human, i guess, in their foibles - i thought it was interesting that priyanka's character was willing to pimp them out to advance her career but it got glossed over when she took the moral high ground. i was more upset with how mean they were to the kid than the other absurdities they indulged in. eta: is it homophobic if you are okay about other people being gay but object to being considered one? not sure.