“I am what I am. So take me as I am. No one can escape from their individuality.” – CJI Dipak Misra, quoted on 6th September 2018.
In a historic verdict, the Supreme Court of India established last year that homosexuality is not a crime! Providing relief to those who struggled to be “regular,” the judgment was a major step in a progressive direction. However, long before these petitions and the battle to achieve “normalcy” when it came to choosing same-sex partners, films played a crucial role in getting the message across society. Upcoming ZEE5 Original 377 अब Normal revolves around the petitions that led to the path-breaking decision by SC.
However, ahead of its release, we take a look at 7 Bollywood that schooled us right about the LGBTQA community.
Deepa Mehta’s Fire was bold for its time, to say the least. The film laid impetus on a woman’s sexual freedom and choices, besides majorly focusing on homosexuality. Needless to mention, the subject attracted widespread protests and ban from groups.
2. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga features Sonam Kapoor Ahuja as a lesbian character, Sweety. Her real father veteran Anil Kapoor plays her daddy onscreen, a Punjabi man who wants to get his married daughter to a young writer who is smitten by his daughter. Will Sweety come out of the closet and confront her religious and traditional family?
4. Margarita With A Straw
Laila (Kalki Koechlin) is a teenager with cerebral palsy, studying at Delhi University. A scholarship for a semester’s study takes her to New York University where she meets Jared and Khanum (Sayani Gupta), a blind girl. Laila’s attraction towards both Jared and Khanum, male and female respectively, confuses her about her sexual orientation.
Margarita With A Straw deals with several other subjects like that of inclusion, self-acceptance besides human sexuality.
5. My Brother... Nikhil
Best remembered for Juhi Chawla‘s stellar performance, My Brother…Nikhil talks about the time when AIDS awareness was very low in India. Nikhil Kapoor (Sanjay Suri) is the state all-around swimming champion whose world comes crashing down when he is diagnosed with HIV. He gets kicked out by his parents and ends up in a forced isolation under the Goa Public Health Act.
His sister Anamika (Juhi) and boyfriend Nigel (Purab Kohli) bail him out after a long struggle and oppression. Besides the stereotypes attached to homosexuality, this film also covers those who suffer from AIDS.
6. Mango Souffle
Mango Souffle was adapted from Mahesh Dattani’s play called On a Muggy Night in Mumbai. It was the first film in India to openly discuss the closeted gay culture and successfully managed to keep controversy at bay with humour. Injected with comical elements, the plot twists take you inside the world of homosexuality.
7. I Am
Based on real events, I Am is an anthology film by director-producer Onir. It includes four short films – Afia, Omar, Abhimanyu and Megha, each carrying an underlying theme of fear. The second one is about a man named Jai’s (Rahul Bose) sexual encounter with a struggling actor Omar (Arjun Mathur) in Mumbai. Not only does Jai get raped but also looted in the entire setup. Will he find out about the trap?
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If you have any more suggestions to add to the list, comment with names of good films made on LGBTQA community in the box below.
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