September 28, 2010

India's Brokeback causes a Bollywood spit


 Tuesday September 28, 2010

Gay kisses and a sex scene in the new Bollywood movie Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun are causing a ruckus in India. The film, hailed as India's Brokeback Mountain, features stars Kapil Sharma and Yuvraaj Parasher getting closer than Indian filmgoers are used to.

Still, director Sanjay Sharma thinks the country's male-on-male apprehension is misplaced. He insists that his stars' performances are more tasteful than anything that can be found in a tent. "The ones in my film are very aesthetic," Sharma says of his love scenes. "And so what if it's two men making love? Love is love regardless of gender."

We agree, but not every family is on the saddle. Since the promo poster (shown above) was released,Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun actor Yuvraaj Parasher has been disowned by his family and the Indian film board has threatened to censor the movie.

Sharma's film is progressive for the Bollywood scene (which sold 3.6 billion tickets with total
revenues of US $1.3 billion in 2002)
but is what the industry needs to claim
the crown of progressive filmmaking.
 Many compare Bollywood to Hollywood, but if the latter's treatment
of gays on film is an
 indication of how
 India's film industry will react to Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun, then the
 picture is bleak.

Ang Lee's 2005 Brokeback Mountain, sans spit, was also a touching tale of love and
attraction that read more like a love story than the cheap racy flick that many critics
 made it out to be. The more optimistic thought it would open the gates of Hollywood
to more gay-themed productions. However, major released with non-cliched gay
 characters has been nil since.

Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyun is an opportunity for India's film industry to diversify its
story lines. Still, the film faces resistance to homosexuality that is strongly rooted in
Indian culture. It's slowly unraveling, but will take some time. The Indian capital
 Delhi legalised homosexuality just last year.

"We are a respected family and I'm appalled that he is playing a gay man's role. We're finished. 
All the dreams and hopes we had built around him are over. For just a film role, he has lost 
out on his blood ties. We don't want to see his face ever... not even when we are dying," 
Yuvraaj Parasher's father harshly commented on his son's role.

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