Posts Tagged ‘sexuality’
BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL: (From top) Stills from Luck By Chance, Kaminey, Love Aaj Kal
DEEPALI DHINGRA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; September 29, 2009)
Did you cringe with discomfort when a seemingly innocent child woman Isha Sherwani seduced Farhan Akhtar into bed in Luck By Chance? Or, more recently, when a salwar kameez-clad Priyanka Chopra managed to convince a reluctant Shahid Kapoor to have sex with her in Kaminey, by telling him that she knows ‘homescience’ and that it’s ‘safe to do it’? More likely than not, you smiled at their boldness and prepared for more to come. Seduction was a game played by vamps in Bollywood in the 70s and 80s. Much later, lead actresses like Bipasha Basu and Priyanka Chopra were sexually charged in Jism and Aitraaz respectively. But even then, they were the ‘bad girls’. Well, times have changed — even the ‘good’ girls are taking a turn for the ‘bad’ and the audiences are lapping it up!
Watch newcomer Mahie Gill throwing herself in full abandon at Abhay Deol in a mustard field in Dev. D and you’ll know what we’re talking about. Trade analyst Komal Nahta says he isn’t surprised at this change. “Films, after all, are a reflection of today. Girls are proposing to guys, they are using seduction as a tool even in real life. The major composition of the audience comprises youth, so they have to show what the young generation identifies with,” he says. So Kareena Kapoor playfully hands Akshay Kumar her bra in Tashan and Konkona SenSharma suggests a quick bout of love-making to Rahul Bose in Dil Kabaddi before they turn in for the night and Deepika Padukone has no qualms with Saif Ali Khan kissing her full on the mouth in the car in Love Aaj Kal. Agrees Mahie, “Reel life follows real life. Women today are more vocal about their sexual desires than what they were about a decade back. The audience today wants to see characters they can identify with. That’s why the boldness depicted by the newer lot of actresses has been accepted.”
According to film director Onir, a growing section of audiences in urban centres are accepting this change. “Independent working women watch these films with their male friends and colleagues who treat them as equals and therefore, accept their portrayal on screen as well,” he says. Also, the younger generation of filmmakers who have grown up seeing women as friends and colleagues, are showing female characters as they are, says Onir.
Insiya Amir | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 19, 2009)
With homosexuality getting increased acceptance in the country, isn’t it time for Bollywood to get a gay, macho character? Actually, it might already have—in Charlie, the lisping ‘bad boy’ hero in this year’s hit, Kaminey.
From bloggers to critics, many have speculated about the sexuality of the character portrayed by Shahid Kapoor. To begin with, Charlie lisps—a standard gay stereotype. Apart from that, his relationship with Mikhail has distinctly homoerotic undertones. The two sing duets in a psychedelic nightclub, dance in the rain and make plans to run away—while rolling on the floor together— when Charlie tells Mikhail about the stash of cocaine he has chanced upon? And a scene where Mikhail chases Charlie in a red sports car, amid pouring rain, would have had Freud smiling in glee.
What about the ending, which shows Charlie hitched to a gorgeous gal? Blogger Ganesh Chandrashekhar argues that it’s a postdeath dream. ‘‘Charlie dreams of being a successful bookie and married to a woman. This looks like Charlie’s homosexual guilt coming through, because the addition of a female character in the end seemed rather contrived, suggesting that he hopes to be straight in a highly homophobic society.’’
Other bloggers have pointed to Charlie’s emotional breakdown when he sees Mikhail’s corpse. And they see heavy symbolism in Charlie naming his dream bookie venture ‘Mikhail & Co.’, which is set up after he steals diamonds. Which by implication means Charlie stole diamonds for Mikhail. If that isn’t true love, what is?
Chandan Roy Sanyal, who plays Mikhail, says he is aware of such arguments. ‘‘I don’t think the two are gay, they just share a brotherly relationship. I grew up like this with my brother, a lot of bonding, touching,’’ he laughs. But he welcomes the buzz about the characters. ‘‘People thinking that Charlie is gay shows they are ready to accept that gay men do not have to be overtly effeminate,’’ says Sanyal, adding that he would love to play a role like Sean Penn in the Hollywood film Milk.
But Bollywood is only taking baby steps with movies like Dostana, says film critic Anupama Chopra. ‘‘We still portray gay men with limp wrists and rainbowcoloured accessories, mostly cast as a comic relief. It is a long time till we get a gay hero who is macho enough to be the lead actor. In fact, Vishal Bhardwaj told me if a sequel is made, Charlie will have a girlfriend,’’ she says. As conspiracy theorists might say, ‘‘Fo fad”.
Posted July 17, 2009on:
By Devansh Patel, July 17, 2009 – 11:07 IST