The nation is abuzz with the Supreme Court’s historical judgement of decriminalising homosexuality in India. It’s been considered as a huge victory for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community in the country. While the conversation about the community has created a momentum around the globe, the Hindi film industry still has a long way to go in terms of showcasing the queer men and women.
There have been films like Aligarh (2015), Fire (1996), My Brother… Nikhil (2005) among others, which dealt with homosexuality sensitively. However, the mainstream Bollywood hasn’t done justice to the issue. The gay characters in Hindi films are often used to provide comic relief in the narrative. The concept of same-sex attraction, more often than not, is treated as a joke in our big-budgeted Hindi dramas.
Here is the list of top 6 mainstream Hindi movies which performed well at the Box Office but failed to show LGBT community in a respectful manner.
1. Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
The film was a hit at the Box Office and is considered as one of the most loved romantic Hindi movies ever. While the film majorly has three characters — Aman, Rohit, Naina, there is another interesting character in the narrative. Kantaben, played by Sulbha Arya, is a house help to Rohit. Everytime she finds her beloved Rohit baba and Aman sitting together or involved in a deep conversation, she freaks out thinking the two are gay.
In between all the serious death drama and those amazing romantic scenes, the makers decided to give the ‘gay touch’ to the film to make people laugh. All we regret is SRK was a part of it!
2. Partner (2007)
Suresh Menon plays the role of a gay best friend to Priya Jaising, played by Katrina Kaif, in the Salman Khan starrer. Named as Kiran, Menon plays the character of a fashion designer. In a deliberate attempt to put a forced smile on our faces, he is made to reveal that his favourite song is Aadmi hu Aadmi Se Pyar Karta Hu.
Talk about lacking creativity in writing comedy scenes!
3. Dostana (2008)
Karan Johar’s film, Dostana, is all about two men pretending to be gay to get a flat on rent. The characters of John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan perform a couple dance and even kiss each other in a scene. The popular song from the film, Maa Da Ladla Bigad Gaya, is a successful exaggeration of stereotyping homosexuals. Dostana’s popularity is exactly what’s wrong with the mindset of people in our country and why we are calling the SC’s judgement to abolish section 377 a ‘historical’ one.
4. Student of The Year (2012)
Another film by Dharma Productions that showcases gay men as comic fillers in the plot is Student of the Year. It is that mainstream candy floss film which introduced three big stars of Bollywood – Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra.
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor plays the role of a school teacher in the film, who gets drooled over the very sight of Ronit Roy, the sports coach. In a dream scene in the film, Rishi’s character even imagines himself aiming to hurt Ronit’s wife by throwing a dhapli [tambourine] at her. Again, all this is supposed to be taken in a positive stride. You raise a finger at such scenes and you are asked to calm down since such scenes are only meant to make you laugh.
Clearly, the fight isn’t over yet!
5. Bol Bachchan (2012)
In Bol Bachchan, directed by Rohit Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan’s character pretends to be a gay. The film rides high on gay-stereotypes and shows the character with kohled eyes, brightly-printed outfits, a delicate walk and suggested feminine gestures.
In one of the scenes, AB’s character flaps his hands, dances on the floor and even performs a lap dance for Ajay Devgan’s character. Too much to make us laugh!
6. Dishoom (2016)
In Rohit Dhawan-directed Dishoom, Akshay Kumar essays the role of a man who’s hot, stylish and is attracted to men. He is quite an unconventional gay Bollywood character but doesn’t have any relevance in the film, except that he comes at a time when you are already trying to break free from the overdoses of action in the film.
Now that there’s an attempt by Indian judiciary to normalise the existence of queer community and treat them as equal citizens, we wish Bollywood learns quick lessons!