Remember the song ‘Maa da ladla’ from Dostana? How a mother deals with the fact that her son indeed likes another man? The song portrays it all. But the worst part is the inaccurate portrayal. The worst part is people have a merry time watching people from the queer community acting totally like idiots. Bollywood deals with a lot of homophobia. As if accurately synchronized impromptu dance numbers in random locations were not bad enough, they stoop to bring down people from a sensitive community as well. But there are some LGBT movies that have been made in Bollywood that are sensitive as well.
Over the centuries, homosexuality was part of comic relief in films. Homosexual men had it the worst – they were represented as people who would hit on anyone they found attractive; sometimes they were overtly horny men looking for some acknowledgement from the hero of the movie and sometimes they were just plain old straight men acting in an absurd feminine way cause femininity is always hilarious, right? And what is up with the way they walk and talk? Not all homosexual men talk in the exact same way with hand gestures and walk with a sway of hips. Also, they do not crack dick jokes whenever they talk. To conclude they don’t all wear multi-coloured Hawaiian or pink shirts.
Bollywood has portrayed them in a crude and comic way in majority of the movies; as characters who do not have real substance in them.
LGBT Movies Made Sensitively in Bollywood
But thankfully, since Dostana, Bollywood has evolved. There have been many path-breaking, eye-opening Bollywood films that portray the truth about the community. Over a period of a decade or so, films have been made that aptly represent the dilemma people of the community face, the hardships, and the part of themselves that they are forced to tuck away.
Here are a few films that capture the community in its kind-of true form. This list of Bollywood movies based on homosexuality are made with sensitivity and could be an eye-opener about the community.
Related Reading: A Traditional South Indian Engagement, A Modern LGBT Couple
1. Margarita with a straw
Kalki Koechlin knocks it out of the park with a superb performance as a patient with cerebral palsy, who moves to New York and meets an enchanting woman who she falls in love with. The film is outstanding as it deals with disability and bisexuality in its rawest, truest form. Love knows no bounds, no conditions, no gender, no nothing – this is what the film shows and it is a true emotion. LGBT representation in Bollywood could be less but there are films that have portrayed the beauty of LGBT relationships sensitively and this film definitely stands out as one.
2. Arekta Premer Golpo (Just another love story)
One of the first films to be shot after the decriminalization of Article 377 of the IPC. It stars the legendary Rituporno Ghosh and Indraneil Sengupta. It is about a transgender director’s obsession with a bisexual cinematographer. Made in Bengali, this film absorbs the beauty of love in a stunning way.
3. Kapoor and Sons
Whenever this film is mentioned, Fawad Khan comes to mind. And why shouldn’t he? He is the sincere, perfect son, doted on by his parents. The film seems like a love triangle between Fawad, Siddharth and Alia’s characters’ but it is not so. The happy Kapoor family sort of crashes and burns at the end of the movie.
Fawad is living a double life abroad – he is gay and a closeted gay. What is particularly great about the movie is the way a homosexual is portrayed; he is just a random Arjun, proving once again not all homosexual men need to hit on people or be dressed in Hawaiian shirts.
This was one of the hit LGBT movies in India that sensitively portrayed a gay person.