A mainstream film based on homosexuality? The year 2019 looks promising
The year 2018 was a pleasant surprise for every cinephile out there. We saw some mainstream masala movies as well as content-driven films doing equally good business at the box office.
However, by the end of the year, the trailer of Shelly Chopra Dhar’s ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ starring Sonam Kapoor and Anil Kapoor left everyone surprised. After all, finally, we have a mainstream film based on a same-sex relationship. Yes, if the trailer of ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ is anything to go by, then (apart from dealing with the complexities of a love story) the film will be a commentary on homosexuality and its acceptance in the society.
If you are wondering about where any of these things were revealed in the trailer, then watch the trailer again. It does subtly reveal why the film happens to be an unexpected romance of the year. As a child, Sonam draws the face of a bride in her book and not a groom (indicating her attraction towards females). Upon growing up, when her family brings all kinds of marriage proposals for her, she laments about everyone thinking in the same direction.
Exactly, that’s the precise point. When it comes to a love story, why does everyone assume that it has to be about a man and a woman? Can’t love stories be about two men or two women for that matter? Now, this is not the first time that homosexuality is being spoken about or films are being made on the same in Hindi film industry. Sadly though, most of the time, gays and transsexuals were only used as caricatures in our films.
Previously, we have seen actresses like Shabana Azmi-Nandita Das playing same-sex lovers in ‘Fire’ and Kalki Koechlin playing a bisexual in ‘Margarita With A Straw‘ or Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi in ‘Dedh Ishqiya’. So what makes ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ different? Well, perhaps this is the first time that a mainstream film will be specifically revolving around a lesbian love story. Earlier most of the time the same-sex relationship angle have been either downplayed or showcased so subtly that the viewers may have even missed the point.
A few years back, we did see Fawad Khan portraying a gay man in Shakun Batra’s ‘Kapoor & Sons’. Interestingly, this same film was turned down by some of the renowned actors of Bollywood. We wonder why so many mainstream actors turned down this film? And when it comes to portraying a lesbian, how many times have you seen a mainstream actress being a part of films representing the LGBTQ community?
Fashionista and diva Sonam Kapoor taking up a project like this is really a refreshing change. We are pretty sure that the film will help sensitive portrayals of the LGBTQ community in our films to gain momentum. The fact that the film has been penned by a transwoman Gazal Dhaliwal is so praiseworthy. Finally, the people of this misrepresented community are coming out and telling their own stories, rather than waiting for others to do so. Also, the real-life father-daughter duo Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor will be starring in the film. ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ is certainly going to be special for several reasons.
View this post on Instagram
(Trailer link in bio) Yay! I started writing this film 26 months back. So, you might say it was 2 years in the making. But I would say it was several decades in the making. #EkLadkiKoDekhaTohAisaLaga #ELKDTAL Directed by: @shellychopradhar Produced by: Vinod Chopra Films and @foxstarhindi Cinematography: Himman Dhamija and Rangarajan Ramabadran Editing: Ashish Suryavanshi Music: @rochakkohli Lyrics: @ghuggss Story Inspired from – 'A Damsel in Distress' by P. G. Wodehouse #LetLoveBe @anilskapoor @rajkummar_rao @iamjuhichawla @sonamkapoor
With so many films being made on various topics, Bollywood needs to be more fierce and open in taking up sensitive subjects like homosexuality. Yes, we do have films like ‘Aligarh’ and ‘My Brother… Nikhil’ but they were not a mainstream film. These films did help in bringing the issues of the LGBTQ community to light but they couldn’t reach a larger audience perhaps because of the way they were promoted. So when a mainstream film talks about such issues, then it will definitely help in addressing the elephant in the room.
The year 2018 saw even the apex court of India decriminalize section 377 of IPC. So we just hope that in the coming year, we will see more and more A-list actors and ace filmmakers taking up such subjects.
Our films are a reflection of the society we live in and the LGBTQ community is a very much part of our society. So don’t you think it is high time that we make them feel like one?