The portrayal of homosexuality has often been caricature-ish in mainstream Indian movies. But filmmakers across the globe including that Bollywood has changed with times and is widening its horizons and becoming an agent of social change. After a landmark judgment by India’s Supreme Court for the LGBT community last year, ecstatic LGBT activists across the nation stood together to rejoice the moment.
Here we bring to you a list of unconventional stories that sensitively portrayed homosexuality in India and helped make a small change the way Indian society looked upon this important subject.
- My Brother Nikhil:
Filmed in an era when homosexuality was considered to be immoral, directed Onir brought My Brother Nikhil- a brave journey into the forefront. Starring Sanjay Suri, Juhi Chawla, and Purab Kohli in lead roles, the film was a mindful attempt at tackling sensitive issues with utmost care and love.
- Margarita with a Straw:
Winning hearts across the globe, Margarita with a Straw stars Kalki Koechlin in the lead. She plays the role of a young, romantic, and secret rebel on a wheelchair. The story takes shape when she embarks on her journey of self and sexual discovery. The careful treatment of the film surely makes it unmissable, to date.
Who can forget Jim Sarbh and Ranveer Singh’s on-screen chemistry in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus, Padmavat!
- Kapoor & Sons:
Directed by Shakun Batra, Bollywood’s much-loved film, Kapoor and Sons portrayed homosexuality exceedingly well. Enacted by actor Fawad Khan, the idea was to raise the conversation around gay culture without making it a significant part of the story. The film beautifully conveyed the message that no individual should become an outcast, basis his or her sexual preferences.
- Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga:
Director Shelly Chopra Dhar has consciously weaved her sensitive-take on such an important issue of our times. Set against the backdrop of a family drama, Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga beautifully captures the nuances of a lesbian love story.
Over recent years, television and cinema have been an active change agent, breaking labels and challenging societal taboos. Amazon Prime Video’s Original Series, Made in Heaven is a careful attempt at highlighting some hard-hitting realities of today’s India – a culture in transition.