It’s not been easy to get to this point. From having stereotypically gay characters who were present simply for comic relief, to some movies on homosexuality never seeing the light of release in India, the Indian film industry has come a long way. It’s time to acknowledge the movies that got us to where we are today, when we can finally see all colours of the rainbow.
Faraz Arif Ansari’s new film Sheer Qorma is all set to release at “film festivals near us”. And we are super gay about this! It’s bringing complex lives and honest storytelling to the Indian audience. Exploring the relationship between characters played by Divya Dutta and Swara Bhaskar, the movie is super relevant, super important.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020)
This Ayushmann Khurrana starrer is Bollywood using its commercial power to reach the masses, and battle homophobia. For the first time, we get to see two men kiss on the big screen, and it helps that the supporting role are played by, none other than, Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Lagaa (2019)
It’s only fitting that Anil Kapoor’s daughter plays the protagonist in the iconic film’s sequel, and it’s only fitting that she plays a queer one! 2019 was a year of welcoming change, and Sweety, the girl she plays, is relatable in how she hides her identity from her father, Balbir. Having such big names supporting the gay movement marks that the Indian cinegoer, and filmmaker, is progressing.
Margharita With A Straw (2014)
Kalki Koechlin plays a girl with cerebral palsy who bravely goes to New York City, by herself, for further studies. She learns independence through the process, and even gains agency over her sexuality when she falls in love with a girl, Khanum.
Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish (2012)
The iconic director, Rituparno Ghosh, rocked the boat with Chitrangada. Rudra and Partho are two men in love, and wish to have a child. Due to legal restrictions, Rudra proposes a plan to undergo sex-change surgery. This would mean that they are a ‘traditional’ heterosexual couple, and will be eligible to adopt. This life-changing decision is emblematic of the troubles that the LGBTQ+ folks have to go through, to simply have a family.
Malayali cinema has always been ahead of its time, so it’s no surprise that Sancharram was birthed from there. It follows two girls, Kiran and Delilah, who grow from childhood friends to discovering their love for each other, as adults. The movie crosses all traditional boundaries of love and shows us an honest connection between two people.
The film that started it all: Deepa Mehta’s work of art, Fire, was a gamechanger. Protested against and banned in India, the film explores love between two women. Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das play sisters-in-law, who let go of their uncaring husbands, and find comfort in each other. A must watch!