Indian Cinema's LGBTQ Evolution: 5 Films That Redefined Norms
The Supreme Court of India is currently deliberating on a pivotal petition presented by 18 same-sex couples who are advocating for the recognition of same-sex marriage and the associated social status. This landmark case has ignited discussions across the nation and has the potential to reshape the landscape of LGBTQ rights in India. As we await the court's verdict, it is essential to delve into the world of Indian cinema and explore how it has contributed to the ongoing conversation on LGBTQ rights. In particular, let's examine ten films that have shone a spotlight on the LGBTQ community and played a significant role in challenging age-old conventions.
The LGBTQ community remains one of the most marginalized and underserved groups globally. While many countries have legalized same-sex and lesbian marriages, India has yet to officially acknowledge them. Over the years, the people of India have been tireless advocates for their rights. A crucial development in this journey is the ongoing debate on same-sex marriage, taking place five years after the historic decriminalization of same-sex relationships in the country. Today, the Supreme Court stands at the forefront of deciding the fate of this crucial matter.
Supreme Court of India refuse to legally allow Same Sex Marriage in India. Ball in the court of India’s parliament and Government. Yet Supreme Court in its verdict has been humanitarian to allow live-in relations and adoptions for the LGBTQ community. pic.twitter.com/MyeWkqh678— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) October 17, 2023
Numerous films have served as powerful tools in challenging societal norms and fostering understanding of LGBTQ relationships. Some have candidly portrayed same-sex relationships, while others have delved into the struggles faced by individuals within these relationships. However, their overarching objective has consistently been the promotion of acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ relationships within society.
Crafted in 1996, this movie is often regarded as one of the earliest mainstream Bollywood films to broach the subject of homosexuality. Deepa Mehta's work boldly illuminated lesbian relationships, with Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das taking the lead roles. The 1990s held a special significance for films of this nature, which contributed to this film's significant scrutiny and eventual ban.
Under the direction of Hansal Mehta, this film delves into the life of Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who faced job termination due to his homosexuality. The movie stars Manoj Bajpayee as a gay professor, with Rajkumar Rao portraying a pivotal role. Manoj Bajpayee's powerful performance resonated with audiences and significantly altered people's perspectives.
The first entry on our list is 'Unfreedom,' which saw its release in 2014. This film faced a ban primarily due to its focus on same-sex relationships and its inclusion of explicit content, which led to its disapproval for public screening.
"Margarita with a Straw":
In this particular movie, Kalki Koechlin takes on the role of a bisexual woman. The film unfolds as Kalki's character embarks on a journey to New York and finds herself falling in love with another woman. In a society often quick to judge same-sex relationships between women, this film offers a beautifully nuanced portrayal. It serves as a poignant reminder that love transcends boundaries, conditions, and genders, embracing the potential to blossom between individuals regardless of these factors.
"Kapoor and Sons"
In this film, Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, and Fawad Khan played significant roles. Watching the film, it seems like a love triangle is developing among these three actors, but in the end, the truth comes out. Fawad is living a double life abroad. He is the perfect son for his parents, but he is gay. When the truth comes out in front of the family, there is a big uproar in the house.
- PTC PUNJABI