The Indian film industry is just beginning to play catch up when it
comes to dealing with controversial issues. Last year, I saw
MY BROTHER NIKHIL, one of the first features to tackle AIDS.
Director Sridhar Rangayan created a stir with his short film about
drag queens GULABI AAINA (THE PINK MIRROR) in 2003. He has
now tackled homosexuality head on in his debut feature film,
The plot centers on a pair of chums from Leicester, England,
Paul (Jack Lamport) and Ravi (Premjit) who visit a small town in
India on the invitation of Ravi's Internet pal Jeh (Ashwin Shelar).
Arriving in Shimoga, the English lads attend a gay party where
Ravi meets Mani (Prateek Gandhi) and instantly falls in love.
Of course, complications ensue. Ravi and Paul decide to remain
in India for a few extra days and end up staying at a hotel run by
an older gay couple, Murthy (Ikhlaq Khan) and Anna (Ajay Rohilla).
After Paul has a brief encounter with Mani in a park frequented by
men cruising one another, the two friends have a falling out.
Ravi is determined to convince Mani to accompany him back to
Great Britain, but Mani remains hesitant.
YOURS EMOTIONALLY! is essentially a film that focuses on
love in the context of cultural differences. As much as Ravi is of
Indian descent, he doesn't fully understand the conditions in the
country. The movie does show that in spite of all the odds, same sex
relationships are possible (as exemplified by Murthy and Anna) but
it also demonstrates the prejudice and fears that are still present.
Rangayan uses some surreal touches and includes several dream
sequences that add a touch of the exotic to the project.
The film, which had its World Premier at NewFest, proved to be
an audience pleaser. It was preceded by the short BEING BAD, directed
by Laurence Coriat.