Indian Gay DVDs

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Views on Another Subcontinent

Yours Emotionally
Another subcontinent forum
Jul 3 2006, 07:29 AM

I had the occassion to see Yours Emotionally, a gay-themed movie directed by Sridhar Rangayan at MIT this past Friday.

As I understood it from the Q&A with the director after the movie, such movies are rare in India. This one explored the 'gay-scene' in small town India [in Gujarat and in Karnataka (Shimoga)].The director has worked actively on LGBT issues and felt that he should make a movie to express the dilemmas faced by people with differing sexualities -- and so undertook this project. So far he has screened it in a very limited fashion in India before he came away to screen it in NY, SF and most recently in Boston. He is returning to India to further his efforts in promoting it.

Not really knowing what to expect, even whether the movie would be a ham-handed effort in tackling an obviously complex theme, I was pleasantly surprised by the narrative...and even by the acting. The people behind the movie have managed to use a fairly plausible and even engaging storyline to get their point across...

verbose said...

I saw the movie recently in SF, where it was part of Frameline, the long-running gay and lesbian film festival that coincides with Pride. I didn't know what to expect either, particularly as the title struck me as being rather sappy. I found parts of the movie confusing, and couldn't quite follow the narrative comfortably because of the strange visual effects, abrupt switches from color to b/w and back, and jumpy editing. But I liked the movie nonetheless.

In the Q&A that followed the screening, Sridhar Rangayan was asked about the visual effects. He explained that he wanted the movie to take place in the protagonist's mindspace, and had chosen the visual effects appropriately. That made sense when he said it, but I'm not sure it worked cinematically. However, I'm not a very sophisticated viewer of cinema. No doubt someone who sees non-mainstream movies more regularly would have a different reaction.

I also had the opportunity to spend about an hour in a tete-a-tete with Sridhar (about a week before I saw the movie), and ran into him a couple of times after. He's a really nice, warm, and funny guy, and he's been doing some great work with the Hamsafar Trust. So I'm glad I liked the movie--I'd've felt bad if the movie had turned out to be a dud.

Not so sure about the acting; the gora in particular struck me as being somewhat unnatural. The older couple were terrific.

I bought a copy of Sridhar's earlier movie, Gulabi Aaina, off him. Haven't watched it yet, though. Apparently the movie has run into trouble with the censors in India. Sridhar was talking about it. He says he intends to fight a legal battle to fight the refusal of a censor certificate. The censor board says that the movie doesn't treat its theme of crossdressing "seriously." Sridhar says that what this means is that the crossdressers are shown enjoying themselves, which is unacceptable, apparently.

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