Karan bells the cat in “DOSTANA 2008”
Karan does it! He breaks the news to Mother India at last : Maa, please accept it – your son is Gay!
And the viewers go away laughing. The implication of the long hands-free kiss between the two men completely lost on them (especially the women) for the time being 🙂
The embedded message is loud and clear .
Mum, your son is Gay. Officially. Formally. Publicly. And no other country has any problems with him except your own Maha Bharat and your age old presumptions about such things.
And that kiss would be REMEMBERED. That image would stay in people’s minds and come back and make them wonder once, when they see something similar somewhere, in future. Extremely well thought out and impressively crafted HANDLE – for thought and memory, grafted into the public psyche!! (Planted in public psyche?)
Although to sell his movie, he had to couch the story in terms of “O they are straight actually, only officially Gay to retain a US residential permit, hard earned and difficult to get. Necessity made them Gay. They needed the house – a shelter in a strange land. In strange land strange things can happen, so Mum please don’t fret”.
Am ok with that. This was necessary. First, one needs to be heard. Then, one can worry about resolving issues. Right now this is more important – to dispel fear, ignorance, bias, stigma associated with the idea.
This way it would be easier for the ‘harsh’ news to sink in. It is a sugar coated pill alright 🙂
In the meanwhile, message for the Gay community is: 1) there is a separate service for you at the US immigration office with a separate queue. 2) You cannot fake it. 3) They come to check you out. 4) You get residential status quicker if you file as a Gay couple.
The Gay-Connection-to-Fashion cliche continues though. But here, the colour and glitz was necessary to numb the effect of the subject. Boman Irani’s characterization is stylized but effective. Music, costume, Priyanka, sets, location, shots, script, dialogue etc are usual KJ masala that neatly acts as churan or digestive for the controversial material 🙂
Interesting also is, that he appeals to the Mother figure, and not the father. Very intelligent. It is harder for the father, as he sees his own image in the son. He would tend to associate such a thing as his own failure as a man.
The mother, on the other hand is more tolerant, ever receptive, better equipped to handle it once she knows the truth and realities.
As it happens in India, regional language does not explore such love. Or rarely perhaps. It is only explored in English language texts. Which makes a lot of people automatically assume being Gay is a Western trend. An average Indian mother does not, still, read English, outside of her school books. So the real issue here is of ignorance.
Karan has set the ball of spreading awareness deftly.
He was never the screaming, hard-hitting guy with a mission to change the world. He is known for his ability to weave a story on the screen nicely, sweetly and when he wants to, he ‘tells’ the world his views about life, as elegantly and gently as he dresses or talks. So this film is in keeping with the typical KJ style and Mansukhani would reach his crowd undoubtedly.
Very suave, very understanding of the Indian middle class mentality – Karan proved yet again he has his fingers exactly where the pulse of India beats, without losing sight of realities of life. For those that want to see, the message is indeed clear.
Will Maa accept it? Being a woman myself, I believe in the long run she would, even before the state does. After all she is Mother. At the end of the day she knows her son has nowhere to turn, but to her for help and support.
This would be another milestone movie that would be talked about for years to come. I feel proud to have become a part of this moment in history 🙂 Very well done Karan!
PS: This is just documentation of what the film Dostaana is perceived to have done, for the general public, IMO. Not a formal, conventional Review. If you want that, please visit Nita’s blog from my roll. Thanks 🙂