the cinema

Is Dunno Y…Na Jaane Kyun Really India’s Brokeback Moment?

I’m not quite sure I’m ready to dub Dunno Y…Na Jaane Kyun “India’s Brokeback Mountain,” because all the films really have in common is a gay male love affair. Brokeback was about cowboys ruffin it; Dunno Y is about a male model. Not exactly apples to apples. But the Indian film, which debuted last week at the Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, is apparently “sending Bollywood spinning” because it features two dudes kissing.

It’s one piece of good news out of a country whose queer reputation has been ravaged by this scandal, and I don’t mean to underestimate how much significance this has for Indian cinema. It is, after all, believed to be a first (or at least the first after Dostana, which was about a fake gay romance?). With the film set to go into wide release,

[… n]o one sure whether audiences — especially in rural India — are ready for a romance between men. It reportedly features the first time a Bollywood movie has shown two males kissing — other than a comedy, where a pair of con artists fake gay intentions to get closer to a beautiful woman.

After watching the film festival debut of “Dunno Y…Na Jaane Kyun,” the editor of India’s first gay magazine said he became emotional. “(I) cried a lot, because it does reflect the Indian situation,” Ashok Row Kavi, editor of Bombay Dost told QMI Agency from Mumbai. The 63-year-old editor expects the film to cause controversy, but believes it’s a natural evolution. On screens in India, women have long represented sexual virtues while men have protected national virtues, like honesty and courage, said Kavi.

“Now it’s all changed,” he added. “Men have started shedding their clothes…and they have become the focus of desire.” The film, directed by Sanjay Sharma for one of the world’s largest entertainment markets, will be widely released in India next month. Sharma told the BBC he believes Indian society has matured enough to handle it.

Now what ever happened to Bollywood’s first gay sex scene?


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