Will we ever have gay romance in a mainstream Bollywood film?

Film: Dostana (India, 2008)
Release Date: 14th November 2008 in India, no release date for Poland
Director: Tarun Mansukhani
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty, Bobby Deol, Kiron Kher
Production House: Dharma Productions
Plot: A comedy about two guys who pretend to be gay.


Why I’m excited about it
Something I really want to see is a mainstream gay romance film made in Bollywood. I think once they have the guts to make one, it could be amazing. But unfortunately at the moment this is soooo not going to happen. You can broach the subject freely in Indian art house films, but taking it full on is out of the question in the mainstream. Legally homosexual relations are still a crime in India (though in the last 20 years there have been no convictions) and besides, it’s only quite recently that Hollywood had the guts to take the subject on properly with Brokeback Mountain, so how can we expect it of Bollywood?
All this doesn’t mean that nothing is happening… It started with Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) - the comedy subplot between Shahrukh and Saif is still an ongoing joke at various stage events. Dostana seems to be the next step. Like Kal Ho Naa Ho it’s a “they’re not really gay but it looks like they are” kind of plot, but this time it’s the main point of the film.
If, like me, you find the whole issue quite curious then you may like this interview with Karan Johar, the producer of both Kal Ho Naa Ho and Dostana.

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