Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pankh - The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Everyone is talking about Pankh - the movie with the Gay Kiss. That kiss is supposed to be India's first proper male-to-male kiss on the big screen. I can definitely understand why it is such a big deal. After all, it is supposed to bring about awareness about homosexuality and bring it out of the closet, at least to some extent. That and the fact that the gay community (me!) find it hot to see regular movies with gay kisses.

Gay Kiss in Pankh

Unfortunately, this fuss is being raised only by the media, and we know that they always want to bring spiciest masala to the masses. Just another movie with a new director is no news. But a male to male kiss? Now there's stuff that will catch some attention and controversy. The makers of the movie are playing it safe though. The way the whole thing is coming about makes me feel there's some hard PR machine at work. First they release the "scoop" about the supposedly gay kiss. The media gets it hands on the pictures a few days later and then the directors deny it being a gay kiss at all. It is part of the plot where the lead actor is mistaken for a girl and is kissed by his friend. Be that as it may, I'm certainly happy that there's a real kiss on the screen (ok, so they were acting, but you know what I mean!). Unlike Dostana where the supposed kiss never took place, here we can certainly look forward to the real one.

Gay Kiss in Pankh

The question that I want to ask is, Is this a movie about homosexuality? or is it just gender confusion? The director has said that the lead actor is confused about his sexuality. So will it be safe to assume that everything at the end of the movie will be "normal"...meaning he will go the hetero way and all and sundry will be happy? Will that be it Mr. Chattopadhyaya? Is that how your art-house-like movie ends? Or will you be radical enough to end it with him accepting that being gay is normal too and that there is no need to be confused or saddened about it? Or will you choose the chicken-route of leaving it ending artistically ambiguously so that you can be termed radical without having to make your movie gay?

I wish I could get answers to these questions directly. But considering the readership of this blog probably extends to 3 guys (and one of them is me) I am not expecting any. The way the publicity of the movie is being handled, it seems like it is more about Bipasha Basu than the story or the other actors. I can understand how that's an unavoidable evil of the movie making business. She's the bankable star and her whims needs to be catered to. I just hope that the story of the movie itself doesn't do that too.

Here are some more posters and stills from the movie.




Director Sudipto Chattopadhyaya with Bipasha Basu

Sudipto Chattopadhyaya - Pankh

Lead actor Maradona Rebello

Maradona Rebello - Pankh


Sudipto said...

Dear Mayan,
I read your blog and appreciate your concern. Trust you me my film will not have a namby pamby ending as you perceive.My film is being hijacked into the homosexual space just because of an odd picture printed out of context.Please refer to my interview in Indian Express on 20th June for my clarification(you can google it --kiss and tell indian express. I hope you see the film when it is released and form an opinion after that.
Warm Regards,
Sudipto Chattopadhyay

Big Boy Mayan said...

Wow! Can you really be the real Sudipto Chattopadhyay replying to my post within an hour of publishing it?

I have read that article in Indian Express (for those who haven't, here is the link: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kiss-&-tell/478746/)

If you really are the real Mr. Chattopadhyay, then please tell me this: Can you actually blame the media for the terming that picture as a homosexual kiss with the excuse of it being taken out of context? Did you really think that that was not going to happen after the picture was out?

Surely you cannot be that naive? I'm not part of the media or showbiz but even I could have seen that happening.

I certainly keep an open mind about things and didn't for once was perceiving your movie to end with a "namby pamby" ending. I was just wondering aloud whether you will give us something new, something that will be close to reality or something that the silver screen does when the commercial aspects outweigh the artistic ones. Just wondering which way it will go.


Chetan said...

When is this movie releasing?