Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chitrangada (Bengali/English)

'Chitrangada' is very small story in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Born a girl but raised as a boy and a warrior, she falls in love with warrior prince Arjun, when she sees him. But she knows that he won't love her back since he thinks of her as a woman. She then gets a boon from the Hindu God of Love and transforms into a beautiful feminine woman. This short story serves as a backdrop for this film directed by ace director Rituparno Ghosh also acting in the film.

Rudra or Rudi is a dance drama director and is working on adaptation of the story of Chitrangada on stage. He is gay and everyone knows it. One ay , the lead actress of the play introduces Rudra to Partho, a drug junkie but also a percussionist player. Rudra has instant attraction for Partho and hires him. Their love starts and blooms. There are various occasions of heartaches but they both stick to each other. Rudra's parents though very conservative, have no choice but to accept whatever is going on. One ay discussing about their future, Partho and Rudra start talking about children and the fact that the law of the country doesn't allow them to adopt a kid. Rudi comes up with the idea of getting a sex change operation so that they can legally be a male-female couple, live happily and eventually adopt. Partho dismisses the idea but Rudi is hell bent to go with it. His parents are shocked when they hear about it but like before, there is nothing much they can do about it. Rudi starts undergoing a series of surgeries starting with breast implants. He starts feeling Partho being a little recluse. Partho is now seeing a girl and still has not given up on drugs. His argument is if he was interested in a woman, he would rather go for a real woman rather than a synthetic one. Rudi is heart broken and starts seeing a counselor in the hospital to make sure if he really wants to go through with the surgery. They have some very good discussions and the night before the final surgery, Rudra decides to back to being how he was (remove implants) and accept the body that the God provided him.

This is a film which discusses the gender transformation, same sex relationships, crossing of minds and bodies mentally, emotionally and psychologically. For Indian cine-goers this movie is even more interesting because the director who also plays the role of Rudy is going through something similar in his real life. He is gay and there have bee noticeable changes in his body with rumors about sex change rumors. Many believe that this is his semi autobiography, which I don't find hard to believe. That aside, I will try to review the film in its entirety. It has not very well explained, what is it about Partho that attracts Rudra towards him. Honestly, there is nothing but then love is blind. And if Partho was actually straight (or maybe bi), why did he get attracted to Rudi. Was it just because he wanted someone stable to take care of him. Like when he asks Partho. "Will you suffer for me?". The reason for Rudi to go for a sex change operation is not justified enough. It seems using children as an excuse, Rudra just always wanted to be a woman. Dealing with 'inner-self' is also a major crux of the film which comes in form of Subho, the counselor, who actually never even existed. The journey of self-identification and belief, is crucial to lift the problem from sexual orientation to gender identity. Rudra in the end did understand that the sex change will not change the gender or his sexual orientation. Hence the betrayal of Partho doesn’t affect the soul since in Partho’s rejection of the physical sexual organs lies the bigger betrayal of not recognizing Rudra’s gender identification of his own. Partho's role has been played very well. Rituparno is an excellent and marvelous director but how I wish I could say the same about his acting. It i snot bad but it looks made-up for some reason. It doesn't natural like others in the film. All the scenes with parents and discussions are very very well done and really make you think hard.

I know this is along review, but being Indian myself, there are a lot of places where I was able to connect with this film and hence it needed more time and space for my thoughts. Do catch this film but be patient because this is gonna need a lot of it. (7.5/10)


Amy said...

Hi, even though you have mentioned Memories in March, it has not been included in your blog. Have you watched Arekti Premer Golpo, by the same director? It's a wonderful movie.

Golu said...

I must have missed reviewing those films here. But yes i have seen both Memories and Arekti. Brilliant films i have to agree