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.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Frangipani (Sinhalese)

YAY!  Asian countries are finally making a mark and finding their foothold in the queer film industry. This film is the first LGBT film from Sri Lanka. Having recently visited the country, I was so looking forward to seeing this film. For a first of its kind in the country, I quite liked this passionate, diverse, loving and thought-provoking film. I, for some reason, was expecting a blunder but this story of friendship and love while exploring sexuality and identity was quite charming. It doesn’t mean it did not have its share of hiccups but we can talk al about it later.

This film is a sort of love triangle. Sarasi is a string, wealthy girl who doesn’t want a traditional wedding in a arranged way. She falls for her childhood best friend Chamath. Chamath, on his part years for freedom from his family, to be himself. Enter a handsome young mechanic Nalin and sparks fly between everyone. Chamath and Nalin end up hooking up with each other on the day he is getting engaged to Sarasi. This is what Chamath had been waiting for and the two boys instantly fall in love with each other, thereby, breaking off the engagement and souring the childhood friendship between Sarasi and Chamath. Chamath leaves his village and joins a fashion class. Nalin, now is not very sure because he is not comfortable being openly gay (Something which Chamath is now comfortable with). Sarasi and Nalin end up marrying and when news reaches Chamath, he tries to commit suicide. This is when Nalin realizes that he cannot take out Chamath from his heart but is now also responsible for his wife who son becomes pregnant. The couple has cracks in their relationship because Sarasi now suspects that Nalin is gay. Nalin occasionally still meets  Chamath but neither is sure where this is leading to. Chamath now is a cross dresser and doesn’t want to live a li and Nalin is still not ok accepting him this way. They both realize that the two have ultimately grown apart over the years. Sarasi’s daughter grows up and eventually the trio meet after many years, trying to forget the bitter past and lead a new happy and healthy life.

First thing we all should know is that, legally being gay is still illegal in Sri Lanka and police can arrest and prosecute homosexual people. If found guilty, they can be imprisoned up to eight years. So, this alone makes choosing a subject like this very interesting. But the execution of the script gets a bit complicated every now and then. The movie keeps jumping in future for no reason, thereby creating confusion for the viewers. But knowing the culture closely of the country, I can empathize with the characters and the behaviors they exhibit and why. One good thing about the film is that it never goes over the top. It stays grounded and subtle with exceptionally good performances by every actor. Being gay is still quite a battle. I think the film can use a bit of crisper editing and better lighting and I am sure this film can do exceptionally well in film circuits and festivals. This film offers something fresh and original and reminds us all that in South Asian context, the very basic lack of understanding the nuances of human sexuality makes life so much more harder.

Frangipani proves that gay relationships are often just as complicated as straight relationships, despite whatever the feelings of their surrounding society may be. Strongly recommended. (7/10)


Luigi C said...

Considering the law , as You well pointed out , this movie is like a fairy tale ; may be made just to be seen abroad. Nice personages , well acted , according their standard.
Nothing to do with the painting of "lion's rock", of course :-))) , but , yes to be seen . Thanks for the time You devote to our passion . Hugs from Italy.

Luigi C said...

Sorry for bothering you in the wrong place: I've watched the icelandic " Rift"with spanish subs. I need your help to understand what seen. Was the ex boy friend just his projection and he was killed by the father ( an old man) ? Thanks if you can answer .Luigi c.

Golu said...

hey.. I dont think I have seen that film. In fact I haven't even heard of it. Can you tell me more details about it?

And thanks again for the lovely words like always

Luigi C said...

This movie is distributed by " breaking glass" ,and is an Icelandic production , like " Oroi/ Jitters , .My e/m is may be I will send U , in private , the link . Thanks