"Dostana Tamil Remake, anyone?"

‘Hum gay hain, aur yeh mera boy friend hai, (we are gay and this is my boyfriend),’ says an irked John Abraham in Dostana at Abhishek’s reluctance in declaring their sexuality (although phony) to Priyanka Chopra thereby proclaiming the ‘coming out’ of sorts in a nation full of taboos relating to homosexuality. Dostana thus challenges the eyebrow raising and eye balls rolling lot who shudder at the mere reference of the word gay, with its bold theme. Although the challenge stops right there and the movie deviates its focus to other aspects, Dostana is a daring attempt in a society riddled with pseudo conventionalists.

Gender sensitive issues have always remained in the closet even in movies. The closest Indian cinema ever got towards addressing such issues started with the controversial Deepa Mehta film Fire that talked about the relationship between two women. The other significant movie that focused on homosexuality and AIDS is My Brother Nikhil. Sadly, in a nation of billion creative minds, there are not enough sensible ideas that threw light on

such issues in movies. While Madhur Bandarkar’s hard-hitting Chandni Bar offered a glimpse into the harsh reality, his Page 3 and Fashion featured gay characters since they became significant with the fashion scene. Mahesh Dattani’s Mango Soufflé, a self-proclaimed ‘first gay male film from India’, was another notable venture in that direction.

Homosexuality, meanwhile, became a constant fodder for Kantaben jokes in mainstream movies – a phenomenon that kick started with Kal Ho Na Ho.

As for John, he proclaimed with a wicked smirk in a television interview that if he were gay he would want to date Brad Pitt. Now that’s being a sport. John was cast in a role of Abhi’s boyfriend in Dostana that was shunned by many a high profile Bollywood stars. He also announced that he wouldn’t mind playing a gay role all over again. Although I have no clue if wants the gay characters to be pseudo-gay like it was in Dostana, the mere audacity of the statement is worth considering.

Dostana has almost managed to prove that it is cool to be gay. With liberal dosages of the Friends sitcom and the Adam Sandler starrer ‘I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry’ Dostana is a laugh riot at the end of the day – only with a not-so-straight twist quite unseen in mainstream Bollywood.

So it is not a choice to remain homophobic any longer. When the most popular actors of Bollywood, without a hint of skepticism, play gay characters onscreen what more reassurance does anyone need?

As for a Dostana remake, in a more conventional Tamil scene, it is quite next to impossible. Well, we haven’t quite gotten over Kushboo’s tongue-in-cheek remarks about extra-marital affairs or Mallika Sherawat’s barebacked lace dress that she wore for the Dasavatharam event. Let alone discussing about alternative sexuality.

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