You may have raised eyebrows at the picture above, but the director of this scene from the upcoming film, I Am, is confident that you are not in majority anymore.
Filmmaker Onir, who has filmed an elaborate lovemaking sequence between actors Rahul Bose and Arjun Mathur in I Am, is sure that the censors won’t find it a big deal. "It has not been shot in an obscene manner — it just depicts the beauty of the characters’ relationship. The idea is not to highlight the physical aspect but to put the question of homosexuality in proper perspective," says the 41-year-old. "The filming was smooth - the two were thorough professionals and did not show any inhibitions during the shoot," he adds.
Bose, 43, who plays a gay MNC executive in the film, also breaks his silence on the scene for the first time: "If you are attracted to someone, you are bound to kiss that person, I really don’t think there is an issue with it. I have many gay friends and I understand their psyche." He says he instantly agreed to shoot the sequence on being narrated the script. "I never gave it a second thought," he says.
The other actor in the scene, Arjun Mathur, who plays a sex worker in the film, says he fought some hesitation initially, but was quite comfortable by the end of it. He says, "Of course, I went through some anxiety — it’s only natural — but then I decided to push the bar and come out of my comfort zone," and adds, "Our audience has evolved. The scene in the film is not intended for titillation but to portray a simple act of love, and they’re mature enough to know that."
The film won the Best Film award at the recently held London Asian Film festival, and is scheduled to hit theatres in India on April 22.
Gay encounters on Indian celluloid
Dunno Y Na Jaane Kyun (2010): Aryan Vaid and Kapil Sharma play a gay couple who get intimate on screen
Men Not Allowed (2009): A story of two women who fall in love with each other after suffering at the hands of men
My Brother Nikhil (2005): On the stigma against gay lovers
Girlfriend (2004): On the jealousy faced by a lesbian lover
Fire (1998): The Shabana Azmi-Nandita Das starrer explores the relationship of a bride with her sister-in-law.
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Do you think Indian audiences are ready for gay romance on the big screen? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org