Vijay Raaz as trans woman in Gangubai Kathiawadi sparks debate among fans: 'Transpeople don't get a chance'

Feb 05, 2022 02:24 PM IST

Actor Vijay Raaz's portrayal of a trans woman in Gangubai Kathiawadi has sparked debate online. While some fans wonder why a trans person wasn't hired for the role, others called Vijay the right choice.

The first trailer for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi released on Friday to a great reaction from fans. Alia Bhatt raked in applause for her performance as the feisty madam of a brothel as did her co-star, Vijay Raaz

Vijay Raaz plays Razia in Gangubai Kathiawadi.
Vijay Raaz plays Razia in Gangubai Kathiawadi.

Vijay plays Gangubai's rival Razia Bai in the movie. A few scenes from the movie show Razia trying to intimidate Gangu, telling her to back off from Kamathipura.

Fans have been raving about Vijay's performance since the trailer drop. “After watching this trailer one thing has been proved that Vijay Raaz is one of the best actors in our times. His entry really gives goosebumps,” wrote one. “Everyone's acting is brilliant but Vijay Raj just stands out for me. I mean the way he portrays the character is just brilliant,” wrote another.

“Let's take a moment to appreciate Vijay Raj. What an actor, every role he do, he just nailed it. One of the finest actors but yet to get the name that he deserves. And every single actor in this movie has done a tremendous job. Sure sure must watch movie,” wrote another fan.

However, not everyone is on board with a cis-gender person once again nabbing a transperson's role. “Can Bollywood stop casting cis/straight people as transsexual characters, please? It's 2022 already and I am pretty sure that there is enough talent in this country where an actual transsexual can portray a transsexual character,” a person wrote in a tweet. The conversation moved to Reddit as well, where fans debated if Vijay was the right choice. 

“If it was any other actor apart from Vijay Raaz, for eg - Varun or Ranveer, people would've taken down the internet claiming to cast a Trans-person. But, since it's an accomplished, well-liked actor, everyone is defending him. I guess who you are casting also makes a difference in these roles,” read a comment. Another person countered it by saying, “I don’t think that’s the correct way to look at it. By that logic, Vijay Raaz can play the lead role in this movie better than Alia or most female actors so why didn’t they cast him? The point here is about the representation of an economically and socially marginalized community.”

“It's about representation and opportunities, trans people are a minority and are hardly shown in media, they don't get a chance to play even the roles written about them,” wrote another.

Also read: Abhishek Kapoor talks about not casting transgender actor in Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui: 'This fascination is incorrect'

Recently, Vaani Kapoor played a trans woman in Abhishek Kapoor's Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. Both of them had to field questions about the casting choice during film promos as well.

In an interview with Indian Express, Abhishek argued, “We went through many avenues and there was a thought about casting a trans person but you know I find everyone is so fascinated just by actors. Why is it that everything is legitimised by an actor? Why can’t a trans person write the film? Why can’t a trans person direct the film? First of all, this fascination is incorrect. Films are not made by actors, they are made by filmmakers and writers. Eventually, there is a representation by an individual actor but I try to see above this because there is a story to be told. You have to reach out to people at large by taking the story to them and I thought this is the best way to take this story there. When you talk to someone, you have to talk to them in their language.”

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