After Tarun Mansukhanis humourous take on homosexuality in Dostana,now look out for director Parvati Balagopalans Straight- Ek Tedhi Medhi Love Story.
Filmmaker Parvati Balagopalan,40,says shes always been fascinated by human relationships
portrayed in films. Every film,whatever the genre,explores relationships in some form, she says. Balagopalan made her debut film in 2003 with a quirky,fun film about a teenagers love life,Rules-Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula,starring Milind Soman. Six years later she hopes to rekindle the magic with Straight…,starring Vinay Pathak,Gul Panag and newcomer Siddharth Makkar. Its been an extended sabbatical from films, admits Balagopalan,who began her career assisting Ketan Mehta in films like Maya Memsaab (1993) and wrote screenplay for Oh Darling Yeh Hai India (1995). But it was TV that attracted her as she produced several serials after that. Off late,Ive been busy producing TV serials and wrapping up my home production with Milind Soman called Phir Zindagi.
Straight..,releases third-week of March. 99 per cent of India is homophobic. I thought it would be a great connect, reasons the graduate from Delhis Jamia Millia University. The film stars Vinay Pathak (Pinu Patel) in the lead as a 40-year-old virgin who owns a fancy Indian restaurant called Gaylords in Central London. One day it dawns on him that he might be gay and the film takes an interesting turn as Patel ventures on to the frightening path of self-discovery and falling in love for the first time. Though the film has homosexuality at its core,Balagopalan wanted to be ethical in the treatment of the subject. We did not want to make a film about homophobia. The issue is more to do with not perpetuating stereotypes. Humour makes us engage in subjects which we may not ordinarily relate to and hopefully the humour in the film will engage audiences with Pinu Patel – its okay if they laugh at his fears as long as they can make the same journey from repulsion to acceptance, she says.
While films have been made on such topics in the recent past (Fashion and Dostana) Balagopalan felt gay characters have always been stereo-typed in films. I thought this was distasteful but its great that gay characters have become part of main stream narratives, she says.