September 25, 2015 11:23:49 am
What do you do when you find out that your elder brother likes boys more than girls? You know, in That way. ‘Timeout’ raises a subject that is usually not tackled with any seriousness in our movies, places it at the heart of the story. For that alone it deserves props.
But its treatment of fourteen-year-old Gaurav’s (Chirag) angst at discovering his ‘bade bhai’ Mihir’s secret, and the latter’s confusion which spills over into school-and-family spheres is strictly amateurish. That takes away from the strength of ‘Timeout’, and makes it less of a statement than it could have been.
Some surprisingly frank things are raised in the film. Mihir, upon seeing his parents’ discomfort , takes a jibe at their ‘fake liberalism’. Now that’s a great thread, and points towards a prevalent ‘we are all okay with everything unless it happens in our own backyard’ philosophy, which remains, still: ‘log kya kahenge’? The mother is seen reading an online entry on ‘How To Fix Your Gay Child’; the father shouts and storms out.
A little more focus on the changing family dynamic, and its eventual outcome would have done this film a world of good. But it gets stuck in the conventions of teenage dating as played out in Delhi’s privileged conclaves, which look as if they take their cues straight from American high-schools. Then there is a music contest, and a basketball game, that takes up a lot of screen time: it’s almost as if there needed to be major padding around the main theme.
Which is being gay, being young, being confused, and wanting support and understanding. It’s great that these issues are being taken up; now for them being done better.
‘Timeout’ cast: Chirag Malhotra, Pranay Pachauri, Riya Kothari, Aditya Jain, Kaamya Sharma, Tarana Marwah
‘Timeout’ director: Rikhil Bahadur
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