So, when I read Maulik Pancholy’s The Best At It (full disclosure: sent to me by the Indian team at Harper Collins), it transported me back to a time when I was about the same age as the protagonist, Rahul. A lot of Rahul’s experiences seem to indicate quintessential ‘brown’ diaspora and queer culture (and the intersection of the two).
Jon is addicted to porn, he shows all the signs of an addict. He spends hours browsing pornography websites, is unsatisfied with real life sex, cannot have stable relationships, mastrubates an unhealthy amount any time of the day and night (probably why I didn’t realise his job as a bartender for most of the movie), feels guilty about it because he confesses to the priest at church but continues doing it anyway.
‘The Song We Sang’ is not a grand or iconic cinematic depiction of Queerness, but it surely is the most beautiful 21-minutes of winessing two, independent, young, Queer women cross each other’s path, eventually growing fonder by the passing night.
Even though some cinematic elements are compromised, His Storyy tables human issues in a relationship and family beautifully.
In its introduction, Kirpal writes that the law is woven intricately with all of our lives in ways we don’t seem to fully imagine. He also affirms that “the Constitution has become a document embodying all that is aspirational in the Indian imagination,” transferring much-needed hope and confidence to its interpretation by the judicial system in contemporary times.
Seemingly insignificant interactions in the short film speak volumes about the queer experience, specifically Kamble’s, with each one wittily adding depth to the viewer’s understanding of this overarching theme.
Ghaywan’s film Geeli Pucchi catches you off-guard as you emerge, a little disoriented, from the first two films in this anthology, making it a little difficult to comment on it in isolation, with any amount of objectivity or distance, and it stands out particularly starkly in this otherwise abominable line-up.
The writers of Disenchantment have been hinting at Bean being queer since the second season, but it is in the episode titled ‘The Last Splash’ that we get to see her experience a genuine connection with another character. So far, Bean’s life has been about casual encounters and last-minute hook-ups, but this episode gives her an actual romantic arc without making it sappy or pretending that ‘this was what was missing all along’.
A voice in my head said: It’s a review; tell what you’ve read. Ask them to buy this book if you liked it, or ask them to stay away from it. The other one said, inspired by Joan Didion: If you’re not sure about this paragraph, place it in the middle; no one will notice it. Who knows what people do and do not notice, anyway?
The novel is a coming-of-age story which explores their sexual awakening. Ari and Dante incidentally meet at the swimming pool and become friends as Dante teaches Ari how to swim. The two are poles apart but find a middle ground for their bond to grow further.
Each episode is titled after pioneering works of feminist literature. Episode three, ‘The Colour Purple’, is particularly interesting because a direct connection is made to the theme of abuse from Alice Walker’s renowned book.
The story-telling arc of the song resonates with the idea of “catharsis” in literature, both, as the layman understands it, as well as in terms of the understanding Aristotle seemed to have.
Together, Rumii and Miyaa discover each other and love. Through confusion, passion, longing and romance, the protagonists learn to unlearn. Ultimately, the book reads like their relationship held a mirror to the realities of their lives.
The book, although labeled as a business book, reads like part memoir and part manifesto. Shahani doesn’t throw words and concepts in the air, but rather explains them through real-life experience which makes it more believable and practical.
‘The Married Woman’ depicts the journey of Aastha’s emancipation through queer love. Although she doesn’t take the complete flight of freedom, there are many small empowering moments.
It would be a sin to talk about ‘Euphoria’ without praising its cinematography, which is carefully planned by Marcell Rév, André Chemetoff, Drew Daniels and Adam Newport-Berra. Cinematography becomes the most essential means to drive the ‘emotional realism’ of the show as Marcell Rév puts it.
The 28-minute film dives deep into the lives of five Queer Sikhs living in India. Produced with a budget of 2,000 USD, the money was raised via a crowdfunding campaign that met its goal within 10 days of its launch, said Sukhdeep Singh, the director of the film.
What is surprising is that male sexuality in the film is represented as frozen and obscene in contrast to the eroticism and intimacy of the two women. It's because the director shows sexuality as a tool of domination. The male gaze is shown as an unwelcome voyeurism and lacks an understanding of women.
The trailer puts an effort to acquaint viewers with Ridhi Dogra's character Astha, an educated woman who appears to be on a quest to find herself. Astha is a loving wife, and a servile mother, but she finds herself at a crossroad as soon as she encounters the unorthodox and unusual artist Peeplika, played by Monica Dogra.
The sexual tension between the two is filled with the threat of Villanelle crossing the line, taking some extremely dangerous step that knocks out anyone in reach - constantly keeping the viewers at the edge of their seat.