Review: Dostana – Gay bana toh nibhana

Gay is the new buzz word after ‘Obama’ among hep circles these days. We had never even heard of the term till Friends and Will & Grace graced our TV sets. Apparently kids these days seem to know it all at a very young age. It’s a personal choice and we have nothing against it, just so that we clear the air and declare that we aren’t homophobic. Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana pays tribute to the newest in-thing these days. For the first time ever, Heroes aren’t super human or comic caricatures but heroines instead! Why do I say that? Well because they have been roped in to solely do what our leading ladies have been doing for years, show some skin! I must actually rephrase, it’s not some skin but truckloads of it. How else do you explain the camera shying away from the hottest body in B-Town(read Shilpa Shetty) and instead flirt with the curves on John Abraham. Witnessing drops of water trickle down his naked and heavily muscled torso made me sympathize with all the women who had to squirm in their seats as we shamelessly drooled over the customary rain songs of the 90’s!

The catch here being that the men aren’t really gay and only pretend to be so. All this to share a swanky Miami apartment with an incredibly hot Priyanka Chopra. Well I don’t blame them, any hot
man wouldn’t
think twice
any hot blooded man wouldn’t think twice before when it’s about a blisteringly good-looking female! To their defense they decided to play gay assuming that it was an aunty-turned-wannabe-model. When looked upon using a socio-cultural lens and not as a movie, Dostana falls short. At a time when Gay rights are being discussed, all we needed was something to ridicule it. In it’s bid to infuse some laughs into a melodramatic romantic comedy, film resorts to slapstick gags which results in a farce. When you make a whole movie just out of the ‘kanthaben’ gag in Kal Ho Na Ho, you definitely needed a miracle to bail you out. What begins with a racy ‘Shut up & Bounce’ by Shipla Shetty begins to wobble midway and crawls towards the end. The initial gags that have you fall of your seat disappear and you are thrust with endless tributes to films like KKHH and K3G. So like every Karan Johar film we have to have a couple of over-the-top characters and Boman Irani and Kirron Kher do the needful here.

Occasionally you see a flash of brilliance like the take on Bollywoods biggest baddie Gabbar Singh being gay. But that’s where things end as it more seems like a mishmash of comic sequences put together which results in a total disconnect. The director unlike his mentor doesn’t have the ability to tie everything despite their shortcomings with an emotional thread. It’s foolish to look for love corners in this romantic rectangle when three people seem to trying to woo a man. With glaring loopholes in the screenplay, Abhishek and John seem more a couple than with Priyanka when they take her out separately. My guess is that it’s a secret ploy to underline the supposed gayness of the characters, and they were so lost in playing gay that the lack of chemistry shows with a woman! You actually sympathize with Kirron Kher at a point when she realizes that her son is gay and accepts the couple. To maintain the tempo of the film it’s shown as a hammy comic element while she is in a dilemma to accept a daughter-in-law or a son-in-law.

The movie hits the cheesiest note when John proclaims that if he had no chosen to act gay, he wouldn’t have found two of his best friends. i failed to understand if it was a message to the masses or just some bad writingmessage to the masses or just some bad writing. Compound this to the fact that people have been coming out of the closet after watching the movie doesn’t stand a testimonial to the fact that it’s still taboo in the country. If it was supposed to be a sentimental scene and evoke some response from the crowd then I’m sorry for it just seemed like another run of the mill story churned out with some novelty. My friend Munna Mobile however has some very contrasting views, he apparently made it big at the black market with this movie. We therefore let him take the stage and beat an already dead horse.

Ah Maxu, critical as ever! When will you learn to step out of the world of classy page 3 talk and mix with the masses. You forgot the biggest message that the movie has taught all you grad students in the US. Those pursuing the etchwonbee fruit or the ones stuck in the residency process will have to fear no more. You can get your residency in a year, all you have to do is declare that you are gay. Well if Karan johar is to believed then this is the easiest route apart from getting married and some other practices that can’t be mentioned here!

Apparently the lines for gay couples are shorter and so is the waiting period. I wonder how the homophobic and conservative people who opposed to Proposition Eight(Shouldn’t it be six?) let this one slip through! But then Dostana comes to our rescue and teaches us immigrants some new lessons! The process is all very simple, just peek into each others urinal while the immigration officer is watching. Then the officer will pay you a visit to verify if the two of you live as a couple. All you have to do is to dance to this song and break your nuts. You wouldn’t need then anyways so it’s really worth the ordeal. it’s quite easy for desi dudes as they all eat,live and wash their chaddies together to save quarters. Who ever knew that residency was this easy! However don’t take our word for it and get some legal confirmation else it’s gonna be a pain in the ass. Who am I kidding, It’s anyways a pain in the ass!

You are surely bound to dislike the film if you look for technicalities, logic and characterization. I’m sure there may have been a few who even went to research if the immigration laws were as described above! it’s as futile as analyzing why should one sarkay liyo the khatiyaanalyzing why should one sarkay liyo the khatiya because you are feeling jada. If you are lost then this may refresh your memory. Leave your brains at home and enjoy the ROFL moments as the director spoofs sequences from the Johar stables. Be it the love story in the scenic locales of Venice or the customary saas-bahu welcome sequence, they all have gyaness stamped upon them. What if the movie drags at times, doesn’t it pick itself up with some supreme comic timing? If you want to argue that Bobby Deol was the biggest mistake and the worst choice to pass of as a smooth suave and debonair boss, go ahead. But why ignore the fact that two of the hottest dudes in the business grace the screen and god, let’s not even talk of the hot long legs! The worst possible way to spoil the experience is to put on the intelligent glasses on, for it’s better to be blind in such a case. There have been certain sections of the society attacking the film and stating that it was cheap in taste and highly insensitive. Such comments make me wonder which film they are talking about for this atleast seems pretty sane.

It was actually refreshing to see something different that then standard portrayal of homosexual men in Hindi cinema. They have always been stereotyped and caricatured as lusty predators who just can’t seem to keep their hands of other men. Another popular belief is that all gay men act effeminate, change their gait and blow kisses into the air. This was badly abused in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion which showed all designers as lady-like gay men, Incidentally both movies star Priyanka Chopra. Wonder how it would have been to be surrounded by co-stars trying to play gay in two movies simultaneously! Though Abhishek and John pretend to be gay they behave like normal human beings barring a dream sequence and the ‘Maa da ladla’ song. The dream sequence in Venice wherein they narrate their so-called love story has Abhishek acting all girlie-girlie and blowing kisses into the air, but then they were only spoofing the cinematic formulae of running around trees. To the defense of the ‘Maa da ladla’ song, it’s a figment of Kirron Khers imagination and hence the feminism. The movie is brainless, bubblegummy and full of fluff, so what I say? Think of it as watching ‘Haseena Maan jayegi’ and enjoy the foolishness and ensuing cacaphony. At the end of three hours, you sure won’t feel like asking for your money back!