There was a time in Bollywood where gay characters were written in the scripts to only be treated as humour elements. But now the time has changed and so has the law ! The recent years has witnessed path-breaking Bollywood LGBTQ movies where artists portrayed LGBTQ roles with earnest interests.
Here is a list of Bollywood LGTBQ movies and the actors who showed their craftsmanship by admirably playing LGBT roles.
Margarita with a straw
Starring Kalki Koechlin, the film tells the story of a quadriplegic young lesbian coming to terms with her sexuality and her relationship with her mother who also finally accepts her daughter as she is.
My Brother Nikhil
This movie gained media attention for being the first movie to deal with topics such as AIDS in LGBT community. Starring Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri, the film tells the story of a young Nikhil, a swimming champion, who is removed from the team due to his sexuality. His parents disown him. Only his sister supports him. He moves in with his partner. Eventually he is diagnosed with HIV. Nikhil struggles in the last few days and finally passes away. His parents realize the mistake they did by not accepting the son for who is and finally accept his son’s partner as a member of their family
Ajeeb Dastan (Bombay Talkies)
Director Karan Johar’s segment in the celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema met with widespread acclaim for the accurate depiction of homosexuals in the society. The movie gained attention for a liplock scene between Saqib Saleem and Randeep Hooda. Also starring Rani Mukherji in a pivotal role, the movie tells the story of an openly gay journalist (played by Saqib), who realizes that her colleague Gayathri’s (Rani) husband Randeep is gay and this is the reason he does not show interest in her. The movie depicts the state of Indian society where the guy is forced to hide his sexuality and marry a girl and the impact it leaves on the girl when she is frustrated that her husband does not seem to be interested in her. She assumes it is her fault though it is her husband who is putting her through this misery.
The biographical drama by Hansal Mehta, is based on a true story of Ramchandra Siras, a gay professor at Aligarh Muslim University, this film was shrouded in controversy and was banned in the city of Aligarh.
The first Indian Silent LGBTQ film, it is set in Mumbai and follows two young men who regularly take the same local train home. Both young men are shy and try to mouth their feelings for each other but are unable to do so.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
The first collaboration between real-life father and daughter Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga is the first Bollywood film to feature a lesbian relationship. The screenplay of the film was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its library’s core collection.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
A sequel of sorts to ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ (2017), a sleeper hit about a man battling erectile dysfunction. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar, the film underlines the topic of homosexuality via humour. Teetering on safe lines, we hope it kickstarts a rather powerful conversation around homosexuality in the 21st century India, where bias is still prevalent.