Because perfect desi families have those tiny, little kinks and flaws.
Because perfect siblings fight.
And because a perfect son can be gay.
In the backdrop of beautiful scenery of hills and greenery, comes this movie covering a wide range of that one not-so-perfect Indian family. Meet the Kapoors, Mr. Amarjeet Kapoor – a 90 something army retired Grandpa who knows how to have fun, Mr. and Mrs. Kapoor who seem to have lost the spark over the years and the two sons in USA- Rahul and Arjun Kapoor – who come back to visit once their grandpa has a heart attack. Rahul Kapoor, played by Fawad Khan, is the quintessential responsible son who is successful, owns a business and is the apple of his parent’s eyes. As pointed out not so subtly later by Mrs. Kapoor, he is her perfect bacha (son). Arjun Kapoor, the other son, played by Sidharth Malhotra, is initially portrayed to be the not so successful, second best, the not so serious other son.As the movie progress and cracks begin to appear in the family, the film beautifully encompasses the complex dynamics of this family, the secrets, the betrayals, the flaring angers as well as the familial bond of love which binds everyone together. Sounds familiar? Well, because it is. Yet, there is something different about this movie which makes you sit through the entire movie (even the corny songs).
At the crescendo of the chaos, the discovery of the unfaithfulness of the father, the mother discovers the photographs of her “perfect” son with his partner who is a guy. In the midst of the emotional whirlwind with eventual tragedy resulting in Mr. Kapoors’ death, Fawad Khan and Ratna Pathak paint an unprecedented and honest mother-son dynamic. While, the very talented Ratna beautifully plays the role of a widow and a mother in shock upon discovery of one of her son’s sexuality, one who has driven her other son away; Fawad very eloquently portrays the son, at one point saying, “Main perfect bacha ban ke thak gaya hoon”. The character played by him is a far leap from the stereotypical and often comical and ridiculed gay men in Bollywood. Even when coming out to his brother, he is shown as someone at peace with his sexuality.
The wonderful part is that all of this tension and emotional drama is relatable for plethora of desi LGBT men and women. Towards the end, the mother-son duo are again shown in a very intense setting, with the mother, while nervously fidgeting, asking his son that how his “friend” is. To some it might be a moment of acceptance, to other’s a mother just trying to make the best of a situation but one certainly cannot deny that it played at the heartstrings of the audience.
So, is this just a one-time wonder or can we hope such positive portraits of LGBT characters in future as well? Only time will tell. The crew and the scriptwriters must be applauded for this representation. Meanwhile the movie has garnered a wonderful 8.5/10 rating on IMDB.