Listening to:Tum Saanson mein - HDKG (I LUURRVVV THIS SONG!!)
Reading:Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone... what a *yawn* book so far!
Lisa Ray to play lesbian in her next SUBHASH K JHA
Films about life on the other side of the line of sexuality are fast gaining momentum, as a spin-off effect effect of Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. Now, author Shamim Sarif whose novels include the award-winning The World Unseen, is all set to direct a film Can't Think Straight which is based on the sensitive theme of lesbianism.
Sarif, who is of Indian origin, was born in the UK. She spent a large chunk of her growing years in South Africa and now resides in London with her same-sex partner Hanan.
An interesting off-shoot of alternate sexuality's emergence from the closet is the Indian participation in the phenomenon. Shamim is planning her film with Lisa Ray in the lead.
Even more interestingly Can't Think Straight will have an Indian director of photography too, in Aseem Bajaj. Aseem who has just finished shooting a comedy, Gol Maal, says, “When Shamim Sarif approached me to shoot her film I wasn't too sure initially. She was making a film on the sensitive issue of lesbianism. But I'm impressed by her work, she's a sensitive writer. I'm sure she'll make a sensistive film on alternate sexuality. As a cinematographer, this project offers me a challenge.” When contacted, Lisa Ray confirmed that she is in talks for a role in Can't Think Straight.
Ok, I have to confess, this article's garnered my attention. Not that I've ever read any of Shamim Sarif's books. Hell, I didn't even know she existed until today... (which is a very shameful confession from a self-professed bibliophile). But a movie on "alternate sexuality" almost always catches my interest. And if it is going to star the "oomph if she breathes" Lisa Ray, I'm definitely all ear (and eyes). But even though Lisa Ray is a great looker and what more could I want then to have my ultimate fantasy () of seeing her in such a movie, I have to admit that she is not a great actress. Besides, she is hardly a mainstream Bollywood actress. By all accounts, she is more Canadian in her resume than she is Indian. Which immediately states the fact that even though it's going to have Indian (or half-Indian as the case may be) artists behind it, the movie's going to get ignored as another off-beat movie by Bollywood. What I would have liked is a more Bollywood-ish actress playing the lead role (or one of the lead roles). My absolute favored choice would be Urmila Matondkar. Why? She's "in" Bollywood. She's an honored performer in this generation of actresses. She is gutsy when choosing her movies and seems to have diverted away from the commercial stream. Having her in the movie would create waves globally. And did I mention she's a pretty thing? Plus, she does rise much higer than Ms. Ray in terms of acting. And I also recall reading somewhere that she is not opposed to the idea of having "movies like Brokeback Mountain" in Bollywood as long as they are treated with sensitivity. I suppose what she means by "sensitivity" is not having homosexuality used for vulgar humor (hello Bobby Darling) or tiltillation (remember Girlfriend?) purposes. I would assume that Ms. Sarif would handle it with the utmost delicacy, considering her books are award-winners and highly accoladed. But I can also imagine why Urmila would refrain from herself acting in such movies. The VHPs and many such religious factions, who are always ready with burning torches to flame down theatres whenever their "holy sentiments" are violated, will give her and any mainstream actress a hard time for acting in such roles. Since, one of the most positive and beautiful "lesbian" movies have come from India (namely Fire)... I am still keeping my fingers crossed. If Shabana Azmi had no qualms in playing a same sex lover, I don't see any reason why any other actress (provided they are broad minded enough) should have a difficulty.
However, if for any reason, Ms. Sarif thinks that Lisa Ray would suit the character, then I'm all for it. That way, even if the movie happens to suck (which I hope it won't) I can atleast get my money's worth drooling over Ms. Ray .
Though, by all accounts, I highly doubt the movie will get made. Even if it does, it will just vanish into oblivion, unknown by anyone else but the community interested. What we need is another Brokeback Mountain... this time with two cowgirls. I'm tired of seeing a lesbian plot used only to 1) turn male audiences on or 2) to provide for a psychopathic female killer who's insanely possessive of the woman she loves. I only wish Ms. Sarif can come up with such a script, a huge production house and some notable lead names.