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Dostana: Gayer Than Gay

16 Nov

dostana

Who knew a movie about a couple of homophobic assholes could be this entertaining? Not me!

Meet Kunal (John Abraham). He bounces around the beach in teeny weeny (well, let’s hope not) yellow trunks that he feels compelled to adjust every couple of minutes whilst flexing his muscles and re-enacting the Ursula Andress/Halle Berry scene from the James Bond franchise, thus creating what is perhaps one of the best opening credits of a Hindi movie. Meet Sameer (Abhishek Bachchan). He drives a flaming pink convertible, wears ghastly tropical print shirts and works as a nurse because nursing is all about giving hot chicks sponge baths. All this means the two of them are screaming heteros.

Unfortunately, this won’t land them the apartment of their dreams – currently owned by Neha (Priyanka Chopra) who lives her life according to the moral dictates of her long-dead parents – so they decide to throw their arms around each other and mince into her life. Because her parents practiced the sort of conservatism that would have frowned at their daughter sharing an apartment with hetero males but would have been totally down with gay couples.

dostana4

As you can imagine, this does not end well.

However! It’s fairly entertaining to see things go down the crapper. Of course, if you’re in the least bit sensitive to LGBT issues, it might help you to keep in mind that this is not a movie about two gay men. It’s about two straight Indian men who are clearly freaked out by their little charade and have no idea how to make it work other than by drawing on stereotypes. Nowhere is this more evident than in the cringe-inducing scene where the main cast prances around the living room with Boman Irani (as a bitchy old queen) and the most inappropriately effete immigration officer ever. Kunal and Sam ruminate on what it means to be homosexual and decide to “think like women, act like men” before running out with their pinkies raised and dancing to Beedi jalaile.

dostana2

Thankfully, though, things aren’t always that bad in gay Miami. Sam’s fevered imagining of the origins of his and Kunal’s love story is just as cliche-ridden (they even dress up in sailor suits!) but thoroughly hilarious nonetheless. And the all-too-brief appearance of Kiron Kher as The Maa is one of the best bits. And in a surely unintended bit of irony, the boys are never so gay as when they’re being all hetero and lovey-dovey. Or maybe scrapbooking and watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hai are part of the Indian meterosexual awakening?

But really, by far the biggest problem with Dostana is that it’s the tale of two outsize jerks and when the movie starts asking you to feel their pain, you want to run out and get a couple of thumbscrews to up the ante, no matter what their sexual orientation. In fact, by the end of the movie, they’re so fucking evil in their “Duh! But we be hot, what be problem?” way, that you end up feeling more sympathetic towards the rest of the cast than their performances actually warranted. Bobby Deol, in particular, wins simply by existing as a foil to these two.

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Can I also mention, as a film buff, how much I appreciate the efforts of Bobby Deol and AB Jr. who find ever more ingenious methods of discussing Sholay in pop-culturally relevant terms? The only thing I really liked about Jhoom Barabar Jhoom was the homage to Sholay which (intentionally or unintentionally) fed into all those “The Forbidden Love of Jai and Veeru” theories and now we have this movie. Well done, sirs!

And now, in lieu of a Dostana clip and in honor of the protest marches yesterday, I leave you with this clip of Dan Savage who is an actual gay man.

[for Raja who is clearly an evolved Indian male]

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15 Comments

Posted by on November 16, 2008 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Review, Video

 

15 responses to “Dostana: Gayer Than Gay

  1. A Cynic in Wonderland

    November 17, 2008 at 9:20 am

    There was one very pertinent question which was asked about hot landlady tho – as to why she spends all her time with gay fellows. Seems to have used all the possible cliches eh? Sad really.

     
  2. naren

    November 17, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I shall watch this movie at the earliest. By the way, at the risk of many women and some men putting me on their hit lists, don’t you think John Abraham looks a bit like Mr. Bean?

     
  3. M

    November 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    You know, I think JA, despite my “normal” love of eye candy, is heading into boring – at least for me – isn’t he usually half-nekkid in most of his recent movies?

    I am hoping to see this movie purely for the promised “fun” – so hopefully the fact that the guys are idiots won’t bother me…

    M

     
  4. rads

    November 17, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Naren: when I meet you, I kill you, if nobody hasn’t gotten to you by then.

    Okay, now Amrita shall kill me coz all I can think of at the end of this very well written post is: that John’s body is drool-worthy, and AB’s is very handsome looking, and I wonder if PC has done a boob job! 😐

     
  5. terri

    November 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Aiyyo, where is John’s left hand traveling in the promo poster? And he’s winking while he’s at it? Such a sight should carry a NSFHWLK (Not Safe for Home with Little Kids) tag.

     
  6. Amey

    November 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Film “buff”? A bit Freudian given the pic above, don’t you think? 😉

    That pink chevvy seared my eyes even through a ok-quality youtube video.

     
  7. Hades

    November 18, 2008 at 3:07 am

    …he feels compelled to adjust every couple of minutes

    The scene where John gets out of bed with one buttock in display IS THE WORST SCENE IN INDIAN FILM HISTORY!

    How dare they? Would they show a woman’s butt? NOOOO! Cause that’s against Indian culture. Would they show two gay women? NOOO! Cause that’s against Indian Culture!

    I mean where’s the bloody Shiv Sena when you need it?

     
  8. Amrita

    November 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Cynic – are you talking about the auntie? because i thought it was cool how down she was with the whole “baby-log” thing. if you mean Priyanka then check back tomorrow for my post.

    Naren – wash your mouth out with soap! RIGHT NOW. However, Mr. Bean is married to a desi auntie.

    M – there’s plenty of fun, esp in the first half. After that there’s this plot point that bugged the hell out of me so I can’t say. And JA should just walk about naked all the time. One of the things this movie did right was to give the bulk of the dialogues to AB.

    Rads – No I think she just has a stuffed blouse. 😀

    Terri – wouldn’t you like to find out? 😉 And hey, the kids need to find these things out sometime, they might as well find it out via hotness.

    Amey – you should see the thing on widescreen. I think it’s a new type of stungun.

    Hades – all the women say to you: “AHAHAHAHAHA!!! Suck it!” 😀

     
  9. M

    November 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Amrita,

    spoilers don’t bother me, so yes, I know the plotpoint you speak of….and I’m Hoping it won’t put me off too much. I enjoyed Yuva depite Abhi’s truly loutish behaviour there….so there’s hope that jerky behaviour will pass 🙂

    M

     
  10. memsaab

    November 18, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Sigh. Must.see.

    I’m pretty sure I will agree with Raja Sen (I almost always do).

     
  11. Amey

    November 19, 2008 at 10:07 am

    “Forget your tear gas and water canons. Here are some silk shirts, scarves and a pink car.” Yup, I can see some police commissioner telling his troops 😉

     
  12. Jawahara

    November 19, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Okay, is it just me or is this movie kind of like a double or nothing version of Three’s Comany. You know what’s better than one Jack Tripper? Two Jack Trippers. Two desi Jack Trippers. Yeah, yeah, that’s great. Now we can’t have the weird old ugly Ropers can we? Yep…time for a gay-lovin’ hot chick. Perrrfect!!

    What gets me is how all the stars being interviewed about this movie strike this serious-I-am-too-hip-and-accepting-to-be-real look and talk about how Dostana will break stereotypes and how no one is caricatured. Riiight!

    Anyway, great post as usual Amrita.

     
  13. Amrita

    November 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    M – little kids push my buttons like nothing else. 😦 This kid wasn’t even all that good as an actor but … Not. Cool.

    Memsaab – it’s the definition of timepass.

    Amey – LOLz, they should do that in Mumbai.

    J – if Jack Tripper was a complete asswipe, yes. I have been very consciously keeping away from the interviews about this movie coz I’m sure someone will open their big mouth and say something that will absolutely piss me off.

     
  14. PPCCeeeeee

    November 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Ahh, Amrita, you’re a better reviewer than I. I went all wimpy and said, “Well, it’s a start!”

     
  15. Amrita

    November 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    PPCC – well, it IS a start. And I deliberately left out the things that bugged me specifically (gay unions in Florida! being gay is a choice!) just because it was. Sigh.

     
 
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