The gay-themed film touted as Bollywood’s answer to Brokeback Mountain opened in India to mixed reactions Friday.
Dunno Y ... Na Jaane Kyun, the first Bollywood movie to explicitly portray a gay romance, deals with an affair between two middle-class Mumbai men. It includes scenes of them kissing — the first gay male kiss in an Indian film — and sharing a bed. It was scheduled to be released in May but was held up for further editing, as director Sanjay Sharma dealt with government censors.
Stars Yuvraaj Parashar (pictured, left) and Kapil Sharma (pictured, right), the director’s brother, have both faced repercussions regarding their participation in the film. Parashar says his family has disowned him; Sharma has had support from family and friends, but he says he has received threatening letters from strangers.
Gay activists in India welcomed the release. “I definitely feel this film is going to encourage filmmakers to make more realistic films ... and bring about better understanding in the minds of the Indian audience,” Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil told the BBC. Meanwhile, John Dayal of the All India Christian Council told the network, “Practically the entire religious spectrum in India is united in its opposition to the celebration of homosexuality. Not one of them says it’s a good thing, a natural thing.”
Click here for reports from The Huffington Post and the BBC.