Lesbian themes in Hindi-Urdu films

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Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi in Fire
Isha Koppikar and Amrita Arora in Girlfriend
Sunny Leone & Sandhya Mridul: Ragini MMS 2

Lesbian themes in Bollywood films

The Times of India

Even homosexuality is gender biased in Bollywood. In the past, there have been films that have screened lesbian love making scenes in Hindi cinema, only to draw the ire of political parties, be it a film like Fire or Girlfriend. But that has not deterred film makers from pursuing the subject. Here's a look at five lesbian scenes from Bollywood films.

Dedh Ishqiya Huma Qureshi and Madhuri Dixit in Dedh Ishqiya- In a brilliant film by Abhishek Chaubey, the film maker explores the theme of homosexuality through the two female protagonists played by Madhuri and Huma. Their love for each other is kept a secret and is revealed much later, a move that takes audiences by surprise. The homosexuality is subtle but obvious and makes the film a pure delight to watch, especially when viewers are under the false impression that the love story is between Arshad-Huma and Madhuri and Naseeruddin. Bravo!

Fire Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das in Fire-The first installment in Deepa Mehta’s elements trilogy, Fire was a bold film, especially when it released (1996). The film was mired in controversy as Shiv Sena protested to the lesbian theme in the film. Fire is a beautiful story of two women who are married to two brothers who neglect them and end up having a relationship with each other, thus exploring their sexuality. Both Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das did an exceptional job with the film, but perhaps the time was not right as maybe cine goers and people in power were not ready for such a bold themed film.

Girlfriend Amrita Arora and Isha Koppikar in Girlfriend- When the Amrita Arora and Isha Koppikar starrer film Girlfriend released in 2004, it got embroiled in controversy for its bold content. The movie explored the theme of alternate sexuality where the two women protagonist end up having feelings for each other. Both Isha and Amrita received flak for doing such a film as that time, Bollywood and viewers were still opening up to the theme of sexuality, something that was not exploited too much on the silver screen.

Heroine Kareena Kapoor and Shahana Goswami in Heroine- Kareena Kapoor’s Heroine may have bombed at the Box Office, but director Madhur Bhandarkar went a step ahead to explore the theme of lesbianism, albeit subtly in the film. In a scene where Kareena and Shahana Goswami are having a spend over at the latter’s place in the film, Shahana leads Bebo to the bedroom, a scene that implies the two have had a one night stand. Madhur Bhandarkar has done this cleverly in a bid to avoid any controversy for his film. Surprisingly, a mainstream actress like Kareena Kapoor Khan agreed to do this scene in the film.

Ragini MMS 2 Sandhya Mridul and Sunny Leone in Ragini MMS 2- Balaji Telefilms’ and ALT Entertainment’s Ragini MMS 2, a sequel to Ragini MMS are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their film grabs eyeballs. And literally so! Starring Sunny Leone and Sandhya Mridul, there is a passionate kiss between the two female protagonists of the film. While this may be the requirement of the script and a minor diversion in the film’s subject, it has to be included in our list.

Diaspora cinema

Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth in The world unseen
Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth in I Can't Think Straight
Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth in I Can't Think Straight
Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth in I Can't Think Straight
Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth in I Can't Think Straight

Even Fire was a diaspora film, having been directed by an Indian-Canadian.

The World Unseen (2007/South Africa | UK/ English) (Directed by Shamim Sarif and produced by Hanan Kattan): Miriam is married to Omar (Parvin Dabas) and has children. yet she has a lesbian affair with Amina in apartheid-era South Africa

I Can't Think Straight (2008/UK/ English) (Directed by Shamim Sarif and produced by Hanan Kattan Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth kiss and make love more than once in the film. Tala is a Jordanian woman about to get married. Leyla is of Indian origin living in London. she is dating Tala's best friend Ali. But they discover true love in each other. In the film’s brilliantly hilarious last scene two British women comment on the lesbian couple. ‘She’s what?’ asks one. The other woman, obviously somewhat hard of hearing, replies, ‘But some of my best friends are Lebanese.’

See also

Adult content in Bengali cinema Adult content in Hindi-Urdu cinema Adult content in Kannada cinema Adult content in Malayalam cinema Lesbian themes in Bengali films Lesbian themes in Hindi-Urdu films Lesbian themes in Malayalam cinema

Avalude Ravukal/ Her Nights

Private lives of Indian (Mumbai) stars

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