June is when we celebrate ‘Pride Month’ every year all over the world. It is symbolic of support for the LGBTQ community and their struggle against discrimination and social ostracisation. Many countries organise month-long activities and initiatives that culminate in the ‘Gay Pride Parade’, usually at the end of June.
It has taken decades for gay relationships to come out of the closet. Now that they have more or less found acceptance in society, the film/OTT industry is also feeling bold enough to portray stories of such relationships on the screen. Our last memory of such a portrayal is of the 1998 film ‘Fire’, which raked up a controversy due to kissing scenes between Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das.
From that day to today, the scenes have become more explicit and filmmakers (Read: OTT platform) are portraying them without any qualms.
Here’s a recap of the web series and movies that are streaming on the various OTT platforms that portray queer relationships.
This anthology on Netflix with Neeraj Ghaywan’s ‘Geeli Puchi’ got rave reviews for its sensitive portrayal of a lesbian relationship between the versatile KonkonasenSharma and Aditi Rao Hydari. Shashank Khaitan’s ‘Majnu’ in the same anthology talks about the trappings of being gay and married for ‘keeping up’ appearances in society..
Made In Heaven
Featuring Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipalia, Jim Sarbh and Kalki Koechlin in lead roles, this Amazon Prime Video show garnered a lot of appreciation from both critics and viewers for attempting to target a lot of issues in one series. Arjun Mathur who plays Karan Mehra in the series is shown to be gay and he is sent to jail by his landlord for involving in sexual activities with men at his house.
Four More Shots Please (I & II)
Featuring Maanvi Gagroo, Bani J, Kirti Kulhari and Sayani Gupta in lead roles, one of the characters in the series, played by Bani J is bisexual and struggles with finding a partner who will not betray her and her feelings. She meets an actress played by Lisa Ray and builds a connection with her.
Mayanagri – City of Dreams
Available for watching on Hotstar, Nagesh Kuknoor’s Mayanagri – City of Dreams, portrays a lesbian relationship between Priya Bapat and Pavleen Gujral. In fact, that could be the plot or beginning of the second if there is one because the first season ends at the revelation of this relationship.
Romil and Jugal
In Romil and Jugal, which streams on ALT Balaji, the makers have given the story of Romeo and Juliet a modern twist by showcasing romance between two queer men, Rajiv Siddhartha and Manraj Sing in the leading roles. The show also has Suchita Pillai and Manini De.