Released on the first of February, “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga …” (“When I Saw That Girl, I Felt …”) is Bollywood’s first LGBT+ mainstream film and one focused on lesbian romance.
The transgender writer, Gazal Dhaliwal says she “feels responsible for telling LGBT+ stories”.
“I have lived this life. I felt responsible to tell this story at some point,”
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “Since India legalised gay sex in September last year, depictions of LGBT+ people on Indian television have improved, shifting from mocking stereotypes to including gay men on dating shows and drag queens in a singing competition.”
“People are only used to watching homosexual content in the context of comedy or in scenes that make a mockery of homosexual characters,” Gazal tells the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “In this film, we were asking them to pause, think, introspect their own behaviour. Clearly, we have a long way to go, and many more stories to tell before people become comfortable.”
But the movie got mixed reactions from audiences.
The LGBT+ movie is based on Distraught protagonist Sweety, played by actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, explains to her besotted male admirer that she is in love with another woman, The Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.
According to Gazal, the writer who has seen the film four times at cinemas in India after it was released, “up to 10 couples or families leave the theatre as Sweety’s struggle for acceptance took centre stage.”
“This is Bollywood’s first step out of the closet,” Gazal said. “I hope future films now don’t push us back into the closet.”
Watch the trailer for the movie here;