New Year 2020: Wrote Bollywood's first film on same-sex love

Updated: Jan 01, 2020, 11:51 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

"After the release, I received feedback that I played safe with the couple [Sonam K Ahuja and Regina Cassandra]; there was no physical intimacy between them and not enough screen time was dedicated to the romantic scenes."

Gazal Dhaliwal, writer
Gazal Dhaliwal, writer

We started writing the film in 2016, which is two years before [decriminalisation of Section 377]. During the writing process, there was the awareness that homosexuality is [treated as] a criminal offence. So, the fear that the film might be censored or banned was high.

I want to give Vidhu Vinod Chopra [producer] credit for letting us go ahead and make the film in entirety. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga was complete before the verdict came out. So at the time, it was written in a manner that it wouldn't encourage censors to snip scenes, and make them give it a U/A certificate.

After the release, I received feedback that I played safe with the couple [Sonam K Ahuja and Regina Cassandra]; there was no physical intimacy between them and not enough screen time was dedicated to the romantic scenes.

While I admit that's true, one has to understand that the primary agenda was to put the message out, even if at the cost of toning down the expression of love. I have heard so many stories about how, after watching the film, parents — who had cut off ties with their queer children — reunited with them. I am glad that in the next year, there are two major movies that deal with same-sex love [Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and Dostana 2] and have mainstream stars headlining them.

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