Aligarh: The film is based on the real-life incident of Aligarh Muslim University academician Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras who was suspended from his job as a professor because of his sexual orientation. Manoj Bajpayee plays the role of a homosexual professor who was filmed while sharing an intimate moment with another male. That video led the college management to suspend him after which he pursues a court case and gets his job back, but loses his life in the process. Pic/Santa Banta
Girlfriend: Isha Koppikar played the controversial role of a lesbian woman who is in love with her friend and roommate played by Amrita Arora. The 2004 film courted controversy for featuring intimate scenes between the two actresses.
I Am: Rahul Bose essays the role of a gay man who gets conned by a sex worker played by Arjun Mathur in a segment of this 2010 anthology film directed by Onir. Both actors shared a lip-lock in the movie.
Fire: Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das portrayed two unhappily married women indulging in a lesbian relationship in this Deepa Mehta film. Considered one of the first mainstream Indian films to explicitly depict homosexual relations, the 1998 India release of 'Fire' faced violent protests from certain political groups.
Bombay Talkies: Karan Johar directed the closeted gay love story between Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleem in this 2013 anthology film. The complications that arise in a marital situation was in stark contrast to the stereotypical depiction of gays in Johar's earlier films like 'Dostana' and 'Kal Ho Naa Ho.'
I Can't Think Straight and The World Unseen: Both these 2008 films had actresses Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth portraying women engaged in a lesbian love affair. In 'I Can't Think Straight', Lisa Ray plays Tala a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent, embarking on a relationship with Leyla, a British Indian played by Sheetal Sheth. The World Unseen, saw docile housewife Miriam (Lisa Ray) falling for the free-spirited Amina (Sheetal Sheth), a cafe owner in 1950s South Africa. Both films featured the actresses engaging in intimate love-making scenes that resulted in severe cuts from the censor board and an 'A' certificate before their India release. Both films were adaptations by writer Shamim Sarif, who also directed them.
My Brother Nikhil (2005): Filmmaker Onir's touching depiction of bonds between family and friends touched upon the topic of closeted gay relationships and the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Chutney Popcorn: Written, directed, co-written and starring Nisha Ganatra, it tells the story of Reena, an Indian-American lesbian played by Ganatra in a relationship with Lisa played by Jill Hennessey. The film explores the conflict between Reena's sexual and national identities as well as her mother Meenu's attempts to come to terms with the Western lives of both her daughters. It was released in 1999.
Nina's Heavenly Delights: Like 'Chutney Popcorn' this 2006 British romantic comedy also explored the topic of interracial same-sex love. The film features Shelley Conn playing Nina Shah returning home for her father's funeral after three estranged years in London, England, beginning a romantic relationship with her childhood friend Lisa played by Laura Fraser, who now owns half the late father's Indian restaurant, The New Taj. Together they seek to save the restaurant by winning the national "Best in the West Curry Competition" for the third time.
Sancharram: Also known as 'The Journey', the 2004 Malayalam film follows two young friends, Kiran (Suhasini V. Nair), a Hindu, and Delilah (Shrruiti Menon), a Catholic, from their first meeting as young children to young adulthood, when they realize their love for each other. Directed and produced by Ligy J. Pullappally, inspired both by her short film Uli and a true story of two lesbian lovers in the South Indian state of Kerala.
Dunno Y... Na Jaane Kyon: The film was said to feature the first gay kiss in India between its lead pair. Though it received accolades at international film festivals, it did not bring in the crowds in Indian multiplexes. Film's lead actor Kapil Sharma faced protests from political groups. His co-star Yuvraaj Parasher, was ostracised by his family members.
Margarita With A Straw: Directed by Shonali Bose, Margarita With A Straw stars Kalki Koechlin as an Indian teenager with cerebral palsy who relocates to America for her undergraduate education. Her complex relationship with a blind girl, played by Sayani Gupta, lets the audience to explore her sexuality as the movie proceeds.
Kapoor and Sons: An Indian rom-com, directed by Shakun Batra stars Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. Kapoor and Sons tells the story of two estranged brothers who return to their dysfunctional family after their grandfather suffers a cardiac arrest. The story further reveals how one of the brothers is homosexual, and how his family reacts to his sexual orientation.
With Manoj Bajpayee starrer 'Aligarh', a film based on the true story of a homosexual professor, hitting the screens, here are other Indian films based on the subject of homosexuality
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