This film had been completed in 2009 and as of March 2015 had not been released in India, although shown at film festivals. Netflix is now offering it under LGBT selections, but it would appeal to a wider audience. India is a conservative country and this must have offended some in critical positions to make it available to wider audiences. The two lead characters are a prostitute and a homosexual. They are brought together to care for her disabled son.
The world is full of people struggling to survive and moreso to find some sort of meaning to their lives. We learn the prostitute, Juhi turned to that profession after her husband abandoned her after he became aware of his son's physical incapacity. The homosexual, Debu was a lyric writer who was not able to get paid for work he had done. It was an unusual set of circumstances that brought the two together. She had a problem getting a maid to take care of her son, Kaku. Debu was right out of money and had no place to stay. Juhi was at first repulsed with his offer thinking he didn't understand the demands of the job. It required taking the son to the toilet, feeding him and putting up with his fits.
Kaku was mute and communicated his desires by banging signals on a metal can. Although mostly seen in a cheerful mood he could get upset, for instance at his mother entertaining strange men.
Juhi was getting older and combined with her higher fees was losing customers. She refused to lower her rates and became frustrated and more aggressive in trying to get customers. Debu tries to stay out of it, but one can tell he doesn't approve. Once she catches on to the fact that Debu is gay she tries to seduce him, but he is very resistant. He seems to attract another gay and even leaves, but that doesn't work out.
Debu tries to get Kaku involved with more physical and social activities. At one point he also tries to get him to make sounds that blend into words. The most critical one was "Maa" and Kaku says it in front of his mother, but it turns out he prefers Debu to his mother which upsets her.
There are many misunderstandings due to sexual issues that draw laughter. Tears are brought to some because things are not working out. But of course there is a happy ending.
This film won best screenplay at the New York Indian film Festival in 2009.
Deepti Naval was director, writer, editor and producer. She had migrated with her family to the U.S. where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and became involved with American Theatre. She became an actress in India. She was married to Prakash Jha, a prominent Indian director. writer and producer. As an actress her credits include: "Firaaq" (2008), "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" (2011).
Gulzar was a prominent lyrcist listed as a musical advisor. Shared Oscar with A R Rahman for "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008). A big award winner for lyrics. Started back in 1960 with his early ones used in this film. Some of his credits include: "Bunty aur Babil" (2005), "Paheli" (2005), "Guru" (2007), "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" (2012), "Drishyam" (2015), "Raazi" (2018), "The Sky is Pink" (2019) and "Chhapaak" (2020). Check out http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2019/12/the-sky-is-pink-my-top-movie-for-2019.html
Sandesh Shandilya wrote the music score. Some of his credits include: "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..." (2001), "Socha Na Tha" (2005), "Jab We Met" (2007), "Road to Sangam" (2009).
Kiran Deohans was responsible for the cinematography. His credits include: "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak" (2001), "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..." 2001), "Jodhaa Akbar" (2008), "Agneepath" (2012),
Rajit Kapoor played the lead, Debu. Credits include "Ghulam" (1998), "Shaitan" (2011), "Ki & Ka" (2016) and "Raazi" (2018).
Manisha Koirala played Juhi. Born in Nepal and has appeared in many different languages. She has been a United Nations ambassador and apeared with the Dalai Lama. Credits include: "Bombay" (1995), "Dil Se.." (1998) and "Sanju" (2018.)
Aanaj Naval played Kaku in his only listed film. He a is nephew to Deepti. He was very convincing as the handicapped youngster while at the same time very charming.
Old time Bollywood fans would enjoy some of the songs from earlier movies and word play. The three main characters are surprisingly all very charming. You will laugh and perhaps come close to tears. The world and India have moved forward on LGBT issues and the good thing is it lets the rest of us better appreciate their contributions to society.
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