Disclaimer: This review explores themes of sexual assault. If talking about rape, sexual assault, and consent in a gay relationship triggers or offends you in any way, you may want to refrain from reading any further.
Also… SPOILER ALERT!!! SO WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST AND THEN COME READ THE REVIEW SO THAT YOU DON’T END UP HATING ME.
When hotshot, Wall Street dealmaker Jai thinks of putting some pleasure into his 48-hour business trip to Mumbai, Sahil, his young, music producer friend, drops everything, including his reckless boyfriend Alex, to help him execute the perfect getaway.
Now to the Good Stuff
First of all, let me just start by admitting that this movie totally rocked me to the core, as in literally shook my emotions and left them all topsy turvy. At the beginning of the movie, actually, throughout the entire movie, there’s quite a lot of ambiguity about everything that is happening. It is actually as the story moves along that things slowly begin to make sense. You’ll understand it better of course if you watch the film. But most shocking of all, for me at least, is the rape scene that Sudhanshu Saria, the director, throws in there at the most unexpected of times.
I mean WHAAAAAT!!!
Sahil and Jai’s whole weirdly cute close relationship from the time they meet at the airport to when they go hiking is absolutely adorable. Most adorable is when Jai gets a call about the mum who I believe has Alzheimer’s or something of the sort. He’s of course emotionally distraught about it and Sahil, being as sweet as he is, offers him a hand. Jai takes it and slips into bed with him, spooning him. But then Jai takes it a step further, kissing Sahil. Sahil stops it, saying he doesn’t want to hurt him. Fast forward, Jai gets into such a mood and up to the time they get to his meeting, Jai is a huge sourpuss.
During his meeting, Sahil gets cheeky, and coming to the boardroom in his boxers, kisses him on the cheek after asking to borrow the car keys to get his earphones or something. You can imagine when Jai comes back to the hotel room later, he’s all fired up about it. They have a bit of an exchange, Jai calls Sahil a gold-digger in many words for playing around with his feelings just to use his money and Sahil says he wants to leave. Fast forward again, Jai confesses that he really likes Sahil and kisses… and kisses… and kisses.
Now here’s where things get interesting. Sahil tells him to stop; it’s not what he wants. Jai doesn’t stop. He kisses him some more… and then still some more and fast-forwarding again… he rapes him. Now you’d think that after this there’s this whole moment of resolution, tears, and all that stuff. Well… it doesn’t come. Jai offers his apology, tells Sahil he can go if he wants to, but Shail doesn’t go… instead, they still attend the dinner they had planned to attend that night.
Man… I’m actually getting emotional just talking about it… I don’t know… it was… it was unexpected.
Uhm… I loved Jai and Sahil’s friendship… a lot. I envied it actually. I think the characters were all individuals, not cliché at all. The events had a flow to them and even though at first things weren’t very clear and even in the end things weren’t really put into words, you got to fill in the gaps for yourself through the characters’ reactions.
The biggest one is obviously the rape scene and how casually it was all handled by the characters. Obviously, rape is not something anyone should be laughing about and consent is something we could argue about to infinity. But the fact that this seems to be something that happens in real life I think is most disturbing for me. Like the director said in his interview, had Sahil been a woman, the reaction to the rape scene would have been very different. Either which way though, the aspect of consent in gay partnerships, just like the film itself seems rather ambiguous and not often talked about. In a way, I appreciate the fact that the film got to put it out there so that we could actually react to it and talk about it. But YO! Still! Rape is rape, whether it’s your best friend since childhood who for some reason digs you and has the hots for you and just can’t keep it in his pants and wants to fuck your brains out. None of that excuses forcing him or herself on you. If you say no… your no should be respected as that.
Away from that… uh… rather sensitive topic though, I think the film accomplished its purpose. Consent is an issue and gay or straight, it is a conversation that people should have, whether during the dating phase or even in marriage. Is it excusable just because you love them and you understand where they are coming from? Is it normal? No big deal?
Food for thought…
Also… I was so sad to find out that the character who played Sahil died of tuberculosis prior to the production’s release. He was really outstanding in the movie; I loved him so much. He was such a spectacular actor. Rest in peace Dhruv Ganesh…
Until Next Time,