Our Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content/Gender Bender
Short Take: Bollywood musical drama about a psycho killer who feels like a man trapped in the body of a woman and identifies as a lesbian.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2004
Duration:
Language: India/Hindi
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Karan Razdan
Writer: Karan Razdan
Starring: Amrita Arora, Shantanu Chappana, Aashish Chaudhary

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Girlfriend

This is a Bollywood musical drama and faced protests from both Hindu fundamentalists in India and gay and lesbian groups alike.

Tanya (Isha Koppikar) and Sapna (Amrita Arora) are best friends who live together. It’s clear that Tanya is in love with her friend and even surreptitiously watches her in the bath. She is marked as somewhat butch, able to fix the plumbing, ride a motorcycle, and win kick boxing matches against men.

Enter Rahul (Aashish Chowdhry), the man Sapna falls in love with. As Tanya repeatedly tries to break up the couple, we learn that the two women slept together once in college when they were very drunk, but Sapna insisted that they forget the incident.

When Rahul and Sapna plan to marry and move to London, Tanya goes as far as cutting off her hair to look like a man. She’s portrayed as a crazy person who was sexually abused as a child, feels like a man trapped in the body of a woman, and identifies as a lesbian. Then it becomes the tired lesbians hate men and are psycho killers story of the worst kind.

It is frankly a shock to see this kind of film made in 2004, no matter where its origins. The message that a good lesbian is a dead lesbian is heard loud and clear – but I guess they get originality points for making it a musical drama. (AB)