Legendary gay singer-musician Elton John is pissed off with the Russians. Their country has just cut off some portions of the homosexual content in the Elton John bio-pic Rocketman. The Indian censor board has shown exemplary tolerance with Rocketman, snipping off none of the more colourful aspects of Elton John’s personality.
A very reliable source from the Central Board Of Film Certification informs that post the de-constutionalization of Article 377, that there is a definite wind of change regarding films with a homosexual content.
“We are most certainly not looking at obliterating such content. Some very fine films on alternative sexuality are being made in West. We will be viewing and re-viewing such films to ascertain how much of the content is relevant and topical. And we at the CBFC are not shy of dealing maturely with homosexual content,” says a well-placed source at the CBFC.
One of the primary beneficiaries from this new liberal attitude at the CBFC would be 2017’s multiple award-winning Call Me by Your Name. This Italian masterpiece directed by Luaca Guadgnino stands unreleased in India as its same-sex romance was perceived as unpalatable for the audience.
“They haven’t gone to the CBFC with Call Me By Your Name, so where is the question of a ban? The prevalent perception about the Indian censor board is that it clamps down on all gay content without a second thought. This is just not true. Not any more Last year a Hollywood film Love, Simon had been certified by the CBFC. When it didn’t make it into theatres, the blame was put on the CBFC when in fact it is the producers/distributors who are fearful of releasing films with gay subjects so as to not anger conservative audiences,” says a source close to the CBFC.
While Bollywood remains largely closeted about gay subjects in films, with most if not all major actors refusing to play gay characters, director Onir, who is the only uncloseted gay filmmaker in Bollywood, thinks actors in India need to stop fighting shy.
“It is just a role like any other. Audiences are no more so naïve as to believe that if an actor plays a gay character he is actually gay in real life. No one believed Shah Rukh Khan was a psychotic killer just because he played one in Darr,” says Onir.