“When hot shot, Wall Street dealmaker Jai (Shiv Pandit) thinks of putting some pleasure into his 48 hour business trip to Mumbai, Sahil (Dhruv Ganesh), his young, music-producer friend, drops everything, including his reckless boyfriend Alex (Siddharth Menon), to help him execute the perfect getaway.
Hiking the hills and canyons of Maharashtra, amidst half-attempted conversations and sudden silences, business calls and old jokes, the friends discover there is more than just time-zones keeping them apart. Things take another turn when Alex shows up with a new male-companion at his side, throwing up old conflicts and bringing unanswered questions to the fore.”
This is what the movie description reveals to us (or doesn’t reveal much at all), but there is something about the trailer that convinces to definitely go for this one. It seems mellow and bittersweet, like love itself.
Loev does not use perfect Bolly tropes for its characters, like Abhishek Bachchan in Bol Bachchan, with his forced-upon effeminate characteristics and bright floral shirts.
Added to that, it is a break from the hyper-romanticized version of gay romance in, for example, Dunno Y… Na Jaane Kyun?, which falls a mile away from reality of LGBT couples. Cinema like that only makes us realize the exact problem of representation in popular media.
Gay issues being discussed in movies have become more of a set formula to either nonsensical humour that makes only Kapil Sharma’s fans laugh or enters into an entirely dark area, like Qissa or Fire (not to say that kind of representation is irrelevant). The issue is not explored beyond the two peripheries.
We cannot always happily dwell on the fact that “at least someone is talking about this issue”. We should also be sure that while stigmatized issues are being talked about, stereotypes are not strengthened.
If we excuse, say sexualisation of LGBT romance which is the most prominent topic in gay romances, the LGBT community will have other issue to tackle with, added to the stigma that already comes to the community.
But Loev is fresh. The trailer makes us believe that love is universal, no matter what gender comes attached to it.
The slow ballroom waltz, dim lights and beautiful slow music in the background, the little sparkle of romance in Dhruv Ganesh’s eyes when he blows out candles or even Shiv Pandit’s jealousy radiating on screen -it is what everyone can relate to.
Aligarh broke an important stereotype – that not every homosexual person, fully aware of the issue of homosexuality, does not necessarily have to be a crusader of LGBT rights.
Loev breaks another important stereotype. It does not choose sexuality as the center of the narrative, instead explores the idea of romance in general, which might arrive when you are not really looking for it.
It is just three friends and a love triangle (Loev triangle) that looms overhead. The simplicity of it makes it as appealing. And as unconventional.
Shot within a period of 16 days, Loev also explores the unlimited potential and boundless talent in the independent film industry which has been overshadowed by Bollywood’s iron fist on cinema.
We now know where to find beautiful stories.
Sudhanshu Saria, thanks for Loev.