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Straight – Are You Happy And Gay?

While I was in high school, we guys had a little joke book which had some gay jokes as well. One of them was – Whats the height of being gay? The answer – When you can’t even think straight.

Thats exactly what this movie is about. Vinay Pathak as Pinu Patel is confused about his sexuality, as the title suggests already. What has compounded the problem is the fact that he has been a virgin for far too long, never had an escapade. And the first ever such encounter that happens to him is in the form of a peck on the cheek by a fellow worker. That totally leaves him dumbfounded.

Pinu Patel is a merry restaurateur in London, who goes about doing his work. He has never had an iota of fun and his life is quite dry until Renu and Kamlesh enter. Renu, beautifully played by Gul Panag, is looking refreshing and cute. The peck on the cheek which I mentioned above, comes from Kamlesh, a wannabe stand-up comedian, who joins the restaurant as a chef. Kamlesh wins a lottery and in one impulsive act he kisses Pinu. But his unintentional act makes Pinu doubt his own sexual orientation. He starts getting attracted to Kamlesh and not Renu.

Somewhere in between, this movie starts looking a lot like 40 Year Old Virgin, when Pinu makes all attempts to bed a woman; basically becasue he is trying to explore his sexuality and prove to himself that he is not gay. He makes all kinds of attempts with women to see if he gets turned-on by women or if he enjoys their company. And in one such attempt with Renu, he says that he is a virgin and she retorts that she is not; thereby giving us hints of feminism and sexual liberation.

Pinu does not have the hots for Renu, but looks forward to Kamlesh. Unlike Dostana, the issue is approached with much more sensitivity. But just when you start taking it seriously, they turn it into a cliched and melodramatic stuff; and make a mockery of it.

Somehow the movie meanders and right when we start getting restless and losing interest, Pinu’s cousin enters the scene and clears the air. He becomes Pinu’s friend, philosopher and guide; and answers all of Pinu’s questions.

The music of the movie is pretty good with nice hummable songs like Saanso Ka Rukna, which is picturised so well, and Humko Churaya. Sagar Desai has done good work.

The director of the movie, Parvati Balgopalan, has done a fairly decent job. Her second outing, first being Rules…Pyar Ka Superhit Formula, is a good follow-up; but a tad bit late. My reactions to both movies are the same though, just about average. I did not enjoy Rules…  so much, but did appreciate the effort. Actually, Straight scores over the previous movie when it comes to the craft and handling the actors.  Vinay Pathak is awesome as Pinu. The honesty he brings to the role is amazing, I just felt that he is being over-used and wasted in roles like these. He deserves better than this. Gul Panag is really good, she is improving frame-by-frame. This is the second movie with Vinay and Gul, first being Manorama-Six Feet Under. The surprise packet in the movie is Sidharth Makkar who plays Pinu’s cousin. Even Anuj Chaudhary as Kamlesh is very good and has ably supported Vinay Pathak.

The movie has a very good premise and first half, but loses steam in the second half. What could have been a fantastic movie, ends as an average-to-good movie. There was another joke going around during my shool-days : A man cannot be happily married, he can either be happy or be married. In Pinu Patel’s context : A man cannot be happily gay, he can either be happy or be gay.

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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