Never given to stereotypes whether as a director or an actor, Rituparno Ghosh, who played a cross-dressing homosexual in 'Just Another Love Story', is taking up the challenge again.
In 'Memories in March', which will release in theatres tomorrow, Rituparno again plays a homosexual like in his first venture where he was a cross-dresser. "He is not effeminate at all in the film. He is gay, but just like all other men in the world. We wanted to break that stereotype as I have so many friends who are gays but not effeminate. Here is a realistic portrayal," the film's director, Sanjoy Nag, said here on Thursday.
Released last December, 'Arekti Premer Golpo' (Just Another Love Story) had Rituparno playing a cross-dresser gay filmmaker who regards himself as someone from the third gender. Nag, however, insists that the two films are very different from each other.
"It is very different in terms of the way the character has been portrayed and dealt with. Here's is a much focused, nuanced, subtle and intelligent acting from Rituparno," the debutant director said. He also brushed aside suggestions that it is a gay film.
"Gay is not the primary issue here. The film is about a mother's journey after her son s death. It is about how she finds that the line between who is an outsider to the family and an insider gets blurred," Nag said.
Also starring Bollywood actors Deepti Naval and Raima Sen, the film reflects on the bond between a gay protagonist and his dead boyfriend's mother. "The whole issue of alternate sexuality is just a revelation that happens later on. It is an important issue in the film, but not the main focus."
Rituparno had written the script of the film which was initially supposed to be shot in Bengali. But it was later made in English and Hindi when Deepti was found uncomfortable with her Bengali. Later Nag, who has made a number of documentaries and commercial films, was roped in by Rituparno and the producers Sri Venkatesh Films.
"I did some changes like in the costumes and in the looks. I even asked Rituparno to maintain his shaven head look as I felt that it would make him look more vulnerable," he said adding the National Award-winning maverick director agreed to his suggestions.
On his observation about Rituparno as an actor, he described him as a terrific one. "He has always been a good actor. But he has acted through his actresses in his films and that is why that actresses have won so many awards," he said.
Now having a worldwide release this Friday, 'Memories in March' has already won accolades at the Pusan International Film Festival, MIAAC and MAMI film festivals.