The Pink Mirror

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Gulabi Aaina
The Pink Mirror
The Pink Mirror.jpg
Film: 'The Pink Mirror'
Directed by Sridhar Rangayan
Produced by Saagar Gupta
Written by Sridhar Rangayan
Starring Edwin Fernandes
Ramesh Menon
Deepak Sonavane
Rufy Baqal
Rishi Raj
Distributed by Solaris Pictures
Release dates 14 January 2006
Running time 40 min
Country  India
Language Hindi

The Pink Mirror, the Indian release title Gulabi Aaina is an award-winning Indian film drama produced and directed by Sridhar Rangayan. Said to be the first Indian film to comprehensively focus on Indian transsexuals with the entire story revolving around two transsexuals and a gay teenager's attempts to seduce a man - Samir (Rufy Baqal). The film explores the taboo subject of transsexuals in India which is still much misundersood and ridiculed.

In 2003, the Central Board of Film Certification, the Indian Censor Board banned Rangayan's film on Indian transsexuals. The censor board cited that the film was 'vulgar and offensive'. The filmmaker appealed twice again unsuccessfully. The film still remains banned in India, but has screened at numerous festivals all over the world and won awards. The critics have applauded it for its 'sensitive and touching portrayal of marginalized community'.[1][2][3]

India's foremost gay activist Ashok Row Kavi says, in his review, "The wonder is that it was not made before. The reality is that it is here now". India's leading newspaper, the Indian Express termed it - 'This is more than just the "peeping into the closet" that Rangayan intended. It's almost throwing the doors wide open for the world to look in!'

The film has received tremendous support and critical acclaim from reviewers, festival directors and global audiences. It has screened at more than 70 international film festivals and won couple of awards. The film is also used as part of University archives / libraries as resource material in academic courses such as Gender, Nation and the World; Activist Voices in India; Gender and Film course.

Plot[edit]

Two queens have a fight: Bibbo, a Bollywood fashion designer: loud, raucous and vitriolic. Shabbo, a dancer: soft, sensuous, and equally malicious!

Two fading queens in their late thirties - passionate, desperate and devastating. Call them sisters or mother & daughter their bonding is unique a bonding that is as shifty as their flights of fancy. One moment they would be bitchy and clawing at each other like alley cats, but the next moment they would reach out to each other as only two sensitive caring human beings can sharing their innermost secrets well, almost all.

It is one of those lazy days when queens can spend endless hours bitching about everybody in town and each other too. Just then in enters Samir - a handsome hunk whom Bibbo claims to be her driver. Only Bibbo doesn't have a car! Samir, an aspiring actor, is being towed around the film party circuit by Bibbo. The moment Shabbo sets her eyes on the hunk, she goes all out to charm and seduce him, right under Bibbo's hawk eyes! Such audacity!

Surely Shabbo has to pay for it with tears. Bibbo has discovered Shabbo's dark secret and would not hesitate in using it as a vile weapon to hit back. Bibbo can be evil personified!

Thrown into this crazy milieu is Shabbo's apprentice - a young pesky teenager Mandy, just about peeping out of his closet... a western closet - who says he is 'gay'! Mandy too has set his eyes on Samir and uses sly snaky ways to lure him - be it moving his butt seductively in front of Samir or taking a sneak peek at him in the shower.

So who will finally win Samir - Bibbo, Shabbo, or Mandy? Does Samir have a say in all this? No! Because, as they say - Queens always have the last say'![4]

Cast[edit]

Actor Character Role
Ramesh Menon Bibbo A Bollywood fashion designer: loud, raucous and vitriolic. He/she loves to camp it up and thinks he/she is a master at seducing men. When he/she sees Shabbo and Mandy stealing her current boyfriend Samir, she gets very upset and nasty.
Edwin Fernandes Shabbo A dancer: soft, sensuous, and equally malicious! When he/she comes to Bibbo's house, he/she falls for the hunky Samir and makes attempts to seduce him. During the fight with Bibbo, his/her secret is revealed - that Shabbo is HIV positive.
Rishi Raj Mandy A young pesky teenager just about peeping out of his closet… a western closet - a westernized teenager who says he is 'gay', much to the ire of Bibbo who calls herself 'kothi' (transsexual). Mandy falls for Samir, creating a triangle.
Rufy Baqal Samir A handsome hunk whom Bibbo claims to be her driver. Samir, an aspiring actor, is being towed around the film party circuit by Bibbo. The moment Shabbo sets her eyes on the hunk, she goes all out to charm and seduce him, right under Bibbo’s hawk eyes.

Festivals[edit]

The film has been shown in many festivals[5]

  • Fire Island Film Festival
  • 12th Le Festival Question de Genre– Gay Kitschcamp
  • Fire Island Film and Video Festival
  • 18th Turin International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
  • Digital Talkies Film Festival
  • 6th Pink Apple Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Queer Filmstan
  • Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival
  • Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival
  • Barcelona International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
  • Hamburg International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Cork Film Festival
  • Lehigh Valley Queer Film Festival
  • Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival
  • Out Takes Dallas Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
  • Rhode Island International Film Festival
  • Translations - Seattle Transgender Film Festival, USA (May 2009)[6]

Awards[edit]

Other related films[edit]

Since The Pink Mirror, its director, Sridhar Rangayan, has made two more films dealing with gays and transgenders:

Yours Emotionally (2006) is a film about a passionate love story between a British Asian from UK and a small town Indian youth. The film received good reviews for its bold and groundbreaking narrative.[7] It has been released on DVD by Waterbearer Films.

68 Pages (2007) is a film about the lives of five people who fight all odds to survive. It is about stigma and discrimination faced by HIV+ people - a transsexual bar dancer, a commercial sex worker, a gay couple, a heterosexual ID user and a municipality sweeper. The film derives its name from 68 pages of a counselors diary. This film had its world premiere at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK 2007) in December 2007.

References[edit]

External links[edit]