Dostana (2008 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tarun Mansukhani|
|Screenplay by||Tarun Mansukhani|
|Edited by||Manan Sagar|
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|Box office||₹871 million|
Dostana (English: Friendship) is a 2008 Indian romantic comedy film directed by Tarun Mansukhani and produced by Karan Johar and Hiroo Yash Johar. The film stars Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles, with Bobby Deol, Kirron Kher, Sushmita Mukherjee and Boman Irani appearing in supporting roles. Dostana tells the story of two men who pretend to be gay for sharing an apartment with a girl but eventually both fall in love with her. The soundtrack was composed by Vishal-Shekhar and Anvita Dutt Guptan, Kumaar and Vishal Dadlani wrote the lyrics.
Mansukhani conceived the film as a tale of three friends living together and drew inspiration from his own experience with his friends. However, he also wanted to add something different into the script and later decide to introduce homosexuality, which he thought was something untouched in Bollywood, in order to shed light on the issue for Indian viewers. Manish Malhotra designed costumes for Chopra while Aki Narula designed for the rest of the cast. Principal photography occurred entirely in Miami, Florida over two months in the first half of 2008. Dostana was the first mainstream Indian film to include a gay element and has been credited with shedding light on the largely ignored topic to a majority of Indian population.
The film was released on 14 November 2008 to positive reviews, with praise for the cast's performance, the direction, the music and the costumes and styling. The film was a box office success, grossing over ₹871 million and was the eighth highest grossing Bollywood film of the year. At the 54th Filmfare Awards, the film received nine nominations including Best Film, Best Actor for Bachchan, and Best Music Director. After its release, the film was a major influence in creating new fashion trends in India, with Chopra's silver-sari worn in the song "Desi Girl" becoming widely popular. Additionally, Abraham's yellow trunks, Chopra's golden swimsuit and their look and styling received much attention and were popular among youngsters. Dostana is also regarded as one of the most stylish and trend-setting Indian films, with Filmfare ranking it number one in a 2013 poll.
Sameer 'Sam' Kapoor (Abhishek Bachchan) and Kunal Chopra (John Abraham) are fun-loving, womanising bachelors living in Miami, Florida. Sam is a male nurse by profession and is often joked around by others about the cliché 'skirt wearing' joke, while Kunal is a fashion photographer. They first meet at a friend's place after a night out with girls. Later, they run into each other while looking for an apartment to rent as they both liked it. The apartment belongs to Neha Melwani (Priyanka Chopra) who works for Verve magazine. She lives there with her aunt (Sushmita Mukherjee), who refuses to sublet the apartment to either of them as Neha wanted only girls as her flatmates.
After meeting a gay soldier, Sam persuades the reluctant Kunal to pretend they are lovers so that they can rent the apartment. However, after meeting Neha, they both regret their decision as they find themselves attracted to her. Soon, the three of them become good friends and both Sam and Kunal fall in love with Neha. Meanwhile, Neha's gay boss, Murli 'M' (Boman Irani), resigns his job as Verve's editor and is the one to decide the next editor. To impress him, Neha invites him for dinner at her house, asking Sam and Kunal to entertain him. The same night, a US government agent visits them for a surprise inspection and joins them. The party soon turns into chaos when Rani (Kiron Kher), Sam's mother, arrives to check on her son after receiving a letter at her home in London from the US government confirming approval for her son's application for domestic partnership with Kunal, only to discover her son's sexual preferences. Later, M figures out that both Sam and Kunal are a couple and not single as he initially thought.
The next day at Neha's office, M announces that Abhimanyu 'Abhi' Singh (Bobby Deol) is to be the new editor. Neha, deeply upset at being passed over for promotion, returns home where she is consoled by Rani. In turn, Neha helps her embrace her son's sexuality. Kunal and Sam then help Neha with a project assigned by Abhi. Impressed by Neha, Abhi dedicates the success of the project to her. Later, Both Sam and Kunal take Neha on separate dates after they tell her that they both love her. Neha perceives the dates as a friendly outing, since she is convinced of their homosexuality. However, after Abhi and Neha start dating, Sam and Kunal team up to sabotage their relationship by giving inappropriate advice to Abhi to irritate Neha and they partially succeed as they end up having an argument. After discovering Kunal and Sam's plan, she misinterprets it as their interest in Abhi. Sam and Kunal redirect their efforts into frightening Veer, Abhi's five-year-old son, about his future with Neha. During a basketball game, Neha discovers that Abhi plans to propose to her and asks Kunal and Sameer's advice. The pair asks her to decline the proposal, admitting their sexuality and love for Neha. Meanwhile, Veer tells Abhi about his fears. During the game, Abhi ends the relationship, citing Veer's discomfort. Neha tearfully evicts Kunal and Sameer from her apartment and resigns from Verve.
A few months later, Kunal and Sam meet each other at court to collect their resident permits and realise the friendship they shared with Neha and each other, and reconcile. The two find Neha at a fashion show and try to apologise, but she refuses to see them. Unaware of their break-up, they ask about Neha and Abhi's wedding, and Neha tells them about Veer's fears. Kunal and Sam reveal their misdeeds about manipulating Veer's mind, which angers both Neha and Abhi. Kunal and Sam climb onto the stage and beg for Neha's forgiveness. The crowd encourages them to beg plea on their knees, say that they love her, blow kisses to her, but nothing softens her. Finally, the crowd asks them to kiss each other, and they refuse. Neha and Abhi turn to leave and Kunal forcibly kisses Sam. Abhi is amazed and Neha is impressed by the lengths the two will go to in order to regain her trust and she forgives them. Kunal and Sam, desperate to secure Neha's happiness and friendship, each get down on their knees and propose to Abhi on her behalf. Abhi, amused, agrees. Two months later, Neha playfully asks the two whether they might have felt anything for each other in the time they spent pretending to be homosexual, which they deny and remember their kiss.
- Abhishek Bachchan as Sameer 'Sam' Kapoor
- John Abraham as Kunal Chopra
- Priyanka Chopra as Neha Melwani
- Bobby Deol as Abhimanyu 'Abhi' Singh
- Kiron Kher as Rani Kapoor
- Sushmita Mukherjee as Neha's aunt
- Boman Irani as Murli 'M'
- Shrey Bawa as Veer Singh
- Shilpa Shetty in a Cameo appearance in song "Shut Up & Bounce"
During the production of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), Tarun Mansukhani conceived a film about three friends sharing an apartment. After the filming was completed, Karan Johar told him that he was ready to direct a film and he should write a script and if he liked, he would like to produce the film. He based the film in Miami, Florida as he liked their lifestyle and culture saying "people in Miami work hard and party harder and I wanted to capture that in my film." Mansukhani worked for eight months on the script. When Johar read the script, he liked it and asked him about the casting. In an interview, Manuskhani described the film as a story about "how the three strangers come together, live together in an apartment and have their moments of happiness and sorrow."
When Mansukhani started writing the film, he took inspiration from his own life experience, saying "The germ for that comes from my own childhood memories of school time friends. I have lived in boarding school for most part of my childhood and the friends that I have today are the ones whom I got in touch with during 4th/5th standard. I may not speak to them for years but they are a family whom I can call up at 4am without hesitation." However, he soon realised that Bollywood had made numerous films on themes such as friendship, live–in relationships, marriages, and divorces and so it prompted him to do something new for his debut film. He then decided to include sexuality in order to shed light on the issue for Indian viewers, which was something untouched in Bollywood.
Mansukhani later added the gay concept into the film as he thought it was an issue that needed to be touched upon. However, the director did not want the film to be serious or too preachy, saying "I also realise that when you preach via cinema nobody wants to hear it" and "The film has a message, if you get it, great. If you don’t, no problem, sit back, relax and enjoy the film." As a result, he turned the film into a romantic comedy. In February 2008, the title of the film was announced by Johar, who named it after a 1980 love triangle of the same name, a film produced by his father Yash Johar. When asked if this film was also a love triangle, Johar remarked that "Well, yes and no. Though it's a love story, there's a never-before twist in the tale. All I can say on record is that we've never had a love triangle like this before." The homosexuality element was not disclosed until the trailers were released. Manan Sagar was chosen as the editor of the film while Salim-Sulaiman provided the background score.
Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra were cast in the lead roles. Aishwarya Rai was initially offered the lead role. However, she turned it down as she did not want her first film with her husband post their marriage in a film where she ends up with another man. After the release, she doubted her decision to opt out of the film. Saif Ali Khan was offered Abhraham's part but he refused the part because Bachchan and Rai were doing the film at the time and he was unsure about fitting in a film, where a husband and wife were portraying the other two principal characters. In early April 2008, Shilpa Shetty was confirmed for a special song in the film.
Bachchan revealed that this was his toughest character and he worked hard on the gestures and mannerisms saying "I had to work very hard to portray a straight man acting gay. It could easily have gone over-board. I wanted to avoid making the character caricatural. Barring one portion ... we kept it controlled." Both Bachchan and Abraham, who had gained weight for their earlier films, had to lose weight and gain a muscular look. Chopra agreed to wear a swimsuit but was very clear that she would not wear a two piece bikini. Chopra also revealed that she did not loose any weight as the media speculated but really worked out for a toned look for her films, she was also filming Fashion (2008) at the same time. She said "For 'Fashion', I had to put on six kilos and later had to shed chip by chip as the character progressed in the film. My body structure in 'Dostana' is more toned than in 'Fashion' as it is a completely beach film. I've worked very hard on my body."
Manish Malhotra and Aki Narula designed the costumes in the film. While Malhotra designed for Chopra, Narula designed the clothes for the rest of the cast. This was the second time Malhotra was designing costumes of Chopra, after having designed for her costumes in Andaaz (2003). Since the film was set in Miami, Malhotra decided to go with the holiday look and since Chopra's character is a fashion editor, hence her clothes were to be stylish and chic. Chopra was given "a lot of shorts, tank tops, tees, formal jackets and bikini tops" as she remarked that her wardrobe had a "beach vibe." "Malhotra decided to give her a very young resort-like look, which he described as girlie and not like a Diva. He gave Chopra clean lines, with no accessories and lots and lots of colours. To Keep her look chic, Malhotra decided to tone down the accessories saying "You will notice that none of her dresses have any embroidery or designs either. All her outfits are mainly in satin, chiffon and georgette."
The designer gave her mostly shorts and singlets, with no fitted garments and the loose silhouettes. Malhotra revealed that Chopra always prefers grey, black and white but for the film, he decided to experiment with bright solid colours like "the ones in the citrus family." Though she was initially apprehensive to wear a lot of different colours, Malhotra managed to change her mind and said "Priyanka has worn colour like never before in this film. There’s lime, tangerine, cranberry, pink, yellow, purple... the rainbow." Malhotra specifically wanted to design the swimsuit by using a metallic colour either gold or silver. They settled for gold because of Chopra's dusky skin which they thought was a perfect foil for the colour. The golden swimsuit was created by combining two swimsuits because the swimsuits were very small so he attached the second one to make it the final swimsuit as seen in the film.
For the song "Desi Girl, Johar and Mansukhani wanted Chopra to wear a gown but Malhotra suggested that Chopra should wear a sari. Mansukhani and Johar questioned his decision citing it would be unsuitable as her character is based in Miami. However, Malhotra remarked that if they could do a song like "Desi Girl" in Miami, then her character could wear a sari and "treat it like a dress". Later they settled for the sari, the only Indian outfit worn by her in the film. Malhotra designed a very modern sari by giving a western feel by making her wear a long silver sequined skirt. He also chose a bikini-type blouse to gave the look a complete western feel. The designer gave a reason behind choosing the Silver colour of the sari saying that only a Silver sari could give a competition to the golden swimsuit.
Unfamiliar with the culture of Miami, Aki Narula spent some time before the filming started, to learn more about the culture and the way people dress there. Narula gave Bachachan lots of long cargo shorts and cotton shirts in bright colours such as red, pink, orange, green, yellow, blue which faded into white. According to the designer, his most interesting part of his styling were the matching scarves which were draped and knotted and attached to shirts, giving a feel of extended shirt collars. These extended collars were 30 inches long and ran down up to Bachachan's knees as Narula connected and stitched them behind his shirts. He also gave him cargo pants with neon pockets and maharishi pants with a lot of embroidery on them. The designs were mostly of dragons and palm beaches, which gave the perfect Miami tropical summer look. Narula accessorised Bachachan's look with a lot of sun glasses.
To style Abraham, who plays a fashion photographer who works and lives on the beach, Narula gave him is lots of cargo shorts at work, boxer shorts at home and trunks for swimming scenes. He also made him wear knee-length cargos, shorts, jerseys, boxers and football shorts in windcheater fabrics. He also gave him interesting footwear such as flip flops, canvas shoes and T-shirts with interesting slogans such as a "Use A Condom", which he thought was very classy as well as important. While designing the costumes, Malhotra and Narula had several interaction about the colour palletes saying "If Manish would give Priyanka yellow, then I would go for a green for John and a pink for Abhishek." Additionally, Narula designed for Deol, Irani, Kher and Mukherjee. Narula chose brands such as Dolce & Gabanna and Gucci to style Bobby Deol who plays a rich and the editor of Verve. The designer gave him very sleek suits, short skinny jackets structured around skinny pants with narrow bottoms. Kirron Kher, who plays Bachchan's mother, was styled as a typical Punjabi salwar-kameez clad woman with gota and embroidery. To style Sushmita Mukherjee, who plays Chopra's aunt, Narula chose animal prints and diamonds, pearls, silver and gold. He revealed that "When we shopped for her, it was like, Oh god, this is so tacky. Let’s buy it! or Oh I hate it. It’ll be fabulous."
Principal photography occurred between mid March to May 2008 in Miami, Florida, where the film was entirely shot during a two-month schedule. The art direction was done by Amrita Mahal. After assisting Sharmishta Roy for four years, Mahal worked with her on few projects including Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and met Tarun Mansukhani and became friends. When Mansukhani asked her to work on his directorial debut, she jumped at the opportunity. Three major sets were created for the film in Miami— the apartment, the Verve office and the "Desi Girl" song set. Other included very simple floor plans. A lot of research was done to figure out the types of houses in Miami, which Mahal described as "large and spacious compared to cramped apartments in New York."
A three bedroom apartment was created with a pool outside and the respective rooms were designed according to their characters. After towing with different ideas for the Verve office, Mahal decided to make it fully black and used four different colours for the rooms. Mahal's team also made and designed the furniture were giving a Victorian look. She specially liked the chandeliers which she thought were very lavish for an office. The third and the final set was the "Desi Girl" song set, which she found very stressful to build because of the numerous lights used which created a lot of heat. It took 100 sketches to reach the final set seen in the film. A huge set created for the song sequence by using plaster of Paris, moulding fibre and wood. She used lots of tables and chairs, and a dance floor was build in the middle, which had a stage-like look.
Ayananka Bose handled the cinematography. The cinematographer revealed that the location was the big factor to decide the way he wanted to shoot the film saying "Dostana is based in Miami and to me Miami means sunshine and beaches. That is what stayed in my mind." Bose chose to stick to brightness because of the premise, a comedy about friendship, and preferred having a bright frame. He said that the bright frame subconsciously lifts everything, giving a vibrant feel. He said "That is what automatically gave Dostana it's expression." Bose found filming the office set challenging as there was no place to put lights, the room had glass on one side and a wall on the other. However, he remarked that he liked filming both the house and the office set.
The song "Desi Girl" was choreographed by Farah Khan, while Vaibhavi Merchant choreographed all the other musical numbers. The item number "Shut Up & Bounce" was shot in Miami in early April 2008. The song "Desi Girl" featuring the three lead actors was filmed in September. The filming ended with a promotional music video, a remix version of "Ma Da Laadla", which appears in the end credits. The song was filmed in mid October 2008 in Filmistan Studio, Mumbai, where the lead actors shot for the video separately.
|Soundtrack album by Vishal-Shekhar|
|Released||30 September 2008|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
The soundtrack was composed by Vishal-Shekhar. Anvita Dutt Guptan wrote the lyrics for three songs while Kumaar wrote two songs. Apart from composing the album and providing vocals to four songs, Vishal Dadlani also wrote the lyrics for one. The album contains six original songs. The vocals were performed by Vishal Dadlani, Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Master Saleem, Shreya Ghoshal, Amanat Ali and Shaan. The soundtrack was released on 30 September 2008 by Sony Music.
|1.||"Jaane Kyun"||Anvita Dutt Guptan||Vishal Dadlani||4:37|
|2.||"Desi Girl"||Kumaar||Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani||5:06|
|3.||"Maa Da Laadla"||Kumaar||Master Saleem||4:05|
|4.||"Shut Up & Bounce"||Anvita Dutt Guptan||Vishal Dadlani, Sunidhi Chauhan||4:37|
|5.||"Khabar Nahin"||Anvita Dutt Guptan||Vishal Dadlani, Shreya Ghoshal, Amanat Ali||4:19|
|6.||"Kuch Kum"||Vishal Dadlani||Shaan||5:40|
The soundtrack received positive reviews from music critics. Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama gave the album 4 out of 5 alling it an "excellent album" and wrote "there is not one single number which doesn't work. In fact if three soft numbers 'Kuch Kum', 'Khabar Nahi' and 'Jaane Kyun' are the pick of the lot then 'Desi Girl' is a definite must for the dance floors. 'Maa Da Laadla' and 'Shut up & Bounce' have their own place under the sun." Planet Bollywood gave a rating of 8 out of 10 and labelled it Vishal-Shekhar's best album of the year: "Whether it be through the touching vocal, musical, and lyrical poetry of Kuch Kum, Vishal's riveting vocal performance in Jaane Kyun, the soothing depths of Khabar Nahin, or the uplifting, feel-good breeze of Desi Girl; Dostana has music for everyone to savor." Hindustan Times also gave a positive review calling it "a surefire chartbuster." CNN-News18 gave another positive review, writing that "Except for Shut Up and Bounce, each song in Dostana is wrapped in fun and peppiness on the one hand, and melody and rhythm on the other."
The exclusive first look stills from the film were released for the media in late July 2008 and were well received. The first teaser trailer was released in mid-August 2008. The trailer received much attention because of the unexpected gay angle, a first in mainstream Indian film, which was kept under secrecy during the production. The trailers, the music, and the styling and look of the film generated much buzz, aiding its promotion and marketing.
The makers further promoted the film by partnering with Verve (a publication Chopra's character works for in the film) which dedicated its November issue to the film. The issue featured Chopra on the cover and devoted 40 pages to the film by publishing the interviews with the actress, Mansukhani, and Johar, fashion shoots on film sets, clothing range by the designers and fashion and beauty features inspired by the film. Though Maybelline products were not used for Chopra's make-up, still it teamed up with the film by promoting Chopra's looks with behind-the-scenes footage in the television and print advertisements. Maybelline also invited its customers to experience Chopra's looks. The makers also teamed up with Facebook, which featured ads with each of the three leading actors urging users to form their own gang. Pantaloons partnered with the film to showcase film's apparel range for sale across 43 outlets across the country.
Made on a budget of ₹400 million, Dostana was released on 14 November 2008. The film took an excellent opening with over 80% occupancy in multiplexes and over 60% occupancy in single screens cinemas. According to Box Office India, the film collected approximately ₹53 million in its opening day and went on to collect over ₹173 million in its first weekend at the domestic box-office. After the end of the first week, the film's collections stood at ₹267 million. In the second week, the film continued to hold well and was the best performing film despite the a new release, a much bigger production Yuvvraj. The film was deemed a hit in its second week. The also performed well in the overseas market, specially in the United Kingdom and the United States. It grossed ₹261 million from overseas from the overseas market, over ₹610 million at the domestic boc-office, for a worldwide gross of over ₹871 million. The film was a commercial success and turned out to be the eighth highest grossing Bollywood film of the year.
Distributed by Yash Raj Films, the film was released on DVDs on 30 December 2009 across all regions in a two-disc pack. It includes several bonus content such as the making of the film, deleted scenes, the music video of Maa Da Ladla, bloopers, Date with Dostana (a special interview segment presented by Karan Johar), Do the Dostana challenge, theatrical Trailer and promos. The VCD version was released at the same time. A single-disc DVD pack was also released. The Blu-ray version was released on 14 December 2009.
Dostana received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances, the chemistry between the three actors, the music and the costumes and styling of the film. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 90%, based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. A review published in The Guardian praised the film, commending Taran Mansukhani's direction and writing skills, calling it a "a straight victory for gay comedy" and wrote "India's convoluted attitude to gayness finally has its cinematic manifestation in Dostana, one of the gayest films ever made in any country but in which almost no one is actually gay. It's also a terrific movie - the best and funniest Bollywood film I've seen in a very long time." Describing the film as a "the decent-hearted comedy", Rachel Saltz from The New York Times applauded the film and wrote "Dostana deserves credit. It irreverently normalizes a topic that has been virtually absent from screens in India, and does so using contemporary Bollywood’s best not-so-secret weapon: star power." David Chute of LA Weekly gave a positive review calling it "A pure star vehicle, gliding along on charm and timing -- exactly the sort of comfort cinema Hollywood now seems incapable of making."
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film a rating of 4 out of 5, considering it a madcap comedy which dared to "push the envelope in its own way" and wrote "Dostana is a winner all the way. In terms of content, it might just prove to be a trendsetter." The Times of India also gave the film 4 out of 5, stating, "It introduces the most outrageous scenes in popular Hindi cinema and manages to get away with it because it's all done with an infectious zest and effervescence that keeps the ribs tickling." Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph gave the film 7.2 out of 10, remarking that the film "can make you laugh out loud and also strike an emotional chord." Raam Tarat of Future Movies gave 3.5 out of 5, praising the performances of the cast, noting that "the lead actors share a great chemistry, are easy on the eye and oh so charming that they, along with beautiful Miami make for a visual treat" and wrote "a great, fun entertainer with lots of charm and great music." Writing for Hindustan Times, film critic Khalid Mohamed gave a rating of 3 out of 5 commented "Good taste, pop colour Miami locations, high-end costumes, make-up styling and the A-grade Dharma Productions values add up to a zingy entertainer".
Rajeev Masand also gave a positive review calling it "a barrel of non-stop laughs" and wrote "it puts the fun back into the movies. You laugh harder than you have in a long time. It’s a film with a one-point agenda – to entertain you while you’re in your seat. It achieves that, no two ways about it." Sudhish Kamath of The Hindu praised the film, noting that it "largely reflects a society in transition and begins to address the issues of acceptance within the Indian framework of marriage" and wrote "Dostana’ is great mass entertainment manipulating the inherent homophobia of a country on the threshold of change, but what’s significant is that it will bring parents and children together to share laughs over alternative sexuality and related issues that will no longer remain in the closet." On the contrary, Raja Sen of Rediff.com had mixed feelings about the film. Although he found the film "genuinely entertaining", he was disappointed with the treatment of homosexuality which he thought would send back "an already-fragile mindset of Indians" towards homosexuality a decade back and wrote "We in India haven't yet matured to sensitive, normalised portrayals of homosexuality, and this film continues to paint them as freaks of nature."
Dostana was the first mainstream Indian film to include the topic of Homosexuality. The film has been given credit for bringing light to a sensitive topic to a majority of Indian population, who were unaware about the other possible gender or orientation. After its release, an article published in Screen noted the film was a "giant leap for the gay people in Indian films" and it had sparked a debate on the LGBT community. The report further wrote that "the fact that it is a mainstream film with two mainstream heroes taking the plunge to the extent of even showing a prolonged smooch and courtship should have the pink brigade cheering."
The noted Indian journalist and LGBT rights activists Ashok Row Kavi commended the film saying "I am glad, for the first time in Indian popular cinema, gays were not turned into caricatures and made fun of. What the film has done is to bring to notice gays as a concept in Indian family." The film's depiction of acceptance of a homosexual character by her mother was seen as promoting the ideology of acceptance of gay people. Daily News and Analysis remarked that gay talk went mainstream in Bollywood with Dostana, writing that ""Films like 'Dostana' are playful and funny that bring sexuality as a dinner table conversation piece. Bollywood is open to diversity in terms of subjects including sexuality and the audiences are ready to accept diversified subjects"
Discussing gay rights movements, Namita Bhandare of Mint thought that the film "will also shatter more glass ceilings, make homosexuality a little less taboo and bring conversation about gays and sexual orientation out in the open" and wrote "Here’s a film that is made within the parameters and, therefore, limitations of mainstream cinema. The two lead actors aren’t gay; they only pretend to be gay. But despite these limitations, the film brings homosexuality out of the fringe and into the drawing room. Karan Johar revealed that after the release he received thousands of emails from "kids, youngsters, teenagers, and seniors" thanking him for making the film because now their parents are aware of the concept of homosexuality. In a 2016 interview said "There was once a point when we weren’t even aware. People criticised me for stereotyping homosexuality in Dostana. It's ridiculous how unaware people were before. The film, at least, brought the conversation of homosexuality into the drawing room of every urban home."
Even before its release, Dostana received much attention for its style and fashion. Before the release, the golden swimsuit worn by Chopra and the yellow trunks worn by Abraham received much attention from media, public and fashion critics. The film was a major influence in creating new fashion trends in India. The costumes worn by the stars in the film and their look became very popular after its release. The silver sari worn by Chopra in the song "Desi Girl" became particularly popular. The popularity of the sari compelled designer Manish Malhotra to sell some of its variants in his store. Bachachan's floral shirts, Chopra's golden swimsuit and Abhraham's trunks became a rage with youngsters and college students. Additionally, Chopra's look was heavily copied by the people. The film constantly ranks among the most stylish and fashionable Indian films of all time. The film was voted "Most Stylish Film" by the Filmfare magazine in 2013. Bollywood Hungama also ranked atop in its listing of Most stylish Bollywood movies of all time.
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