a film by Mehul Shah
2009 | 113 mins | US
›› Bollywood Beats
a Bollywood styled toe-tapping delight.
Bollywood Beats by Mehul Shah Clearly putting his cinematic voice where his heart is, here we find writer, director and co-star Mehul Shah deliver an upbeat and fun-filled work that is as heartwarming, as it is Bollywood inspired.

And no surprises for guessing that it's all to do with dance, even if star of the show Raj figures his days of letting his feet do the talking are all but numbered, by way of a father intent on making him join the family business. Not that this is his only concern, given he's recently been dumped by his girlfriend, threatened with eviction and is forever waiting for call backs, that don't arrive. Thankfully into his life Lady Luck is about to enter courtesy of a chance encounter with Jyoti; an independent woman who encourages him to start his own dance class. Not that she's alone in getting down and dirty on the hip hop floor with Raj, as soon to join her are grandmother and granddaughter pairing Vina and Puja, the beautiful if all too devoted Laxmi, together with out but not exactly proud local boy Vincent. Only when faced with the troubled realities of their lives on the home front, have one and all got what it takes to put on a prize winning show?

Bollywood Beats by Mehul Shah In a work in which traditional Bollywood music and dance are fused with a modern day take, Shah and to his credit takes more than just time out to preach from the rainbow pulpit, contrasting the mindset of Vincent's homophobic father against a dance troupe totally at ease with gay blood within the group and here cue the "I'm straight, but my boyfriend isn't" nightclub scene. Yet this is also a film that is not afraid to comment on Indian life, of culture clashes, ingrained opinions and of cheating husbands, having taken as its foundation stone the maxim of "dancing to the beat of your own drum," no matter what others say about your sexuality, career choice or lifestyle itself.

Sure the end result is lightweight by design. But it's also somewhat endearing, that of a feel-good comedy determined to entertainment you, right up to its set piece choreographed finale, with Sachin Bhatt it has to be said vibrant throughout as lovable Raj. Only it's Vincent who ends up with eyes being made in his direction, courtesy of a cameo from Hold Your Peace cutie Tyler Brockington. All of which makes for a nice touch in this Bollywood styled toe-tapping delight, that and as expected is full of energy, colour and dance, if not larger than life Dallas-like set designs. That it equally marks a cinematic step in the right direction, goes without saying, even if the lack of man-on-man lip-service can only but illustrate that whilst on the path of Indian gay rights and visibility, it may take awhile to get there.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.
available on DVD as part of the Breaking Glass Pictures catalogue: 31.January.2012 / US.
starring: Sachin Bhatt / Raj, Lillete Dubey / Jyoti, Pooja Kumar / Laxmi, Sarita Joshi / Vina,
Mansi Patel / Puja, Mehul Shah / Vincent and Tyler Brockington as Sean.
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #456
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