Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gangs of Wasseypur II

A fleeting nano-second from Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Ganges of Wasseypur II’ (2012). I wanted to write a 500-word piece on the scene, but then decided to keep quiet. The scene is at once surprising and expected. You wonder how this small nano-second managed to find a place in a film which is so large, so panoramic and so ambitious and so macho.

I think, this the answer. Wasseypur is a macho world of gun-trotting, foul-mounted conmen set out to outsmart each other. In this context, homo-eroticism is part of the lifestyle, especially when one is drunk, so that after it is done, the next morning he can blame it on the drink.

The scene is a drunken party, with a 'Launda dance' and all. But, the main character, a conmen and the film's protagonist Faisal Khan's small-time enemy, (Rajkumar Yadav, who plays Shamshad Alam, a small-time businessman from Dhanbad) isn't harassing the dancer, but shows his affection for a policeman!

Then, I went to Google, which threw up this interesting link:///

In Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur II, there’s a wedding scene, but things proceed rather differently. It features a launda dance, in which a transgender male puts on a drag performance for an all-male crowd. This custom is popular in Bihar and West Bengal and, all too often, launda dancers are subjected to serious sexual and physical abuse by the audience. The film’s depiction isn’t graphic but it gives some indication of the harassment suffered by launda dancers... “I knew what all these launda dancers go through, but they had always been stories to me,” said Pradipta Ray, the star of Wasseypur’s launda dance and a designer and art director who has worked on films such as Rang De Basanti and Love, Wrinkle-Free. ... Though he has heard tales of maltreatment from launda dancers in Kolkata, it wasn’t until he filmed the scene that he gained a greater understanding of their experiences. “It’s a very high-risk profession… Launda performances have one or two dancers and 20 or 30 men after them, all drunk. It’s out of control.”
More here.

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