Hope a ‘Dostana’ Is Never Made & Labelled as ‘Representation’ Again

To be fair, there were instances in the film that aimed at establishing normalcy around homosexuality. Priyanka‘s character made sure that she does not treat the two guys differently and goes on to become best friends with them. She even convinces Sam’s mother played by Kirron Kher to accept her son for who he is.

After all their visible irritation over homosexuality, toxic masculinity, and manipulation of their best friend to sabotage her relationship with her boyfriend, Sam and Kunal finally realise that they messed up. Now, they don’t want to lose Neha as a friend, so they come clean. They apologise – not for their blatant homophobia and sexism but because they ‘broke her heart and manipulated her.’

If one was to objectively look at it, Friendly didn’t really succeed in doing either of the two most important things it should have aimed to:

  • It failed to accurately represent the LGBTQIA+ community because it was riddled with stereotypes

  • It also failed to attempt to normalise queerness because at the end, the two homophobic men didn’t really learn their lessons or apologise for being problematic

The kiss between John and Abhishek towards the end cannot be considered a “lesson” for the two, because homosexuality is way beyond two people of the same sex kissing each other.

Undoubtedly, the film was an actual representation of how stigmas and stereotypes work, but when two A-list Bollywood stars are mocking the reality of an entire community on the big screen without any apology whatsoever, the heteronormative society watching it doesn’t learn any lessons either.

Five years before FriendlyKaran Johar made Kal Ho Naa Ho Free Mp3 Download and the world was introduced to Kantaben, who went on to become the flagbearer of homophobia. Scores of queer people were mocked in schools and colleges while bullies hummed the popular ‘Kantaben’ background score from the film.

Imagine the trauma, the self-doubt, the insecurity, and the suffocation that scores of ‘closeted’ queers must have suffered while plots and films like these made the entire cinema halls laugh at who they really are.