Queer South Asian Cinema

Below is the trailer for The Ode, Nilanjan Neil Lahiri's adaptation of Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla's novel, Ode to Lata:

While the film looks compelling enough, I'm a little disappointed with this trailer. Ode to Lata is, in my opinion, one of the most important books by a desi writer in a long time. Part of the book's strength is Dhalla's unwillingness to allow Ali's story to become mere soap opera. Rather, Dhalla weaves together a complex literary narrative that relies heavily on tropes of contemporary Indian cinema--Ode to Lata is a most cinematic piece of literature. When I heard that an adaptation was in the works I was excited by the prospect of a desi film that tackled the issue of queer film spectatorship. Imagine the creative possibilities of a film about a queer Bollywood cinephile! Yet, from what I can tell from the trailer above the film adaptation has removed any and all reference to Indian cinema, including the 'Lata' of the title. Seems like a missed opportunity to me. We'll have to wait and see.

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