Travel and sexuality throws up different thoughts and feelings for us all. For me, it threw up the term travelling sexuality. I like it. Travelling sexuality. It sounds exotic or intellectual, adventurous, dangerous, depending on who you are and how you live life. A travelling sexuality could describe the way we evolve as sexual beings, shifting and changing identities.
“‘Dhandewali’s must smoke; paan is a must; a ‘dhandewali’ can never escape her identity; ‘dhandewali’s must dress ‘differently’… Spanning over 6 decades of Bollywood cinema, ‘Zinda Laash’ highlights how very little has changed across the ages when it comes to the industry’s representation of women in prostitution. Humorously drawing attention to stereotypes, while poignantly highlighting myths, ‘Zinda Laash’ is a tribute to every sex worker who is not recognised as a woman or a human being.”
In my opinion, Ghosh was in search of a language of cinema which could be adequately expressive of queerness; he was slowly moving towards inventing that language, which would not be alienating to his conformist audiences, yet, would be intelligibly pleasurable to his (informed) queer viewers.
The anthology’s pull rests in its sincere and frank portrayal of male and female desires cutting across the divides of age, sexuality, and socioeconomic position. In terms of romance, the idealistic, till-death-do-us-part fantasy peddled by our movies and mainstream literature has been replaced by a realistic portrayal of modern relationships.
The film has all the makings and trimmings of a commercial thriller – a dynamic story, song and dance, an action-packed climax – and at the same time, it is a cinephile’s film.