Deepa Mehta’s “Funny Boy” is Canada’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category. The film is based on the best-selling Canadian novel by Shyam Selvadurai.
In the trailer, we see the introduction of a young boy Arjie who is made fun of for his ‘girly’ ways in his childhood. Later in his younger years, he is tormented for his sexual preference and is even rebuked by the family for going against the societal norms. But he always has the support of his mother. As the trailer proceeds, we also get to see the building tension between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. Amid this political furor, Arjie tries to find acceptance and love.
“Funny Boy” is shot and set in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and ’80s. Throughout the trailer, we get to see shots of beautiful locales of the country. Co-written by Mehta and Selvadurai, and produced by David Hamilton, it stars Arush Nand and Brandon Ingram. The film’s cast also includes Nimmi Harasgama, Ali Kazmi, Agam Darshi, Seema Biswas, Rehan Mudannayake, and Shivantha Wijesinha.
Mehta’s previous films include the Elemental Trilogy — “Fire” (1996), “Earth” (1998), and “Water” (2009) — with the latter receiving an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film. Other credits include “Bollywood/Hollywood,” “Heaven on Earth” and the adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children.”
Selvadurai’s 1994 novel “Funny Boy,” published by McClelland & Stewart, was the winner of the WH Smith Books/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Lambda Award for Best Gay Men’s Fiction (1997). It was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize (1994) and named an American Library Association Notable Book (1996).
As seen before, this Deepa Mehta movie is also attracting social fury. People from the Tamil diaspora are calling for a boycott of the queer coming-of-age movie as none of the actors in the lead role are of Tamil descent. Such an uproar is a fairly old hat for the director, whose productions have endured unruly protests and even government shutdowns.
The movie is scheduled to premiere on CBC in Canada on December 4th and on Netflix in the US on December 10th.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.