Director's Cut: Jaydeep Sarkar Of Rainbow Rishta: I Found Far More Progressive People In Bhayandar Than I’ve Come Across In Bandra

Director's Cut: Jaydeep Sarkar Of Rainbow Rishta: I Found Far More Progressive People In Bhayandar Than I’ve Come Across In Bandra

The 44-year old director opens up about pushing the envelope further for more queer narratives to be told

Vijayalakshmi NarayananUpdated: Friday, November 17, 2023, 04:35 AM IST
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Director Jaydeep Sarkar has recently directed the docu-series Rainbow Rishta, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video and was also screened at the recent edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. With his intent to highlight and celebrate queer joy on celluloid, Sarkar speaks exclusively to Team Free Press Journal about why we as a society, have a long path to tread in terms of inclusivity and acceptance.

Speaking about the need to make Rainbow Rishta, Jaydeep shares, “I haven't really seen stories of queer joy on-screen. I wanted the world to watch what happens when queer people are in a room together. We're not victims sitting and mopping about our struggles. We have a lot of fun and the energy in the room is always infectious. Which is why the making of Rainbow Rishta had so much love.”

How does he take to a lot of distasteful depiction of the LGBTQIA community on the big screen? “Unfortunately, in most cases, the on-screen portrayal of queer characters are either villainous or outright comical. Of course, there have been few and far instances of great queer performances which have really moved me. But for the longest time, so many stereotypes were reiterated which are very, very detrimental for a young soul, all of 14, who wants to come out of the closet. The more such narratives are peddled, the more it becomes difficult for a queer individual to speak up and say their truth,” Jaydeep iterates.

He further adds, “I, being 44, wanted to make a show where my 14-year old self could watch and feel encouraged to share his/her story. Because while I'm aware that the world may be a problematic place, I also live with hope and I firmly believe that there are many kind and accepting souls.”

While speaking about hope, Jaydeep does not shy away from stating that there is a dire need to make much progress in enabling more queer stories. He says, “I really think very little has happened honestly. If I have to only go by the reviews for Rainbow Rishta, while a lot of wonderful things have been said, there is a slight tone of 'Look at how they live'. It's almost like we have made a primer on gay love. No, we've made a show about love.”

Being the eternal optimist that Jaydeep is, he quickly adds on a concluding note, “Having said that, through the process of the show, I can tell you that I found far more progressive people in Bhayandar than I’ve come across in Bandra. But a lot of work still needs to be done. Ever since Section 377 has been struck down, the general perception is, you can exist but don’t ask for anything further,” he signs off.

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