Director Faruk Kabir’s Zee5 Original 377 Ab Normal follows years of litigation to decriminalize homosexuality. Only, it focuses its lens on the lives and loves of those most affected by Section 377 and the social stigma that the LGBTQ community has been saddled with for years.
We not only see the arguments that went on in the Indian courts but also get to see the struggles of these five petitioners, who challenged Section 377. The viewers are hooked to this film throughout the back and forth of events.
The central story is loosely based on Lucknow man, Arif Jafar (Zeeshan Ayub), who was arrested from his Bharosa Trust office, a community-based NGO that provided information and counseling for AIDS awareness. Amongst those being educated on safe sex are also homosexual and transgender people, and Jafar gets targeted by a bigoted establishment for being a homosexual himself. He gets incarcerated for propagating ideas around “unnatural sex” and spends 17 years in jail.
Another thread revolves around Pallav (Shashank Arora), who is coming to terms with his sexuality, dealing with heartbreak and struggling to make peace with his family who wants to get him ‘treated for his disease’. And has just turned 18.
Shalmili’s (Maanvi Gagroo) college romance with her friend Nisha blossoms while watching Lihaaf. When Shalmili comes out to her mother (Tanvi Azmi), she is upset but for reasons that the young girl had not expected.
We just had the outside view to all thing happening with the LGBTQ community, but this film we get to know how much struggle they had to face, and it surely is not pretty. It’s an amazing film and it is a must-watch for sure