Bollywood star Imran Khan is fronting a campaign against the ban on homosexuality which was reinstated by India's Supreme Court earlier this month (Dec13). On 11 December (13), officials withdrew a 2009 Delhi High Court order which decriminalised intercourse between same-sex partners and replaced it with a 153-year-old law banning homosexuality.
Since the ruling, Khan has joined forces with Indian comedy group All India Backc**d to challenge the decision by shooting a satirical video about how homosexuality is perceived in the country.
The actor tells India's The Hindustan Times, "I've always been involved with gay rights. The scenario in this country is disheartening and depressing. These are basic human rights that people are being denied of; they're no minority. The idea of this initiative is to show those who do not support homosexuality, how ridiculous their thinking is."
In the clip, Khan can be seen answering questions from members of the public on the subject of homosexuality.
Following the ruling, several Bollywood stars including Farhan Akhtar and Anushka Sharma have taken to Twitter.com to publicly denounce the decision.
Bollywood stars including Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar have criticised India's supreme court officials after they reinstated a ban on homosexuality. A judgement on Wednesday (11Dec13) overturned a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court order decriminalising intercourse between same-sex partners. The reintroduction of the 153-year-old colonial law means someone convicted of engaging in gay sex faces a maximum 10-year jail sentence.
After the ruling was announced, a number of Indian movie stars took to Twitter.com to denounce the decision.
Actress Sharma writes, "So disappointed with the SC (supreme court) verdict. Freedom is such a deceptive term. Rights are an ambiguous mystery."
Actor/director Akhtar adds, "The Supreme Court got it wrong today," while singer/actress Shruti Haasan wrote, "11.12.13 a day that reminds us how blatant regressing and oppressing someone has become - plan b move bedroom to another planet and time... (It is) frightening how someone else decides how when and who you should love - basically freedom of choice isn't legal anymore".
Filmmaker Anand Gandhi concludes, "Only a highly uninformed mind can have (the) arrogance of assuming that consenting adults having sex is any of their business."
Other stars from the international entertainment industry have also spoken out to condemn the ruling, with openly gay Australian singer Darren Hayes writing, "My experience of India is of the kindest most spiritual and loving beings on the planet. Doesn't make sense to me."
Actress Mia Farrow adds, "Very dark day for freedom and human rights as Indian Supreme Court rules to criminalise homosexuality."
A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.