Ever since it’s trailer launch, Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani starrer Laxmii has been making a lot of buzz for two reasons — the first being the fact that a mainstream Bollywood film has never been made before with a transgender as the focus, and secondly, an A-lister such as Akshay Kumar is playing that part onscreen.
The film, which releases today on an OTT platform, held a special premiere in the Capital recently for the transgender community, and was met with glowing word of mouth. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender rights activist, watched it and was touched by the representation.
“Some publications are opposing it, and putting up articles against it. How much do they know about the reality? I am really shocked. What do you mean by that? There are many films I also acted in, nobody bought it, it’s a business. Without seeing a film, on the eve of it’s release, these articles are being written. I have seen the film,” she tells us, sounding upset about how some people on social media are trying to spread negativity.
Adding that people from the community who are as old as 60 have seen and appreciated Kumar’s performance and the treatment, she continues, “Those trans women have lead their life full of stigma in this country, and if she feels this way about the film… the problem is, if you even look at the business, nobody directs a film (on this). After the Supreme Court verdict (in 2018, it struck down article 377), many things were written. My first comment right now would be to watch the film first.”
The best part of the film, according to Tripathi, is of course Kumar playing the role, and how it has shown the current situation for the transgender community.
“Any transgender is equal to any man or woman, which comes out from the film in a very strong way. I believe it is wonderful, and instead of criticism, we should appreciate Akshay ji for being such a strong man and doing such a strong film,” she says, when asked about what was her first reaction after watching the film
Just before she ended the conversation, she also makes us talk to Kamal Guru, the 60-year-old transwoman she mentioned.
Guru gushes, “Itni pyaari lagi film, aaj tak koi film aisi nahi lagi. I have been in the hijra community for years. I cried two-three times while the film was playing. I pray to God that this film gets a lot of praise, I don’t want anything else.”