Karan Johar seems to have decided to deconstruct the image of Rishi Kapoor that the Indian public has in mind about him- a romantic hero, and a boy next door and tell the world what a fine performer he is and the world of Hindi cinema did not realize his potential. He did it with rare panache in AGNEEPATH by giving him the role of a lecherous Kareem Lala, which indeed is going to sweep the awards, when the annual ritual of hosting them begins within three months from now.
In STUDENT OF THE YEAR, Rishi Kapoor is playing the role of a gay Dean. It would be for the first time in all probability that a mainstream actor would be enacting such role in the recent times, and with Rishi Kapoor playing the role of a gay character, one is sure to get a powerhouse of a performance. So far, the enactment of gay characters has most of the times had an element of sarcasm and humor associated with it, but STUDENT OF THE YEAR should be able to change the dynamics.
It was the master performer, Sanjeev Kumar who had enacted the role of a gay with panache in NAYA DIN NAYI RAAT, but there too an element of sarcasm was associated with the mannerisms that Sanjeev Kumar had enacted on the screen, especially the dialogue- Chakka, that underlined the image that a gay character has for the common man.
After all, even one of the greatest historic texts had the character of Shkhandi in it, as also Arjun had played the role of a gay character in Mahabharata during the period of hibernation to which they had been banished. So gay characters have been a part of our historical construct and the cinematic fraternity needed the enactment of such a role by a consummate performer like Rishi Kapoor to set the things in perspective. We have a tradition of Ardhnarishwar as well, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu, which is also known as Mohini.
Maybe, after STUDENT OF THE YEAR, more such attempts to portray a gay character would be undertaken by the mainstream actors of Hindi cinema. After all, the tendencies are now coming out of the closet so it is high time cinema also should start focusing on including characters from this genre as well.