Watch Funny Boy
- 1 hr 49 min
Set against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's civil war, Funny Boy is a coming-of-age drama directed by Deepa Mehta. The movie, which is based on the novel of the same name by Shyam Selvadurai, tells the story of a young Tamil boy named Arjie growing up in Colombo in the 1970s and 1980s. Arjie is a sensitive and creative boy who loves to read and write. He prefers playing dress-up with his female cousins to playing cricket with the boys. This makes him an outsider in his conservative Tamil family, who are trying to uphold traditional gender norms. His mother, the somewhat rebellious and modern-minded Amma, understands Arjie's difference but is powerless to do much about it. As tension rises between the Tamil and Sinhalese communities, Arjie's family becomes caught up in the civil unrest. They try to navigate daily life under curfews and roadblocks while worrying about their safety. Through it all, Arjie is drawn towards Shehan, a charming and confident boy from school who shares his interests and challenges his conceits. Together with Shehan, Arjie discovers a world of artistic expression and gay love. But their relationships are seen as taboo, signs of Western decadence. As war breaks out and the Tamil minority faces persecution, Arjie and his family must leave their homeland and begin anew in Canada. There, Arjie must confront his sexuality and reconcile it with his identity as a Sri Lankan Tamil. Funny Boy is a powerful and poignant movie about identity, belonging, and tolerance. It spans several decades and features a richly drawn cast of characters, including the wise and dignified Aunt Radha (Seema Biswas), the fiery and loving Amma (Nimmi Harasgama), and the enigmatic and tragic Shehan (Brandon Ingram). The film also captures the beauty and complexity of Sri Lanka's culture, landscape, and history. From the rituals of a Hindu wedding to the sounds of a street vendor selling fish curry, the movie immerses the viewer in the sights and sounds of a place that is at once familiar and foreign. At its core, however, Funny Boy is a story about courage and compassion. Arjie's journey from a boy who feels ashamed of his desires to a man who embraces his truth is both heartbreaking and inspiring. His struggles mirror those of countless others who have had to fight for acceptance and dignity in the face of prejudice and hate. The movie is beautifully shot and scored, with an attention to detail and nuance that brings each scene to life. The performances are uniformly excellent, with Darshi bringing a quiet intensity to Arjie and Biswas infusing Aunt Radha with a quiet strength. Overall, Funny Boy is a must-watch movie that showcases the power of storytelling to illuminate human experience. It speaks to universal themes of love, loss, hope, and resilience, while also shedding light on a specific and important historical moment. It will leave you moved, inspired, and grateful for the complexity and beauty of life.