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Original film poster
|Directed by||Nilanjan Neil Lahiri|
|Produced by||Ratna Maity (producer)|
Bharat Shah (exec. producer)
|Screenplay by||Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla |
Akshat Verma (writer)
|Story by||Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla (novel)|
|Music by||Karsh Kale|
|Edited by||Nilanjan Neil Lahiri|
The Ode is a 2008 film directed by Nilanjan Neil Lahiri and starring Sachin Bhatt, Wilson Cruz and Sakina Jaffrey. The film is an adaptation of the novel, Ode to Lata by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla. The biopic was shot on location in Kenya and in Los Angeles and produced by Ratna Maity, with Bharat Shah as executive producer.
Ode to Lata
The film is an adaptation of the book Ode to Lata written by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla. It was a critically acclaimed debut novel for the author published in 2002. It provides an insight into an often maligned realm of LGBT life through its focus on racial diversity on the scene. Los Angeles Times Book Review called it "An achievement... This story resonates for any and all of us. A book of healing, of a soul coming to terms with itself and the body and mind it inhabits". A 10th anniversary edition was published in November 2012.
The storyline spans two generations of Indians. There is the doomed but passionate love story of Parin (Sakina Jaffrey) and Shiraz (Anil Kumar). This is intertwined with the life of their gay son Ali (Sachin Bhatt) who discovers that the past is always present no matter how far you run from it. Ali flees to Hollywood, away from his overprotective mother and the memories of his father's violent death.
A successful banker by day, at night Ali's life unravels in a blur of alcohol, drugs, and sex as he grapples with love, loss and ultimately, forgiveness. When his mother comes to Los Angeles to visit Ali in a last-ditch attempt to bring him back home and change his ways, the trapdoors of the past are flung open. Through Ali's struggle to break free and in his obsessive relationship with Richard (Diego Serrano), we glimpse into a troubled past he cannot escape and which threatens to destroy him unless he finds peace with his mother.
- Sachin Bhatt as Ali
- Wilson Cruz as Adrian
- Sakina Jaffrey as Parin
- Parvesh Cheena as Salman
- Diego Serrano as Richard
- Rebecca Hazlewood as Young Parin
- Philip Anthony-Rodriguez as Nelson
- Lakshmi Manchu as Najma
- Enrique Almeida as Cholo (1)
- Noel Gugliemi as Cholo (2)
- Ajay Mehta as Mr. Surani
- Anoush NeVart as Mrs. Surani (credited as Anna NeVart)
- Yasmine Delawari as Guli
- Anil Kumar as Shiraz
The Ode premiered at the Outfest Film Festival on July 17, 2008 to a sold-out audience. It was called "a beautiful portrait of the American experience for many first and second-generation Indian-Americans" (CineQueer, July 18, 2008). The UCLA Asia Institute praised it as a film that inspired "after-film contemplation" and boasting performances that are "noteworthy" (Asia Pacific Arts, August 8, 2008).
- USC: Asia Pacific Arts: Outfest 2008: capsule reviews
- Huffington Post: The Two Krishnas: A Novel You Can’t Ignore
- Publishers Weekly: ODE TO LATA - Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla, Author
- Straight: Bollywood films enter a brave, gay world
- DNA India: Shah goes global with 'Ode' to Hollywood
- Publishers' Weekly review
- Los Angeles Times: Song of Himself (review)
- Vada magazine: Review
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