Queering the Gaze: Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality in Main Hoon Na

Queering the Gaze: Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality in Main Hoon Na. from Lakshmi Padmanabhan on Vimeo.

Abstract

This digital project uses the film Main Hoon Na, (Farah Khan, 2004) to make two,
interrelated arguments. First, this project subverts Laura Mulvey’s reading of the
functioning of gender roles in cinema in her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative
Cinema”. In the essay, Mulvey argues that narrative cinema functions in a way that
objectifies women who passively remain the ‘spectacle’ and subject to the ‘male
gaze,’ which directs the camera’s movement and the audience’s pleasure from the
film. However, my project highlights the heteronormativity of such claims by using a
queer reading practice to highlight the homoerotic relationship between the
protagonists as well as the male body as a site of audience pleasure and spectacle.
This project also uses Jose Estaban Munoz’s work Disidentifications: Queers of Color
and The Practice of Politics
(2009) to argue that the act of remixing serves as a
disidentificatory practice that neither fully opposes the hegemonic structures nor is
subsumed by them. Instead, it uses the material of the dominant ideology (in this
case, heteronormativity) to fashion a narrative that is resistant yet celebratory of
the original work.