Over ninety years ago, the word gay did not exist except as a term for happiness and anybody who claimed to be a woman trapped in a man’s body (or vice versa) was promptly labelled a schizophrenic, which is the doctors’ term for being mad, and was sent to be locked up in a mental asylum; this inspite of that person showing no signs of threat to the society. In such a time one person dared to or rather was driven to desperation by his/her’s physical needs to not only declare that he was a woman trapped in a man’s body but undergo surgery to remove his male organs and replace them with a female’s organs. This was the first time that the surgery was attempted. This movie is based on a fictional novel written on his life. The gay/transgender community would in fact object to him being called as ‘he’ or ‘him’ as would rather prefer that he should be referred to as a woman since that is what he thought himself as, but since he was born with a man’s organs I will refer to him as ‘he’.
This being the era of political correctness, the movie obviously takes the liberals’ view of the whole situation . Not only is the movie shown in a way that is bound to arouse empathy for him, but the movie attempts to show successfully that some individuals are so much in need for ‘changing their biological gender’ that they take the extreme step of actually surgically changing it, despite the huge risks of medical complications .
So a Danish, from the country called Denmark, couple (both of whom are painters ) seemingly have a happy marriage. One day the wife asks the husband to pose for a painting as a female, and the touch of female clothes begins to bring out his latent desire which has been suppressed for a long time; that of living like a female. He soon dresses like a female and attends a party where male attention is directed to him. To the shock and horror of his wife , he begins to kiss a man who does not know that he is not a female. There are scenes in which he stands naked in front of the mirror trying to push his penis between his legs and make it disappear, even though there are other scenes in which he and his wife have normal sex, his wife is shown naked too and she is a treat to watch when she is fully nude .
But gradually his ‘female part’ becomes dominant in his personality over his ‘male part’ and he wants to dress like a woman; dreams of having a husband and children and love and romance. His naturally feminine looks and slim body makes it easy to look and dress like female. The usual problems in such situations follow. He goes to the bedroom of a man but as the man tries to have sex he has to run away for fear of his ‘real’ identity being revealed when clothes are removed, rough persons pick on his ‘strange’ appearance and beat him up , doctors are finding him to be mad, and his wife needs a man too, a real one, and gets sometimes physically close to an old friend of him .
Coming to the last point, it is surprising to see that the wife helps him all the way and lasts so long with him; that she does not leave him and find a real man for herself. Is she in love with the person rather than his gender? A quick research revealed that only the movie shows the wife staying with him till the end as in real life their marriage got annulled and she found another partner, which is what one would expect to see happening in such a situation .
Anyway with the wife being cooperative and being so much involved with him, the setting is just perfect for some emotional and moving scenes. It has a liberal agenda of showing that transgenders are part of society too and asks us to look at their situation with sympathy.
So what happens after the surgery? Does the main protagonist of the movie achieve what he wants and become as much female as possible? What about the medical complications of such surgeries? You will have to watch the movie for the answers .
Eddie Redmayne plays the transgender and Alicia Vikander plays his wife and they all act well. This is only to be expected. The liberal lobby gets the best actors and directors nowadays because that is the only way the actors and directors can get their talents to be appreciated; if they turn right wing they will be panned by the critics who are all of the liberal variety. Photography and background score of the film is good.
Verdict—Can be called a decent movie.
Two and a half stars .