Sachin Bhatt hopes that his new film ‘Monogamish’ will get audiences to rethink how they define relationships. The film — which screens at the New York Indian Film Festival on May 9 as part of a block of shorts about LGBT issues — features a devoted (but not exclusive) couple as they redefine their concept of commitment.
Bhatt — who first introduced himself to theater audiences when he was cast as the lead role of Akaash in the traveling tour of “Bombay Dreams” in 2006 — plays Sagar, a self-described sexually fluid person. Sagar’s deep connection with Nishi (Nishi Munshi) is obvious, but the pair are clear that they are not monogamous and that they are are not partners in the traditional sense of the world.
We had the chance to chat with Bhatt at the New York Film Festival’s red carpet opening about his film and what it was like to pen his first script.
The Teal Mango: I love the title ‘Monogamish.’ How would you describe the plot of your film?
Sachin Bhatt: ‘Monogamish’ is monogamy, but “ish.” It’s about an Indian sexually fluid couple that are maneuvering through a nontraditional, non-monogamous relationship. But they are committed. So it’s about maneuvering through these boundaries and these commitments that they are in.
TTM: So how do the main characters identify in terms of sexual orientation and gender?
SB: Well, it’s mainly about a female and a male, but they both are fluid. They are not necessarily bisexual but they are both on the spectrum. I don’t want to give away the ending, but they are a very heated, passionate couple who go through some roadblocks when some new information is presented.
TTM: I think that while many people portray South Asian American culture as very conservative, stories like this one could be seen as a sign that things are changing?
SB: It’s very exciting and I am very excited to be a part of it. I wrote this movie because this is something that I live and I know. But also, within the Indian community and outside the Indian community, I wanted to show that we are very sexual, we are complicated. These narratives push the envelope.
TTM: Definitely. Because while we talk a lot about how conservative South Asians are, it’s important to remember that the rest of America is pretty conservative too when it comes to these things.
‘Monogamish’ will screen as part of the New York Indian Film Festival’s block of LGBT short films on May 9. For more information, click here. Be sure to also check out our interview with director Molly Karna, whose film ‘Arrangement’ will also be shown that evening.