A young boy is a bit different in Deepa Mehta’s charming and emotional new film Funny Boy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Set in 1970’s and 1980’s Sri Lanka, and adapted from Shyam Selvadurai’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name, Funny Boy is a coming-of-age film of a young boys exploration of his identity and set against the backdrop of 1980’s Sri Lankan Civil War.

Arjie (Arush Nand) lives with his wealthy family in a beautiful home and very close to his large extended family. He doesn’t want to play soccer with the other boys, including his brother – he actually wants to dress up in colourful clothes and hang out with his cool aunt Rahda (Agam Darshi). But Arjie’s parents know he is different, but as Arjie gets older (played by Brandon Ingram), there is no denying that Arjie is gay. He even becomes best friends with, and then falls in love with a fellow male classmate. And when his family catches them in the act, they feel that Arjie has disgraced them, And it’s especially more daunting is that his boyfriend is Sinhalese, while Arjie and his family are Tamil. This is all set against instability and unrest in Sri Lanka, and at a time when homosexuality there was illegal (it still remains as an offence in the country’s books). Arjie suffers because of who he is and who he loves.

Funny Boy is such a lovely film. We would like for more films just like this, please.

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Written by Deepa Mehta and Shyam Selvadurai, the film stars Brandon Ingram, Nimmi Harasgama, Agam Darshi, Ali Kazmi, Seema Biswas, and Arush Nand.

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Funny Boy is Canada’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category.

Now playing in the UK and Ireland also available on Netflix.