To say, Milk is a biopic on the first openly gay man person to be elected to public office in America is stating the obvious. Milk is an epic film. When we think of America, we think of progress, development and equality. But we are unaware of the many struggles, that went into the making of America, as we see it today. Harvey Milk may not have been very well known in this part of the world...but to a class of people, with different sexual preferences, he showed the way and led from the front.
Sean Penn, playing the lead role manages to get the mannerism and quirks right and goes deep into the character, whos life in 40's is depicted in the movie. How Milk got over his initial shyness and was almost thrust into accepting a greater role, as gays were getting marginalised in the society and losing their place, in workplace and majorly heterosexual society. The gay movement, led from the Castro street in San Francisco started innocuously enough with a photography store opened by Milk. The film ably depicts how gays fought their way to acceptance in the free society is no less a struggle than other human rights movement based on discrimination like colour of your skin.
The film manages to show lot of small incidents and nuances which make it an easy film to relate to. What appealed to me include Milk's reluctant but assertive thrust into leadership, the gay community's (resulting in lot of men dominating the first half of the movie) initial skepticism to accept lesbians as one of their own, the relationship between gay lovers are strikingly similar to man-woman relationship, their distribution of roles in the family, tiffs and patch up. The movie shows some intricacies of politics where favours and votes are traded and driven by personal agenda. The movie also manages to portray the frustrations of failure and rejection can drive people to the extremes and how religion and God is used to drive down and shape partisan policies conveniently. Milk's complex relationship with his assassin, Dan White (great performance by Josh Brolin) is also well depicted in the relationship when from being an unknown threat, being driven to desperation, he manages to take the lives of two important people in the society.
The film is devoid of any jokes on the gay people, except for the ones where Milk makes on their own community. So, it may not cater to mainstream Indian audience. The movie will appeal to people who appreciate good cinema and primarily urban educated, sensitive multiplex audience. Watch it, soon before it disappears from the theaters. And please rememebr, it's a sensitive film from Gus Van Sant and Sean Penn stable. Don't expect any Dostana stuff here.