‘Venus’ delivers timely message about gender preference tolerance
Sid Gill (Debargo Sanyal) is presently being pressured by his East Indian immigrant parents (Zena Darawalla and Gordon Warnecke) to settle down and start a family. They are even willing to find the bride. Trouble is, they have no idea their son is on the verge of transitioning into a woman.
“My body is a costume I cannot take off,” Sal laments to himself, which explains his feeling that “I must have landed here from Venus.” Nevertheless, he’s trying to summon up the courage to inform not only his folks of his gender change plans, but his boss as well.
Meanwhile, he can’t figure out why a white kid on a skateboard (Jamie Meyers) has been following him around a lot lately. When he finally confronts the teen on the street, he gets a jaw-dropping explanation: “You’re my dad!” Sure enough, Ralph turns out to be the love child of Sid and his high school sweetheart, Kirsten Lewis. Too bad Kirsten (Amber Goldfarb) never bothered to tell him about the pregnancy, and still doesn’t want to have anything to do with him when he knocks on her door to find out why. So, that adds a little baby-mama drama to the mix.
Oh, and Ralph’s arrival threatens to wreck Sid’s relationship with Daniel (Pierre-Yves Cardinal). Daniel’s gay but deep in the closet, and not ready to further complicate his life with a stepson.
All of the above is unraveled and resolved in delightful fashion in Venus, a kitchen sink dramedy written and directed by Eisha Marjara (“Desperately Seeking Helen”). Though the cross-cultural, cross-generational adventure touches on a variety of themes, what makes it all worthwhile is its timely and tenderhearted exploration of transgender issues.
An apropos redefinition of the meaning of family for the 21st century!
AT A GLANCE
“Venus” Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 95 minutes
Production Studio: Compass Productions
Studio: Wolfe Releasing