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film review

Debargo Sanyal, centre, stars as Sid in Venus.

  • Venus
  • Written and directed by: Eisha Marjara
  • Starring: Debargo Sanyal
  • Classification: PG
  • Length: 95 minutes

Rating:

2.5 out of 4 stars

To its credit, Venus manages to take a complicated premise and turn it into a pretty compelling drama. Sid (Debargo Sanyal) is South Asian and transitioning to become a woman. Life is messy enough with an overbearing Indian mother (Zeena Daruwalla) wanting Sid to settle down and have kids, and a closeted boyfriend (Pierre-Yves Cardinal), never mind the minefield of stepping out of the house as her true self. Then Sid’s life gets turned upside down when Ralph (Jamie Mayers) skateboards into her life. Turns out the teenage Ralph is Sid’s biological son. And he’s white. Directed by Eisha Marjara (Desperately Seeking Helen) and shot in Montreal, Venus is a Canadian indie with a big heart. There are a couple of chuckle-worthy moments, true to films about culture clashes, even as some of the drama between Sid, his parents and Ralph gets a little – as the kids say these days – extra. But Venus also offers up many insights into the challenges of a racialized person undergoing transition, both emotional and physical. In the end, Venus is a story about acceptance and how it can come from unexpected places; it’s a lesson we could all learn from, especially in current times.