Set in Sri Lanka where Selvadurai grew up, Funny Boy is constructed in the form of six poignant stories about a boy coming to age within a wealthy Tamil family in Colombo. Between the ages of seven and fourteen, he explores his sexual identity, and encounters the Sinhala - Tamil tensions leading up to the riots. The novel presents vivid sketches of family members, friends, school teachers, shown co-operating, arguing, loving, and living. The large Tamil family, and its arguments and discussions reflect a specific culture, while in many aspects the problems are universal. Tension mounts as the riots come closer to home, and the whole family sleeps in their shoes so they can quickly escape should the Sinhalese mobs descend. When Selvadurai's Funny Boy was published in , it was hailed as one of the most powerful renditions of the trauma of the prevailing ethnic tensions in contemporary Sri Lanka.
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Bilal Qureshi. Arush Nand plays the young Arjie at his make-believe wedding in Funny Boy. ARRAY hide caption. In the opening pages of the Canadian novel Funny Boy , a young Sri Lankan boy named Arjie refuses to play cricket with the boys as his father insists. He'd rather bedazzle in bridal reds and join the girls' make-believe wedding.
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At the center of the story is Arjie, a boy from a well-off Tamil family who would rather dress up as a bride for pretend weddings with the girls than play cricket with the boys. And it is not long after that the film offers its first glimpse of brutal anti-Tamil violence. It is once this context is established that the film jumps forward nine years to follow a now year-old Arjie, played by Brandon Ingram, as he falls for Shehan Rehan Mudannayake , an attractive Sinhalese boy he meets at school. And the juxtaposition helps to show how oppression and prejudice and expectations are not always straightforward. Not rated Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes Playing: Available on Netflix.