Director: Hitesh Kewalya
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Manu Rishi, Sunita Raiwar,Maanvi Gagroo
Kartik Singh (Aayushmann Khurrana) and Aman Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar) are in love with each other. Aman takes Kartik to his hometown for a cousin’s wedding where he finds out his parents are planning to arrange a wedding for him. Aman’s family come to know Aman and Kartik are gay and all hell breaks loose. Did they open the eyes of this traditional family to understand all love is the same love?
Though the main storyline is an important social topic that needs to be addressed, the film handles the matter in a light and humorous way. The reaction of the family to the ‘shocking’ news about their son and his lover and the drama that blows up are hilarious. The characters are natural and the film feels realistic and not cinematic. Aayushmaan Khurrana is one of the finest actors in India and he definitely needs to be appreciated for choosing to star in this movie and no other big Bollywood star would have agreed to play a lead gay character. He makes us feel sorry for Kartik by his expressions and emotions, when Aman’s family verbally abuse him and even cross the line and beat him. Jitendra Kumar has nailed his portrayal of Aman, a confused soul who struggles to decide between family and love. Aman’s character arc is well-crafted as he goes from feeling embarrassed about being with Kartik to proudly declaring their love for each other. . Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta as Shankar Tripathi and Sunaina Tripathi have given their best and their performance is laudable.
The overall chemistry between the cast has worked out well, adding more credit to the film. The songs are refreshing and do not affect the flow and pace of the story.
The film brings out some strong points on homosexual relationships that we as a society turn a blind eye to.
It also has some interesting analogies that travel through out the story. The beliefs of Shankar Tripathi that being gay is unnatural and wrong, are compared to the ‘black cauliflower’ that he farms which are rotten and good for nothing. In the song ‘Arey Pyaar Kar le’ which plays at the end of the film when the credits roll, Kartik and Aman can be seen sharing an apple, the same fruit Adam and Eve ate though forbidden to do so. Why it should be Adam and Eve who ate the fruit? Can’t it be Adam and Steve? The film also sheds light on how people view homosexual people. The Tripathi family try to convince Aman that being gay is just a ‘disease’ which can be cured. Even today, a lot of people would agree with them, obviously because of unawareness.
‘My sexuality is MY sexuality; none of YOUR sexuality’ says Kartik, summarising the entire concept of LGBTQ in a single, powerful sentence.
The film could have been longer, to bring out even more about valuable content that our people need, to fully understand and accept the gay community.
A much needed film addressing a ‘taboo’ topic, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a worth watch for sure.
Let us hope this film revives the need for more movies on LGBTQ in Indian cinema and inspires people to make such films.
Available on Amazon prime