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Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan review- Perfect primer for Indians to talk about homosexuality

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Saavdhan review: Perfect primer for Indians to talk about...

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SHUBH MANGAL ZYADA SAAVDHAN REVIEW: PERFECT PRIMER FOR INDIANS TO TALK
ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY

THIS AYUSHMANN KHURRANA AND JITENDRA KUMAR-STARRER WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH
OUT LOUD AND THINK TWICE ABOUT HOW ACCEPTING INDIAN PARENTS REALLY
ARE.

Madhavi Pothukuchi
21 February, 2020 5:05 pm IST

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A still from Shubh
Mangal Zyada Saavdhan | YouTube
Text Size: A- A+
“_V__aise beta, yeh kab decide kiya ki ‘yeh’ banoge?_”
(“When did you decide you’d become ‘like this’?)

This is a question Manurishi Chaddha’s character, a bumbling,
kind-hearted uncle, asks Ayushmann Khurrana. The latter replies,
“_Aapne kab decide kiya ki aap gay nahi banoge_?” (When did you
decide you’d not become gay?)

It is this kind of discourse that Hitesh Kewalya’s _Shubh Mangal
Zyada Saavdhan_ tries to tackle. The film, about a same-sex couple in
small-town India coming out to their family, is the gay love story
India desperately needed. Hilarious, heartwarming and irreverent, it
hits all the right spots while trying to bust regressive mentalities.

Kartik (Khurrana) and Aman (Jitendra Kumar) love each other, but being
out and proud in Delhi, despite running from homophobic goons, is
easier than being out to one’s family in Allahabad. Aman’s father,
Shankar Tripathi (played by Gajraj Rao) is a scientist with a
practical approach to everything but his son’s sexual orientation.
Shocked to their very core by Kartik and Aman’s revelation, the
Tripathi family struggles to come to terms with the ‘disease’ and
the implications it holds in society.

_Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan_ uses a light touch to explain the
complicated situation that  being gay in India is. The writing, by
Kewalya, expertly weaves humour, some of it dark, into the most
serious and dramatic situations. When Kartik is literally being beaten
by Aman’s father, the scene is meant to be highly serious and
representative of the kind of heinous behaviour the LGBTQ community
faces in our country. But even there, Kewalya manages to make you
smile and maintains that levity throughout.

Kartik is a slightly effeminate, proud gay man with no family to speak
of. Aman is the traditional man from small-town India, who’s barely
accepted himself. The coupling is deliberate — showing that a gay
man isn’t the stereotype Bollywood has perpetuated for all these
years. Small touches like this display a thoughtful sense of
filmmaking. Kewalya relies on irony and juxtaposition to put his point
across and explore the regressive mindsets that try and quash
homosexuality. For example, the couple is found out during Aman’s
sister’s wedding — a deeply traditional setting for something so
unconventional. Aman’s father is a scientist, who is practical and
methodical about most things in life and explains everything using
scientific thought. But when it comes to his son’s homosexuality, he
regresses, calling it ‘unnatural’ and something that goes against
Indian culture.

Khurrana seems to have permanently settled into his brand of making
small town-based films with a message of social awareness. He now
seriously runs the risk of becoming boring. In this film, however, he
manages to keep the audience on its toes, thanks to the writing. He
also does not dominate the film, which is a welcome change. Kumar, a
well-known face in web shows, delivers the goods as an awkward,
frustrated gay man, torn between living his truth and making his
parents happy.

However, the ones who take the biscuit are the parents — Rao, Neena
Gupta, Chadda, and Sunita Rajwar. Their comic timing is unparalleled
and is what keeps you rooted to your seat.

The punchy, fast-paced film touches upon different issues that openly
gay men have to deal with, from the insensitive questions they are
asked to the violence and brutality they face. But Kewalya is careful
to not get into the nitty-gritties of homophobia, focusing more on the
humour and the situational comedy. While this move is questionable
(why not tackle the true horrors LGBTQ community faces on such a
mainstream platform) there is an argument to be made for audience
acceptance and taking smaller, lighter steps towards it.

_Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan_ is, in that sense, the perfect primer
for mainstream Indian audiences outside of tier-1 cities. It speaks of
homosexuality and Indian society in a way that will make any audience
member just comfortable enough to start a conversation. And in 2020,
it’s about time we had that conversation.

-------------------------

_ALSO READ: Bala’s bald patch is beautiful but its brown-faced
hypocrisy can’t be ignored
_

-------------------------

 

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* TAGS
* Ayushmann Khurrana
* film review
* Homosexuality
* LGBTQ
* Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan


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