Perhaps expecting the commercial Indian LGBTQ film to be vastly different from the commercial Indian film is a recipe for disappointment. While the fight for LGBTQ rights veers towards the radical- rethinking concepts of marriage, and family- its commercial attire is very much conventional. This isn’t a bad thing, per-se.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is the first addition to the universe of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017) that dealt with the ‘issue’ of erectile dysfunction. Here, the ‘issue’ is homosexuality.
We love how the words Gay, and Homosexuality are being used liberally, not trying to shy away from it. Nothing is implied, everything is stated. The success of this film, especially with the usual Khurrana audience, might imply the wholesale cultural acceptance of queerness.
Kartik and Aman, the lovers, are played by Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitu K (from Kota Factory). The conflict is to get the families to agree. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta, playing Jitu K’s parents, are sparkling.
To make sense of the LGBTQ universe, commercial cinema seems to reformulate the hetersexual legacy of love. Either by re-modeling the most iconic (hetersexual) romantic song, as in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga, or using the tropes of hands outstretched on a moving train from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge that this film does.
Written and directed by Hitesh Kewalya, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan releases on February 21, 2020.