Entertainment Bollywood 22 Feb 2020 Shubh Mangal Zyada S ...

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan shatters gender stereotypes?

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SUBHASH K JHA
Published Feb 22, 2020, 12:39 am IST
Updated Feb 22, 2020, 12:39 am IST
The movie is touted to depict unadulterated romance between a gay couple.
However, there is no  pretence or any artifice in  Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (SMZS).
 However, there is no pretence or any artifice in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (SMZS).

So far, gay  rights and feelings have been blissfully subverted in Hindi cinema. For instance, in Karan  Johar’s Dostana,  John Abraham and  Abhishek Bachchan were only pretending to be gay.

However, there is no  pretence or any artifice in  Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (SMZS). Straight away, we are introduced to a couple in love. The homosexuality makes no  difference to the script.  Like Luca Guadgnino’s Call Me By Your Name, where  Armie Hammer romanced  Timothee Chalamet  amidst  the  languorous sunkissed  splendour  of  the Italian countryside, Ayushmann Khurrana and  impressive debutant  Jitendra  Kumar are  a couple in  love, facing  all  the  normal problems such as parental  opposition and the right to privacy.

 

But unlike Call Me By Your Name,  the narrative in  SMZS  doesn’t float in a hazel haze. The setting is not a postcard idyll but a mofussil chaotic town with messy mores to match. And the two protagonists are not matinee-idol poster boys  but highly relatable people whom you may bump into while strolling down Varanasi’s  Ganga ghat.

“We wanted  to make the characters as relatable as possible. At the same time, we didn’t want to make it a serious humourless study of a socially relevant subject. I believe one  can keep the tone light and yet be a responsible filmmaker,” says producer Aanand L. Rai.

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan will also open doors for  mainstream  filmmakers and actors to explore new themes. Onir, the only  openly gay filmmaker  in Bollywood, who made My Brother Nikhil, the  only  other authentic   film on a gay relationship many years ago,  says, “I have a feeling Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan is  not  just another sanitised gay love story and that we’ll get to see a real romance between the guys. Looking forward to it.”

Onir says it is time to go beyond the physical aspect of a gay relationship and look at the real emotions underlining such relationships. “I want to see love portrayed as love in a gay relationship. And I don’t mean just a kiss. I mean the look in the eyes, the sensuality and desire. The queer gaze is different from the male gaze or the female gaze. Now it’s time for the queer gaze to come  into cinema, and not from within the  closet.”

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