Monday, February 24, 2020

Review: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Release date: February 21, 2020
Running time: 117 minutes
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jitendra Kumar, Gajraj Rao

Ayushmann Khurrana seems to always be pushing the boundaries of Bollywood.  He recently played a man whose feminine voice led him to a career as a phone companion.  And now he is headlining the first Gay Rom-Com Bollywood film.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  In Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, two gay men Kartik (Khurrana) and Aman (Kumar) go to Aman's sister's wedding.  The two have been living together in the city but are forced to face Aman's traditional and conservative family.  Early on, some bad timing revels their relationship and how the family and the two men react to this and the subsequent conflicts form the basis of the movie.
One thing I have learned from Khurrana is that he throws himself into his roles, with this film being no exception.  Khurrana fully embraces his role as a gay man and really drives this film.  Although the conflict is with Aman's family, Kartik is the main provoker and really pushes all involved to confront their discomfort with homosexuality.  But since this is also a Rom-Com, Khurrana's comic chops are put on display as well.  And although this isn't a constantly funny film, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments in the movie.  The film has a nice balance of seriousness and comedy to keep the story going but also to release the tension if it builds up.    

One thing I appreciated about this film is that it does not shy away from the gay relationship of the two main characters.  The two's relationship is clear from the beginning, and despite Aman's fear of sharing who he is with his family, his homosexuality is brought to the family's attention early in the film.  And despite this, the film still approaches the subject of homosexuality with enough care and humor to make an entertaining story.  There are several moments where Kartik or Aman are explaining to their older parents and relatives how they cannot change who they are, and questions whether they ever had to make a "choice" to be heterosexual.  And the film attacks the age divide well, touching upon the issue of societal expectations versus doing what makes you happy.  And despite tackling all these issues, the film itself is focused for a Bollywood movie.  The runtime is short and the situation is not dragged out like in some Hindi films. 

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is both an important milestone for Bollywood and an enjoyable Rom-Com with great performances, laugh out loud moments, and a strong message that should not be missed. 

Watch It

No comments:

Post a Comment