Bollywood’s first gay rom-com is going viral amid discrimination, violence
The new Bollywood flick “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan” is a romantic comedy about a gay couple — an industry first.
Translated as “Be Extra Careful About Marriage,” the film — out Friday — tells the story of a gay man’s struggle to make his father accept that he loves his boyfriend.
“Friends, Shankar Tripathi is suffering from a very bad disease,” the movie’s star, popular Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, says into a megaphone in the trailer while wearing a rainbow cape, “and that disease is called homophobia!”
The scene is intended to be funny, setting it apart in Bollywood, where homosexuality is almost exclusively portrayed as the butt of a joke. In “Be Extra Careful About Marriage,” the story instead revolves around the couple’s relationship and struggle for acceptance.
Homosexuality was illegal in India until the nation’s Supreme Court ended the colonial-era ban in 2018, the Jakarta Post reports. Despite this, the LGBTQ community remains deeply stigmatized in the country. Many in the community face discrimination or even violence: A 2018 study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence found that many Indians see queerness as an act of dishonor toward one’s family, and some even approve of anti-gay abuse.
“We have an interesting message — of societal acceptance— albeit [presented] in a much more fun manner so that it reaches more people and helps them re-evaluate their pre-conditioned thoughts,” says Bhushan Kumar, managing director of T-Series, which produced the film, Jakarta Post reports. “When we heard the story, our first reaction was that it’s a perfect family entertainer that subtly speaks about the fact [that] love has no boundaries, no gender.”
The film is also considered to loosely be a sequel to the 2017 sleeper hit “Beware of Marriage.”
Source : Hannah Frishberg Link