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Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Movie Review: Ayushman-Jitendra Break The See-Ling



Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Movie: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Jitendra Kumar, Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta,Maanvi Gagroo

Written  & Directed  by:  Hitesh Kewalya

Rating: ****(4 stars)

 Why are films about gay people so sad? They are either about AIDS  or star-crossed same-sex lovers who are doomed to die or suffer, take you pick.

Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan (SMZS) breaks the glass ceiling and  the  gaze  that sees  the  ling …it  not only normalizes  a same-sex relationship, it compels the homophobic onlookers—the frowning  family and the  sniggering relatives—to come around , to  …well…if not accept than  succumb to the pressures  of  normalizing homosexuality that seems to be building up like gathering clouds  all around the homophobic cartel of wedding revellers, none more so than  patriarch  Shankar Tripathi (Gajaraj Rao,splendidly stoic starchy and slightly sleazy  in his prudery) who sees  his  only darling son Aman(impressive  debutant Jitendra Kumar) kissing with  his friend Kartik (Ayushmann Khurrana, turning gay with  full conviction) in a  train filled with wedding revellers.

Also Read: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Banned In Dubai & UAE

Crazy things  keep happening all through SMZS, as though the Gods of all Moral  Issues had decided to take  a small break to  just let the chaos of  characters  dive into their own fears anxieties and  insecurities and come  out screaming, kicking, grunting  and ,yes, moaning. In pleasure and in pain. And till death do they part.The pain and pleasure, I  mean.

Also Read: Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan To Shatter Gender Stereotypes

Just to let us know that writer-director Hitesh Kewalya means business, the film plunges without losing a  minute, into the Ayushmann-Jitendra  relationship as  the  world around them breaks into wedding festivities. The  tone of  the  film is constantly celebratory . It is  no coincidence  that  the breakneck  happenings  in  the  film are positioned  , missionary style,just days before Article 377 is repealed. And when  the breathless  tv anchor comes on to make that historic announcement, I swear I  saw a  man in a pink shirt being man-handled  in the  background.

Also Read: Ayushmann Versus Vicky Kaushal, And Ayushmann Has The Edge

This is  the kind of a tongue-in-cheek  film that  refuses to buckle under the  “responsibility”  of  telling us what  same-sex  couples would like to hear or what  is politically correct to say about them. Not that the raucous laughter(in one sequence Ayushmann  dressed  with a ghunghat as a  bride sneaks to the mandap to marry the man who is being force-wedded  to a not-so-susheel girl)  takes away from the film’s seriousness  of purpose. On  the contrary, the more raucuous  the  laughter the heftier  the bite in the butt of the butt-bite haters.

Speaking  of  bites in the butt, try this. The girl Kusum(Pankhury Awasthi)  is  eager to marry   a gay man  as long as he lets her do her  own thing while he does his own.Pulling   the streeling?

Speaking of  laughter Neena  Gupta discovers her funnybone all over again  after Saath Saath  40 years ago.As  a mother  who is pushed into accepting her son’s homosexuality she has a whale of a time making raunchy fun of her intensely homophobic   screen-husband  Gajraj Rao. Gupta and Rao were a scenestealing couple in Ayushmann’s earlier game-changer Badhaai Ho. Here they are are on a totally  different trip, and enjoying every bit of it.

But the finest  character in this zany homage to homosexuality is  an absolutely wacky girl called Goggle, so called  because she insists on  wearing  sunshades  all the time(there is  a reason for it,and I am not telling) . Goggle played with  looming relish by Maanvi Gagroo is  desperate  to get married, so  desperate that she rides  to the mandap on a horse eager  to just  get it over with .She’s also the most liberal character  in this  plot  of prudery ,outdated morality, and  worm-infested broccoli farming. We need  more ball-breaking rule breakers  like Google to change  rigid mindsets.

We  also need  more films like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan which  break the godddamned rules of ‘right’ living  without getting judge mental about the  conservative elements. A salute and a hurrah for the writer-director for sustaining a  mischievous tone of rebuke  and ribaldry  all through without losing sight of  the narretive’s  serious  undertones.

We  need  more  actors like  Ayushmann Khurrana  to play  characters who  are  flawed frail and  never afraid to fall or fail.As  the nose-ringed precocious  and  cocky Kartik, Ayushmann  hits all the right notes, punches all the  nosy noses and trots away into the  sunset with the  love  of his life as  though by birthright. Jitendra  Kumar as the  more inhibited semi-closeted Significant Other comes  up with a surprisingly  articulate  volume of expressions  for a  newcomer,ranging from hurt to ecstasy.

Jitendra has a bright future. As  for more unapologetic  remorseless  films about  homosexuality  such as this,  only time will tell.

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