First ever Bollywood gay rom-com aims to tackle India’s homophobia

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Be Extra Careful About Marriage) will hit Indian cinemas tomorrow, Friday, February 21.

Actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar star in new Bollywood film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

This Friday, February 21, 2020 marks a historic day for Bollywood film as production giant T-Series is set to release its first major romantic comedy where its main character is gay. Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Be Extra Careful About Marriage) follows a same-sex couple Kartik and Aman as they attempt to navigate their way around the homophobia and ignorance they face on a daily basis. 

The film stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar, who play Kartik and Aman who fall in love to the dismay of their families. The movie follows the pair as they struggle to win over the support of Aman’s parents who are unable to accept the fact that their son is gay and attempt to set up an arranged marriage to break the couple apart. 

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan tackles the subject of homophobia with humour, however, is careful not to make the gay characters the butt of the jokes, rather the film finds humour in the ridiculousness of their situation. 

Speaking to The New Indian Express, actor Ayushmann Khurrana explained how he hopes that this touching yet funny film about two boys in love will “reach out to the homophobes,” and help change their views towards LGBT+ people.

Khurrana continued on to say that most LGBT+ people have difficulty talking to their families about their identity, saying: “The biggest obstacle is the family. They are conservative, non-progressive, closed off. I believe our film will be the first step towards opening up a conversation.”

The star hopes that Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan can help change the opinions of the “boomer generation, the generation that thinks it’s unnatural to be gay”, through its entertaining and humourous delivery. 

The film is set to be a hit, with its official trailer receiving over 51 million views in less than 24 hours after being uploaded earlier today February 20, 2020.

The Bollywood film is set to be much more than a box-office hit, moreover, it will provide much-needed representation to many LGBT+ people across India and beyond. There is still much work to do in regards to LGBT+ rights in India, with gay sex only being legalised in September 2018 after the Indian Supreme Court got rid of the British colonial-era laws, however, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan hopes to further the message of tolerance and support.

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