Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhan is the first mainstream gay commercial entertainer for Hindi cinema. Actor Ayushmann Khurana, who is known for his unique and dynamic movie choices gets behind this project.
The story of Kartik (Ayushmann Khurrana) and Aman (Jitendra Kumar) are seen running for a special train in true DDLJ style. Both are in love but Aman is afraid to come out of the closet. Kartik decides to join Aman and his family for a wedding. Aman’s father Shankar Tripathi (Gajraj Rao) catches both of them in the act starts vomiting. Now, Shankar knows this secret and how he plans to save the wedding along with knowing that his son is gay is a major subplot in the second half. The rest of it is all about how the family reacts to Aman’s confession and whether or not he ends up with Kartik.
The pressure was certainly on for writer-director Hitesh Kewalya as he has to present this narrative balancing comedy and entertainment without the cliche stereotyping of gay men in Hindi cinema. The story achieves this but is left hollowed as characters were not built beyond the narrative, we did not know Kartik and Aman beyond their sexuality.
Ayushmann Khurrana slipped into character with finesse as he is known to do. At times he was too animated but managed to balance his performance. Jitendra Kumar was given a subtle character to portray but looked awkward for majority of his performance. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta are amazing, their comic-timing and years of experience manage to garner great laughs.
Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhan is a great attempt at a same-sex entertainer and a good starting point.