I don’t really wish to talk about the craftsmanship in Hitesh Kewalya’s directorial debut, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. It is not because the movie lacks craft, but somewhere I felt it’s a movie that needs an acceptance on an emotional level. If you look at the structure of the Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, you can clearly sense that it resembles a lot like some of the ‘90’s Bollywood films. But the texture here is more contemporary and the mixture of these two elements makes it an extremely pleasing and smart film.
Kartik Singh and Aman Tripathi are two young men who are in a same-sex relationship. Kartik has accepted that reality completely, but Aman is still a bit hesitant in opening up about his sexuality in the public. During a train journey, Aman’s father Shankar Tripathi finds out about this relationship and he just couldn’t handle the truth. The efforts of Shankar Tripathi to make his son marry a girl and the repercussions of that behavior are what the story of Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan dealing with.
In my opinion, Asuran, the most recent Dhanush- Vetrimaran movie wasn’t really a terrific movie in terms of craft when you compare it with what Vetrimaran has given us in the past. But there was something beyond the craft that made me admire the movie. A superstar was doing a film that boldly addressed the caste discrimination and the movie also got accepted critically and commercially. The same happiness is making me overlook the flaws in a movie like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. One of the big names in Bollywood right now, Ayushmann Khurrana is playing the role of a feminine gay character and the movie was treated as a hilarious entertainer. It’s been a while since I laughed this much seeing the situational comedy and the banter between characters. Kewalya knows that he will have to take the preachy presentation occasionally to convince the audience, but he smartly dipped that in humor.
The plot elements in this movie are actually a bit weird. The black cauliflower, The Kusum backstory, the curfew etc weren’t really blending that smoothly. But like I said, Hitesh Kewalya has this knack to keep us laughing through those hilarious dialogues we get to see throughout the film. The characters here like Chaman, Champa, and Goggle are definitely going to stay with the viewer for some time for sure. The interesting thing about the script was that it was going through all those visuals we saw in the trailer within the first half an hour itself. What’s your logical reason to stand against same-sex relationships is the question the movie is asking repeatedly and Hitesh plants the compromises in the so-called conventional relationship to tackle the conflict. The cinematography has that flat lighting and brightness to keep the movie in the predominantly happy space.
Ayushmann Khurrana has chosen to play the more eccentric role here and it sort of helped him in getting out of that repetitive zone of acting. The feminine touch he brought to the character had the grace to its credit. Jitendra Kumar as Aman is also good. He portrayed the perplexed mind space of the character effectively. There is a dialogue in the movie where one of our heroes asks, why can’t the father be a hero for a change? Well when you look at the screen time and also the space given to Gajraj Rao, I would say he can consider himself as one of the heroes of the film. He never made Shankar Tripathi a caricature. Neena Gupta as the blatantly frank mother is outrageously funny from scene number one. Manurishi Chaddha, Sunita Rajwar and Maanvi Gagroo who respectively played the parts of Chaman, Champa, and Goggle were excellent in handling the humor.
At a time when people are still not willing to accept homosexuality as a natural thing, a mainstream Bollywood movie with all the typical flavors of commercial Hindi cinema normalizing and rooting for such a relationship is such a positive move. And what’s so good about this movie was that for a major chunk of the movie, you will be laughing out loud and clapping your hands for the genuinely funny humor which is there in the writing.
What’s so good about this movie was that for a major chunk of the movie, you will be laughing out loud and clapping your hands for the genuinely funny humor which is there in the writing.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended