Bollywood goes LGBT: Gay romcom Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a game-changer

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03/09/2020

Bollywood has long stereotyped LGBTQ+ characters into farcical clichés – the brothel-owning transgender villain, effeminate horny gay man, cross-dressers, sexualised lesbians and predatory transgender men – typically cast as mere accessories, crude caricatures, and the butt of jokes in most films. Times have changed. Bollywood is now challenging the norm by providing LGBTQ+ characters a platform with its first mainstream gay romcom, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Be Extra Careful About Marriage), the trailer for which has already gained more than 53 million views. Seeking to portray queer people in a more realistic and dignified manner through humour, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan tells the story of Kartik Singh (Ayushmann Khurrana) who overcomes social obstacles to be with his lover, Aman Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar) – a tried and tested Bollywood plotline, except that the main characters are openly masculine and gay.

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