Supreme Court Justice J. Chandrachud said in the landmark judgement that struck down Section 377 – “What is the ‘order of nature’? State cannot decide the boundaries between what is permissible or not. Section 377 is based on deep-rooted gender stereotypes. It persecutes people. It is a majoritarian impulse to subjugate a sexual minority to live in silence, Decriminalization of homosexuality is only the first step.”
This verdict was delivered on 6th September 2018 and it took nearly 2 more years for the Hindi Film Industry’s leading, successful and talented Hero to play a full blown Gay character devoid of any stereotypes (that is if you discount the unnecessary nose ring) and mannerisms!!
The movie is more about a dealing with homophobia than the actual act !! Uttar Pradesh is the new flavour of bollywood after Punjab. The plot is about 2 men in love and how the family of one gets around to eventually accept them. The parents of one played by the brilliant Gajaraj Rao and Neena Gupta- their confusion, denial and finally acceptance their son as he is.
It’s the Tripathi family with their family dynamic and crackling repartee that keeps one in splits during the entire 2 hours running time of the movie. Luckily beyond the two kisses between the lovers, there is no overt physical intimacy to make the audience uncomfortable. If I am allowed to say so this film is the Gay version of DDLJ and it also ends with the famous train scene between SRK and Kajol.
The movie belongs to Aayushman Khurana and the surprise is his partner the debutante Jitendra Kumar, they both makes us think without being preachy, technical and downplaying the victim card. After watching this movie I wonder can any mainstream hero match up to the body of work of Aayushman Khurana. Can he ever falter??? I hope the answer to that remains in the negative for times to come.
This movie isn’t for anyone who is homophobic or for someone with a narrow world view and who isn’t willing to accept a contrarian lifestyle. For the rest go enjoy this one !!
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in the verdict says,”The LGBTQ community needs the rainbow of hope for the sake of the humanity. They should be allowed to live with dignity and without pretense. This is their journey to dignity, equality and liberty.”
We all movie going audience need to pat ourselves on our back as it is because of us that the filmmakers now are ready to experiment with the plots and give us unusual storylines knowing fully well that there is an audience waiting to lap it up !! Badhai Ho is one such movie that the filmmaker brave it out and the produce steamroll for the content it has to offer.
The storyline is about how a Railway TT nearing his retiring days living with his wife, 2 grown up sons and cantankerous mother, realises that he is about to become a father a third time. It is this pregnancy that shakes up not only their family but also extended family, the neighbourhood and the girlfriend of the elder son.
The plot is layered with great lines, genuine emotions and real characters. From the neighbourhood Medical Practitioner ‘Bagga-Baggi’ , to the Tambola sessions to the aunts each character is someone we can identify from our own lifes.
The expectant parents played brilliantly by Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta are treat to watch. Their embarrassment on knowing the pregnancy and the love and respect that they have for each other is portrayed brilliantly. Surekha Sikri as the mother with the acidic tongue has the wittiest lines, especially when her son tries to convey the news and she finally reacts to it. She reminded me so much of my own Nani. Then there is the younger brother trying to adjust in all this.
There are two love stories that play on simultaneously in the film. One is between the elder parents and the other is between the elder son and his girlfriend played by Sanya Malhotra from office. While the elder couple has to grapple with an accidental pregnancy, the younger one has to deal with the above and the differential family backgrounds.
And then there is Aayushman Khuarna the elder son!! What can be said about him that I haven’t said earlier in my reviews? In this age and times, when the actors act in few films his two films are playing simultaneously in the theatre and both are great, unusual and different from one another. If I have the liberty to say he is the modern day Amol Palekar but better looking, better acting skills and Sauvé. Like Mr. Palekar he is in top form in the small budget films, playing middle class North Indian character with unusual plots. I just hope he doesn’t get type cast.
Go watch it and you would be thoroughly entertained like we were!!