LGBTQ issues have found either ridicule or summary rejection in the social milieu. Not surprisingly, our cinema too has been a reflection of the same. Recent times, however, are a tad different and there are heterodox views coming out in the open. Kudos to Harshvardhan Kulkarni for pushing the envelope. After Badhaai Ho, it is […]
LGBTQ issues have found either ridicule or summary rejection in the social milieu. Not surprisingly, our cinema too has been a reflection of the same. Recent times, however, are a tad different and there are heterodox views coming out in the open.
Kudos to Harshvardhan Kulkarni for pushing the envelope. After Badhaai Ho, it is Badhaai Do and ungrudgingly Badhaai is due to Harshvardhan Kulkarni for not just making bold and dealing with a topic hitherto conceived as taboo but even more importantly for dealing with it with a high degree of sensitivity. This kind of cinema is often condescending or apologetic. Not this time. This is what makes it a standalone incident worth celebrations.
Yes, there have been films that touched the brim – ‘Dostana’, a commercial light-hearted affair: the needed inoculation. There is ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’ and then a very serious ‘Aligarh’ – a master craft. Another aspect of the film that makes for compulsive viewing is the perfect casting of the protagonists.
The tale is woven in a middle-class milieu. We have Suman (Bhumi Pednekar) – a Physical Training teacher whose parents are worried of the spinster rejecting matches. Her father is more sympathetic – but mom (Loveleen Mishra) is angered. She is however least bit bothered but does not speak of her sexual orientation.
There is Shardul Thakur (Rajkumar Rao). He too has alternative sexual preference and unlike Suman is too hesitant a person. Being a cop only adds to his challenge. His large family including docile mom (Sheeba Chaddha) and aggressive aunt (Seema Pahwa) are on the lookout for a match for him. He meets up with Suman and proposes a ‘Lavender Marriage’. The ‘t & c’ is that they live under a roof, keep their sexual orientation under wraps from the eyes of a curious world and yet live life on their own terms.
The two families are too happy with the alliance. Post celebrations the worms start crawling. Humorous scenarios pan out. The two have to make adjustments with the new living environs. Suman with her partner Rimjhim (Chum Darang) and Shardul with his partner have challenges. Rimjhim is an aggressive and possessive partner. Must necessarily stop the narrative and nudge you to see the film. A good watch. I suspect that Basu Chaterjee and Hrishida would be happy seeing this.
Everyone in the cast is earnest and credible. Special mention must be made about Sheeba Chadda as the diffident widow living in a joint family in a small town. Very nuanced performance. Also the casting of Chum Darang is interesting. Bhumi Pednekar is full of fizz. When she is in a film, there are certain unstated assurances that come along. Fine performance.
Rajkumar Rao is amazing. His sense of comedy, diffidence and finally his confession show his capacity over the entire gamut: Social sensitivity, handling with rare expertise and sensitivity, humour apart. Rajkumar is a standalone cause to watch the film.
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