I am not a movie critic nor a cinema connoisseur. And this is not a movie review. Just a plain old appreciation post for Shubh Mangal Zayada Saavdhan. The movie. The cast and the crew.
In India, loving someone is not an act of kindness, it is an act of rebellion, of bravery. You can’t just pick a person you like, regardless of their religion, caste, gender and sexual orientation and decide to spend a “happily ever after” with them. In our country of ethnically diverse and culturally rich, love is not love until it is not politically correct and deemed appropriate by the members of the society.
In a country like India, where being vocal about your opinions is a jailable offence, yeh toh phir bhi homosexuality pe movie bana le gaye, “jo normal nahi hai.”
Loving someone is not an easy act to play or step to take. But to love someone of the same gender as yourself is another battle no one prepares you for. And neither do they prepare our parents for the day, if it ever comes, to accept their children for who they are and what they like. And the way in which Neena Gupta (the mother) conveys her concerns to her son and how she tries really hard to admit the fact that her son might be different from some other Sharma ji ka beta. Maa akhir maa hi hoti hai. The manner in which they have portrayed the ordeal of a parent is so real and life like. You see, you’ve known your truth for a while and you still have trouble admitting it to yourself on some days, but you expect your parents to accept you the very same instant?? Give them a moment. A week. A month. Maybe a year. Abba eventually maan jayenge.
Because you might still be their son/daughter but maybe, just maybe their reality of things also shifted when you decided to not become someone they always thought you were. Galti unki bhi nahi hai bro.
And how while contemplating their son’s marriage, they stumble upon the fact that maybe a life without love is a life not lived at all and maybe they shouldn’t let what the society deems correct come in the way of their child’s happiness is surreal.
There is also this one scene where Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar decide to continue the pheras and the pandit refuses to unite two people of the same sex as 1. And that is when Aman (played by Jitendra) holds Kartik’s hand and says “shastron mei likha hai ke shaadi 2 aatmaon ka mel hai, Aur aatma ka koi ling nahi hota.” I mean if it wasn’t for my crippling social anxiety, mei uth ke taali bajati.
And what stole my heart was how Goggle learnt that she does not need a man to keep her happy or to help her live a fulfilling life. That she doesn’t need to let her disability define her; and how she started going by her real name, Rajni. Reminding herself and everyone around her that she does not identify as Goggle anymore.
And when she finally came to the realisation that she doesn’t need someone to completely her, just someone to accept her completely and that that someone is her- she decided to marry herself and commit to taking care of the only person that mattered the most.
And oh!! My!! God!! The song “Mere liye Tum kaafi ho” has my heart. I mean I am a sucker for all things sweet and romantic but I like how the song is gender neutral. That it could be about ANY two people. You and your girlfriend or you and your boyfriend. Or maybe you and your brother or just you and yourself.
A film like this one, despite its political stance, is out there, fighting stereotypes about homosexuality and unisex love in a way that may never meet reality, but it definitely gets the message across to the audiences. The way they diffuse any and every situation with witty humour and sassier comebacks are unparalleled. But the harsh truth remains that the battle for love will never be as easy, funny or filled with a decent background music score. But it’s nice to see someone be the Amitabh Bachchan of their own life, apni life chahe jhand ho.