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Bollywood movies explored LGBTQ Community Relationships

Bollywood has often portrayed LGBTQ community in a stereotypical way and the concept has been kept away from mainstream movies.

LGBTQ Community Relationships
LGBTQ Community Relationships

Bollywood has often portrayed LGBTQ community in a stereotypical way and the concept has been kept away from mainstream movies. However, with content taking centrestage, the films based on LGBTQ+ relationships have been getting their due in the mainstream cinema. Actors like Rajkummar Rao, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar and others have tried to put across this message through their films.

Here we take a look at FIVE times mainstream Bollywood movies explored the LGBTQ+ love and relationships.

  1. Badhaai Do:

After impressing one and all with ‘Badhaai Ho’, Junglee Pictures is all set to take the franchise forward with yet another quirky and unique concept in ‘Badhaai Do’. The movie stars Bhumi Pednekar and Rajkummar Rao in the lead roles. The movie is based on the concept of lavender marriage where a man and a woman get married for the purpose of hiding homosexuality. While Rajkummar plays the role of a gay policeman in the film, Bhumi essays the role of a lesbian physical education teacher. The film is set for a theatrical release on February 11.

Ever since the trailer of the Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar-starrer ‘Badhaai Do‘ dropped, it created quite a buzz online. People are loving the progressive nature of the film, which ostensibly deals with same- sex relationships.

Badhaai Do
Badhaai Do

While stories revolving around the LGBTQ+ relationships have long been excluded in Bollywood, of late, many interesting scripts are being featured in the mainstream, and Badhaai Do seems to be one of them.

In the trailer, we are introduced to our two main characters — Rao, who plays a cop, and Pednekar, a PT teacher. Interestingly, while they are paired opposite each other, there is no romantic angle between the two, for Pednekar’s character appears to show no interest in men or marriage; instead, she seems have a romantic proclivity for women.With their families insisting they get married and ‘settle down’, the two decide to tie the knot and live as roommates instead, just to get their parents off their backs. The trailer, peppered with witticism and hilarity, also seemingly alludes to the fact that Rao’s character is, in fact, also interested in a same-sex relationship.

After the trailer released, people started to float the term ‘lavender marriage’ on social media, a concept the film is believed to deal with. For the uninitiated, it is a male- female mixed orientation marriage, which is also called a ‘marriage of convenience’, because one or both parties conceal their sexual orientation from their families or the society, owing to the stigma attached. It was previously explored in the film Fashion (2008).

The term essentially dates back to 20th-century Hollywood, especially before World War II, when public figures and celebrities would hide their sexual preferences — because it was such a taboo — and get married, so as to have a stable career in the film industry.

According to Arouba Kabir, a mental health counselor and a wellness coach, the term ‘lavender marriage’ is over a 100 years old. “This form of marriage can be understood as an ‘act of convenience’ for creating a public deception when two individuals — usually a male and a female — come together secretly harboring their mixed orientation,” she told Indian express.

She continued by saying that with changing times, while homosexuality has been “increasingly accepted”, it is “still a word that raises the society’s eyebrows”.

“Lavender marriage, thus, is a choice that allows an individual to be themselves yet protect their personal lives from public speculation. The move to bring such concepts to light is a step towards a progressive community. Spreading awareness about lavender marriages would definitely help. Many individuals have to hide their sexual preferences due to societal pressure or pressure within their own families, and after being sadly forced into a heterosexual marriage — it remains unfruitful and burdensome,” she said.

  1. Chandigarh Kare Ashiqui:

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is a 2021 Indian Hindi-language romantic comedy-drama film directed by Abhishek Kapoor and produced by T- series in collaboration with Guy In The Sky Pictures.Announced in July 2020, the film features Ayushmann khurana and Vaani Kapoor in lead roles.It was released on 10 December 2021.

 Abhishek Kapoor garnered accolades from all quarters for his last film, ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’. In the film, the character of Ayushmann Khurrana falls in love with Vaani Kapoor’s character who is a trans-woman. The film received positive reviews from the audience and the critics alike. In an interview with IANS, Ayushmann said, “We wanted to talk about the need for gender inclusivity and for that to happen, it was important that a critical number of people saw and engaged with the film. From the word go, we wanted to make a film that touched as many people as possible.”

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
  1. Shubh Mangal Jyada Savdhaan:

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language romantic comedy film written and directed by Hitesh Kewalya and produced by AAnand L. Rai, Himanshu Sharma, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar under the banners Colour Yellow Productions and T- series. A Spiritual successor to the 2017 film Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, whose script was also written by Kewalya, it stars Ayushmann Khurana, along with The Viral Fever stars Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Maanvi Gagroo. Filming wrapped on 16 December 2019 in Varanasi and it was theatrically released in India on 21 February 2020.

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Ayushmann Khurrana’s yet another attempt to bring the concept of LGBTQ+ love and relationships in the mainstream cinema was seen in Aanand L Rai’s ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’. The film tells the story of a gay man and his partner, who have trouble convincing the former’s parents about their relation. It successfully highlights the topic of homosexuality and same-sex lovers without any stereotypical concepts. The film also starred Jitendra Kumar, Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta in lead roles.

  1. Ek Ladki ko Dekha to Aisa Laga:

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language coming-of-age romantic comedy-drama film directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar. The screenplay was written by Dhar and Gazal Dhaliwal, with the story inspired by the 1919 novel A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse. It stars Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Juhi Chawla, and features Abhishek Duhan, Madhumalti Kapoor, Seema Pahwa, Brijendra kala, Alka Kaushal and Kanwaljit Singh in supporting roles. Akshay Oberoi and Regina Cassandra make special appearances in the film.he film is the first collaboration between real-life father and daughter Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor, and marks the Bollywood debut of Regina Cassandra. It was released worldwide on 1 February 2019.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

Sonam Kapoor, who has always been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, represented them in her film, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’. In the film, she played the role of Sweety Choudhary who is in love with a woman named Kuhu, played by Regina Cassandra. The film shows how Sonam’s character is afraid of coming out to her father Anil Kapoor and her traditional Punjabi family.

  1. Kapoor & Sons:

Kapoor & Sons, also known as Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921), is an Indian Hindi-language family comedy drama film directed by Shakun Batra and produced by Dharma Productions and Fox Star Studios. It stars Sidharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Alia Bhatt, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor. The film marks the 2nd collaboration between Malhotra and Bhatt after Student of the Year. It was released in cinemas on 18 March 2016 and received critical acclaim for its screenplay, direction and cast performances.

Kapoor & Sons
Kapoor & Sons

‘Kapoor & Sons’ was probably one of the first attempts made in Bollywood to normalize LGBTQ+ representation in the mainstream cinema without stereotyping their characters. In the film Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra play estranged brothers in a dysfunctional family. Things take a turn for the worst when the character of Ratna Pathak Shah gets hold of Fawad’s intimate photos with his boyfriend. The film is all about how a mother accepts her son’s homosexuality. The film also starred Alia Bhatt in a key role and was received with positive reviews.


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