Dear Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan,
When you added 'Zyaada' instead of a probable '2' in your title, it was automatically presumed that you would be double the fun, more entertaining, and have a gripping story.
Hoping that this would be worth the money spent on travelling to and fro from the theatre and on the cartload of snacks collected in a tray, awaiting for an Ayushmann Khurrana paisa vasool film!
The cast you had is somewhat synonymous to being a 'common-man' entertainer set in a particularly small town of Uttar Pradesh. You were dabbling with a plethora of concepts, all at once, making it a tough pill to swallow for the average Indian viewer, for whom you were made in the first place. Ironical, right?
Directed by Hitesh Kewalya, you were a storehouse of talent and acting stalwarts including Ayushmann Khurrana, Jitendra Kumar, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao.Undoubtedly, kudos to the filmmakers who made you and to those who thought of conjuring this script for you, putting their best foot forward in trying to normalise gay romance.
Your actor, Ayushmann Khuranna, who has always had so much to offer, was a tad bit disappointing and apart from the ‘hatke’ first-time concept, you had nothing much to offer. I agree, Ayushmann’s character is a fearless, bindaas, passionate and dramatic individual, but, how will he be able to justify the forced humour he was trying to extract? A social message does not necessarily have to mean the actors have to resort to in-you-face acting.
Moreover, what happened to everyone when the madly in love characters, Aman aka Jitendra Kumar and Kartik aka Ayushmann actually revealed they were gay? Usually, a ‘coming out’ moment is filled with emotions, has depth, and there is a burst of anger or tears or something. This scene was most disappointing, and it just fell flat!
Jitendra was raw and his expressions and stance fit the small-town, clueless, slightly reserved boy, that he plays. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta cannot be replaced, and the good and bad news is that they added most of the comic element to you, owing to their expressions.
Your main plot was quite evident in the trailer, and you kept no suspense or no climax for the audiences to look forward to. You had good songs and the chemistry your lead pair showed was brilliant, but it isn’t enough to salvage you as you were trying to sail through only on account of being progressive and giving out a message.
But, it is not like there were no positive at all!. You were an honest attempt, as honest as this letter to you is. The good part about you was that you became an ideal medium to actually bring to the forefront the flaws that exist in society when it comes to homosexuality. You used LGBTQ+ related jargon and tried to educate audiences about how homosexuality is not a disease and something that cannot and more importantly does not need to be cured.
You also played your part in trying to show how patriarchy should be history already. The highlight was that Ayushmann sported a nose ring and wore a pride flag, the lead male pair kissed and that at the end they did not succumb to societal pressure and emerged victorious.
Wishing you loads of Kushal-Mangal.