MUMBAI: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar, has been denied release in Dubai and UAE for its homosexual content. According to a report in Bollywood Hungama, the makers even offered to snip the kiss between Ayushmann and Jitendra, but to no avail.
A source informed the website, “We knew this was coming. Or, rather not coming. We really wanted to see what Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan has to say, since it is the first Bollywood film that normalises a gay relationship. Sadly, all films with a gay content are banned in these parts.”
When the producers offered to cut out the scene in which Ayushmann and Jitendra lock lips, they were told that it was not about the kiss in particular but the theme of homosexuality.
Directed by Hitesh Kewalya, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a love story between two men in small-town India. The film has Ayushmann and Jitendra battling the latter’s homophobic family to gain acceptance. While it has been more than a year since homosexuality was decriminalised in India, same-sex relationships continue to largely remain taboo.
In an interview with IANS, Ayushmann applauded the progressiveness of Bollywood to make important films like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. “As an artist, I’m fortunate and privileged to be living and working in such times. I’m proud of my country and industry for the progressiveness that it has shown in the recent past and I’m grateful that I’m part of such a vision like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan that tells us about important life and societal lessons,” he said.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, which also stars Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Maanvi Gagroo in key roles, has just opened in theatres. The film releases alongside Bhanu Pratap Singh’s horror film Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship, starring Vicky Kaushal and Bhumi Pednekar.