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Taboo no more: Ayushmann Khuranna’s erectile dysfunction to Akshay Kumar as Pad Man

Recently released Lipstick Under My Burkha featured marital rape. Similarly Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi talked about mental health. With erectile dysfunction being the subject of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Bollywood is ready to take on hitherto taboo subjects.

bollywood Updated: Aug 30, 2017 15:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Shubh Mangal Savdhan,Vicky Donor,Ayushmann Khurrana
Shubh Mangal Savdhan will be released on September 1, 2017.

Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar’s film Shubh Mangal Savdhan is based on the subject of erectile dysfunction. This theme has been used in a couple of Bollywood films like Pyaar Ke Side Effects and some B-grade ventures in the past, but mostly in the name of humour. While the film will take a light-hearted tone, the subject itself won’t be dismissed as a joke.

This also brings our attention to the new themes Bollywood is experimenting with. In a way, this all started with Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor in which Ayushmann played a sperm donor who is in it for the money. At the same time, he is afraid people around him will find out he is donating sperm. It was a brave attempt for a society that still refuses to talk about sex and fears visiting a sexologist.

After a film on the problem of open defecation, Akshay Kumar is soon going to be seen in Pad Man, a film on menstrual hygiene. Director Abhishek Saxena’s Phullu which released earlier this year was also based on the same theme.

These subjects weren’t seen as ‘profitable’ by the producers a couple of years ago. Bollywood, which still insists on being a traditional cinema production fraternity, hasn’t really looked beyond the conventional hero-heroine-villain format. Even now, they are choosing their actors as per the box office needs rather than the need of the story. If their story is based on a real life incident and the protagonist belongs to a certain age group, the Bollywood filmmakers change it to suit their stars. That’s why you see Priyanka Chopra playing Mary Kom rather than some actor from the North East doing it.

However, directors like Hansal Mehta and Shlok Sharma kept it as real as possible. Aligarh saw Manoj Bajpayee as a middle-aged gay professor, while Haraamkhor hinged on Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s raw sexual predator.

Recently released Lipstick Under My Burkha featured marital rape. Similarly Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi talked about mental health. These films have enriched Bollywood as an industry that can be taken seriously due to its influence and number of productions every year.

Shubh Mangal Savdhan could be a welcome addition to the list.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 15:31 IST