For the longest time, the portrayal of homosexual relationships in Bollywood was relegated to woeful punchlines. However, with growing consciousness and awareness about the need for representation across both ends of the spectrum, a slew of mainstream movies have been depicting romance stories that move beyond the binary. Ahead, a closer look at the movies that will reaffirm love is, indeed, love.
Kapoor and Sons (2016)
In a movie that was miles ahead of his own caricaturish depictions of homosexual romances in the past, auteur Karan Johar offered a mature take on the matter with the truth about Fawad Khan’s sexuality adding another depth to the family tensions before ultimately bringing them together.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (2019)
Uniting the real-life father-daughter duo of Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, this coming-of-age tale takes a discerning look at the pressures faced by women to marry and the real reason behind why one Punjabi girl rejects all her suitors.
Badhaai Do (2022)
Starring Bhumi Pednekar and Rajkumar Rao in leading roles, the movie explores the socially-suppressed lives of the country’s queer youth through the concept of a lavender marriage as a gay cop and lesbian teacher enter into a sham marriage to keep their identities hidden from their parents.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020)
In a spiritual sequel to its 2017 predecessor, love assumes a new definition for an advertiser hailing from a conservative family and his gay partner, played by Jitendra Kumar and Ayushmann Khurrana respectively. As they strive to convince their parents of their love, the movie manages to pull off the impressive task of portraying same-sex relationships without losing its credibility as a family entertainer.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (2022)
Ayushmann Khurrana’s brand of social activism receives further heft with this year’s breakout hit that follows the love story of a bodybuilder and Zumba instructor, leaving him to question the arbitrary nature of gender roles in society when her identity as a trans woman is revealed.