Double XL’s trailer, starring Sonakshi Sinha and Huma Qureshi, has just dropped and it suggests how Bollywood can finally serve an audience neglected by decades of poorly drawn caricatures of fat women in films. The movie will chronicle the lives of two plus-sized women battling societal norms, unrealistic beauty standards, body shaming, body dysmorphia and mental health issues in a hilarious manner.
Described as “a story of friendship and dreams filled with masti,” Double XL doesn’t hold back in the slightest and packs a punch with its unflinchingly raw and funny dialogues coupled with an unfiltered and heavy-handed approach to a sensitive topic like fatphobia. The stage is set with Huma dreaming of attending a fancy ball with cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, until she is rudely woken up and jolted back to reality by her mother who predictably says, “Iss ladki ka kya karu?” (what should I do with this girl?), making her aware of the burden that she is on her parents.
Small-town Meerut-based girl Huma dreams of moving to Delhi and becoming a sports presenter, but her plans are squashed after she is rejected on the basis of being “too healthy” (read, fat). Meanwhile Sonakshi, who is a fashion designer from Delhi, is heartbroken and lost after discovering that her boyfriend is cheating on her.
Both the girls, while down in the dumps due to their respective reasons, stumble upon each other in a public washroom and wind up striking up a friendship. The newly minted friends, bonding over their shared trauma of society’s unrealistic expectations bogging them down, decide to ditch their pathetic lives and head to London to start afresh.
The trailer walks us through pivotal moments of the film, with the leading ladies deftly handling fat shaming, talking about fatphobia and how society teaches young girls to hate their bodies and embrace toxic diet cultures. Sinha and Qureshi join forces to strip society of unrealistic expectations, and also follow the mainstream Bollywood recipe of including weepy public meltdowns, dramatic club songs and blunt, in-your-face ways to drive home the underlying message of the film.
It’s going to be interesting to enter this new, ‘woke’ phase of Bollywood, and honestly, we’re just glad Sweetu, Naina’s best friend from Kal Ho Na Ho, and many such iconic token characters are getting justice in a way, through films transcending ‘fat girl’ tropes and allowing them to take centre stage for a change.
Both the lead actresses had gained a lot of weight to get into character. Co-star Zaheer said in an interview, “Sonakashi and Huma did their diet as they were supposed to put on weight. They put on 15-20 kg for the film. So they were just eating and eating. It was basically action, cut and burger lao (bring food). That’s all I remember from the shoot.” The dedication is quite impressive, we must say!
Apart from Sonakshi and Huma, the Satramm Ramani-directed film stars Zaheer Iqbal and Mahat Raghavendra and also includes a special cameo from Shikhar Dawan. The film releases October 14.