Bollywood is an industry driven by stars, which is why the onus of picking good scripts about bold topics often falls on them. Very few stars have actually managed to live up to any kind of social responsibility. Ayushmann Khurrana’s name stands out among these for repeatedly choosing bold films about social taboos. Not only does he lend his star power to these films, he actually plays the characters that are engaging in or are victim to the taboo. His career isn’t that long as yet, but he’s already established himself as the go-to star to pick subjects that no one else would touch.
Here is a list of the bold films starring Ayushmann Khurrana.
Ayushmann didn’t wait for a ‘normal’ start to his career. He plunged headfirst into sperm donation, a seldom talked-about issue in India. Like most things to do with reproduction are.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha
The film dealt with multiple issues—perception of plus-sized people, lack of education and the resulting lack of self-confidence, and how these things affect marriages in India.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most taboo subjects going around because the fragile male ego cannot really withstand any insinuations against masculinity, which is often linked to sexual performance. Possibly Ayushmann Khurrana’s boldest choice of role till date is to play a man who suffers from erectile dysfunction.
Ayushmann’s character may not have directly suffered from any ailments or social ire in Badhaai Ho, but he played a character who cares too much about societal norms about ‘age-appropriate’ parental behaviour after his ageing mother gets pregnant.
Almost no major Bollywood star has touched caste discrimination, something which lies at the root of Indian society. While Article 15 may have been criticised for its upper-caste lens, a star like Ayushmann Khurrana playing a character who isn’t the victim or underdog, but a beneficiary of the system, was a bold choice in the context of Bollywood.
And Ayushmann Khurrana isn’t done. Bala, his next release, deals with the issue of premature balding among men. This plagues a sizeable chunk of Indian males and makes them seem like ‘uncles’ even in their 20s and 30s.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan
The spin-off to Shubh Mangal Saavdhan deals with homosexuality, which is more taboo than any of the aforementioned topics in India. The film is slated to release next year and might just be Ayushmann’s boldest choice yet.
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