BH CORRESPONDENT, Mumbai: As India prepares for US President Donald Trump’s visit, there seems to be interest from the other side as well. President Trump’s tweet on a Bollywood film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan starring Ayushmann Khurrana sent media circles buzzing. The ground-breaking film deals with homophobia and homosexuality in the Indian context and has been lauded for its brave take on the subject.
British gay activist Peter Tatchell cheered the film on Twitter for its bold stance by posting, “A new #Bollywood rom-com featuring a gay romance is hoping to win over older people, following the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Hurrah!” President Trump retweeted it with a simple message “Great!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
It is common knowledge that President Trump is not a big endorser of homosexual rights, this prompted surprise from Tatchell and he retweeted, “I hope this is the beginning of President Trump’s genuine embrace of LGBT+ rights and not just a PR stunt.”
As for the film, it has been banned in Dubai and the Middle East due to its homosexual content. In India, it has opened to good reviews and its first day box office collection is Rs. 9.55 crore, as per Bollywood trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
He also gave comparisons of box office collections of Ayushmann’s other films. For example, Bala minted Rs. 10.15 crore while Article 15 grossed Rs. 5.02 crore and AndhaDhun collected Rs. 2.70 crore.
#AyushmannKhurrana versus #AyushmannKhurrana… *Day 1* biz…
2019: #Bala ₹ 10.15 cr
2019: #DreamGirl ₹ 10.05 cr
2020: #SMZS ₹ 9.55 cr
2018: #BadhaaiHo ₹ 7.35 cr [Thu]
2019: #Article15 ₹ 5.02 cr
2017: #SMS ₹ 2.71 cr
2018: #AndhaDhun ₹ 2.70 cr
2017: #BKB ₹ 2.42 cr
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) February 22, 2020
Ayushmann, who was surprised by Trump’s comment, wishes that the President watches the film. He said, “It was great to see a reaction from US President Donald Trump. I certainly hope and wish that this comment is President Trump’s gesture of outreach towards the LGBTQ community and that he will persistently and constantly work towards upholding LGBTQ rights in his country.”