Having worked together, and separately, in innumerable movies, the actors explain their choices
Especially in the recent past, Bollywood has seen many films around taboo subjects in society, sparking many a debate. Indeed, the current generation of Bollywood actors are a more socially conscious, vocal lot.
Known for his unique, clutter-breaking, conversation-starting social entertainers that mirror society’s deep-seated issues and taboos, Ayushmann Khurrana even started an ‘Ayushmann Khurrana’ genre of cinema. The actor is clear that when one sets out to change perceptions and beliefs, one must trigger a dialogue and start a debate. “I’ve strongly believed that constructive conversation can help us improve society at large. My films have tried to do that,” he says, clearly proud of his body of work.
Incidentally, Bala, his 2019-film about a bald man named Bala, was one such, which championed individuality and uniqueness. “Through Bala, I wanted to tell people to love themselves and not fall prey to the stereotyped notions of beauty because we’re all unique in our own ways. And I’m glad audiences loved the film.”
Ayushmann’s co-actor in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bhumi Pednekar, is yet another example of actors who take up roles on social causes. Having played an overweight character in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, fiancée of a man with an erectile dysfunction in Shubh Mangal Savdhan and a cameo in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, a film on homophobia, Bhumi collaborated with Khurrana for the third time in Bala.
Talking about her films, Bhumi tells us, “For instance, my film Bala is a very special film. My character in the film, Latika, stands for integrity and confidence, questioning several stereotypes in society, while even breaking those stereotypical standards in a country like ours — especially the colour bias.”
While Bhumi believes leaving behind a legacy with good cinema is paramount, Ayushmann hopes to use his voice to showcase more taboo subjects. “I want to shatter as many stereotypes as possible and there is much work remaining,” says Ayushmann.
Bhumi hopes her films echo in people’s minds and help solve social issues even when she is no more. “Because nobody remembers how many crores a film raked in but they remember how emotionally moved they were by the film,” Bhumi adds.