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Society Tends to Mix Sexuality with Sex, Says Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Director Hitesh Kewalya

Society Tends to Mix Sexuality with Sex, Says Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan Director Hitesh Kewalya

The debutant director Hitesh Kewalya explained the difference between the two concepts. Starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitender Kumar, 'Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan' addresses the taboo of homosexuality.

Debutant director Hitesh Kewalya says sex is merely an aspect of sexuality and as long as a film covers the larger concept, one can't go crass.

Hitesh, who made his debut with "Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan", said many people in the society tend to mix sexuality with sex which muddles the conversation.

"Sexuality is not just about sex. So that's the line. As long as you're talking about sexuality, it can never go crass because that is natural. When you talk about sex, it's a different thing. I'm not saying there can't be a film which only talks about sex. That's an aspect of sexuality. That is what one needs to be aware of.

"When you're writing (a film) like this, we have to be sensitive about that. Once you are aware of it, and when you are writing it, you keep checking and rechecking it. If you're aware of that, then you can control the communication and hope it doesn't go wrong. I'm not saying it can't go wrong, but it'll never go crass," Hitesh told PTI in an interview here.

Starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar, "Shubh Mangal Zyada..." is a same-sex love story woven around two middle-class families in small-town India.

The director, who has also written the film, said when he creates characters comprising a couple, most of the time he ensures that the two parts complement each other.

"Like in a heteronormative couple, they say opposites attract. That's why I wanted to create a pair which worked at that level - yin and yang. The choice of these actors was also based on the fact that they should bring their own personalities right to the character only then a character comes to life," he added.

When writers write, Hitesh said, they create a little half-done characters because they want the "cup to be filled" by the actors.

"So Jeetu being this guy from the digital space, but not really known in the film world. He is a little quiet guy when he's not in front of a camera, so he observes more. And when he speaks, he speaks sense. So somehow he brought that personality into the character.

"Same for Ayushmann. It was interesting to see them coming in owning these characters and yet be complementary. So you add a little, they add a little and you create a character as you go along," the director added.

Another couple the viewer is eager to watch on screen is the reunion of Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao. The duo, whose heartwarming performance as a middle-aged couple facing unwanted pregnancy in "Badhaai Ho!" won the hearts of the audience, play parents to Jitendra's character.

Hitesh said when one has to deliver a difficult subject like a same-sex romance, a director needs the story to be carried to the right people through the right actors.

"I needed actors who were endearing, who people have accepted and who they would listen to. Whether it's Ayushmann, Jeetu, Neena ji, Gajraj sir, Manu Rishi, even the newer actors were endearing. I needed all of them. But Neena ji and Gajraj sir are playing a completely different jodi this time. That's the newness."

He hopes after "Shubh Mangal Zyada...", the audience has enough fodder to talk about one's sexuality.

"We give them enough good scenes to not just laugh about, but also talk about this aspect. And I hope among them -- men, women, any gender, anyone who falls anywhere on the spectrum of the sexuality -- they should be able to have a conversation about sexuality," he added.

The film is a sequel to 2018's "Shubh Mangal Saavdhan", also starring Ayushmann, which addressed another taboo subject of erectile dysfunction.

Bollywood easily falls into the trap of a franchise, but Hitesh said a follow-up to his film would only happen if the team had an important story to tell.

"We don't go only by the fact that the last film was successful so let's make another, especially this series. It's not just a comedy franchise. It is talking about an important issue in each film.

"So, it is important for us to have something to say. If we have something new to say and the right way to say it, then that film will be made. If that film is not needed, it won't be made. No matter how successful this one becomes," he said. Also featuring Maanvi Gagroo and Sunita Rajwar, "Shubh Mangal Zyada..." released on Friday.

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