From Fire to Badhaai Do: Five Indian movies that handled LGBTQ content

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From Fire to Badhaai Do: Five Indian movies that handled LGBTQ content

LGBTQ or LGBTQA is an evolving acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, and asexual. Until a few years ago, LGBTQ was a concept overshadowed by stigma among Indians. However, as the world became more inclusive, India too followed the path, and people slowly started realizing the existence of a community that remained brutally suppressed and pressed among us for several years.

Indian filmmakers have also made some bold steps to portray the lives of the LGBTQ community in their movies. 


International Business Times, India edition, presents you with a list of five Indian movies that handled the lives of the LGBTQ community. 


Fire is widely considered the first mainstream Indian film to depict homosexual relations on screen. 

Directed by Deepa Mehta, the film features the life of two sisters-in-law neglected by their husbands. Soon, they started developing a romantic chord, despite living a close-minded society. 

The film, upon its release, stirred so many controversies and widespread protests were carried in several parts of the nation to ban the movie.

Fire is the first installment of Mehta’s trilogy followed by Earth(1998), and Water in (2005).


Helmed by Hansal Mehta, Aligarh is a 2015 biographical drama starring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao in the lead roles.

The film revolves around the life of a professor who had consensual physical relations with a rickshaw puller. As his relationship came to the limelight, he gets suspended from all the posts he decorates. Later a journalist came forward to support him, and a legal battle begins. However, the professor takes his last breath, even as the judiciary pronounces a judgment in favor of him. 

The evidence of how brutally a homosexual being is treated by society and their dangerous outcomes can be seen in the film.

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is a 2019 Hindi romantic comedy starring Anil Kapoor, Sonam. K. Ahuja, Rajkumar Rao and Juhi Chawla in the lead roles.

The film is widely acclaimed to be a lesbian movie, which portrays the complications undergone by a common girl from a small town in Punjab who struggles to come out of her shell and live her life as a lesbian girl.

The film was released worldwide on February 1, 2019. Despite receiving positive reviews from critics, the film became an average grosser at the box-office. 

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

A 2020 rom-com film, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, depicts the relationship between a gay couple.

The film narrates the life of Aman Tripathi (Jithendra Kumar) and Kartik Singh (Ayushmann Khuranna) who plans to get married. The film progresses in such a way that even though there happened unusual events in their life, true love joins them together.

The film also depicts issues like homophobia mixed with humour and courage.

Badhaai Dho

Helmed by Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Badhaai Dho is the first Hindi cinema to explore the concept of lavender marriage. The film stars Rajkummar Rao in the lead role.

This recent comedy-drama depicts the life of two homosexual people who enter into wedlock to appease their parents. The film progresses in such a way that couples after their marriage share lives with their actual soulmates which eventually results in winning support from their own family to lead their life.

Unlike other homosexual themes depicted so far in the film industry, Badhaai Do teaches the necessity of the society to understand the problems of homosexual people. 


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