Bollywood is one of the world’s biggest film industries (yes, much bigger than Hollywood).
Its power is simply immense; in India alone, around 14 million people go to the movies every day.
Which is why the release of a film billed as Bollywood’s first ever gay romcom has caused great excitement.
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan aka “Be Extra Careful About Marriage” has opened in cinemas around the world (yes, there’s subtitled UK viewings at ODEON cinemas) and the reviews are in: it’s a winner.
It’s got big names attached too; Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana plays the protagonist, a gay man who tries to convince his lover’s family to let them get married.
According to News Laundry, it’s the first time an A-list Bollywood star has played a homosexual character on screen.
When the trailer for Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan dropped earlier in February, it prompted excitement for the way it portrayed young gay characters.
In one scene, an older character quizzes Kartik (Khurrana) on when he “decided” to be gay.
“When did you decide you didn’t want to be gay?” he fires back.
And now the full film has been released, the praise is flooding in.
There was the critic who had a one word review.
Another who called it the “voice of LGBT people”:
And the person who said it everyone should watch it or “grow up”.
Even Donald Trump's getting in on the act.
Homoesexuality was only made legal in India in 2018 and there’s still rampant homophobia; a prominent film producer has pubicly refused to watch SMZS, calling it “dirty”.
Two tickets please!