A social media user’s bittersweet story of watching the recently released Bollywood film Badhaai Do, which revolves around queer themes, has gone viral. Priyanjul Johari narrated his experience at the theatres to his three thousand-strong following in an Instagram post that has evoked several reactions, including from some prominent names in the film industry.
“We got into a fight at the theatre while watching Badhaai Do,” Johari, who said he went to watch the film with his partner of four years, wrote. He told readers about certain members of the audience being disruptive and making offensive comments about scenes involving same-sex love, and how he stood up and asserted himself in front of them all.
“Tujhe bade maze aa rahe hain… kahin tu bhi isi category mein toh nahi?” he quoted a group of friends that was sitting a row ahead of him saying mid-film. “Are main toh galat movie dekhne aa gayi,” another individual from the friends group allegedly said.
Johari further claimed there was a man in the front row of the theatre, “constantly passing homophobic and perverted comments whenever Bhumi [Pednekar] and Rimjhim [Chum Darang]’s couple scene were shown…” He quoted the man saying, “Oye hoye maja aa gaya” and “Ek kiss ho jaye.”
While these reactions from the audience were irking Johari, he said he remained seated at the insistence of his partner. He was moved to tears when a crucial scene involving the male lead Rajkummar Rao making a strong monologue came on screen. Rao in the film plays a closeted gay cop who enters into a lavender marriage with Pednekar’s character, who is also closeted.
The scene impacted Johari so deeply that he “started clapping, hooting” loudly while the monologue had stunned the rest of the hall into pin-drop silence.
What happened next compelled Johari to finally stand up.
Responding to Johari’s reaction to the monologue, the man in the front row allegedly shouted, “Ye pakka gay hai.”
This prompted the influencer to stand in his seat and say, “Haan bro gay hoon.” He further said he had come to watch the film with his partner and that their families knew about their relationship. After a short silence, Johari said the audience “unanimously burst into applause.”
The man and the group of friends made no more remarks for the remainder of the film.
Johari’s post is winning cheers from many on social media, with even Pednekar dropping a round of applause for him. Darang wrote, “WOW… This is how we know we did beyond good. Thank you… #loveislove.” The post also reached actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who played a queer character in the 2020 film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, and he left a heart emoji on it.
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