Ayushmann Khurrana, who has been in the Hindi film industry for 7 years now, already has a National Award for best actor to his name and multiple hits as well. Known to be that actor of Bollywood who takes up issues which are socially relevant, yet never discussed openly, Khurrana has successfully managed to make those unaddressed topics into family entertainers.
On his birthday today, let’s take a look at all the films that dealt with serious issues while being commercially successful.
In this film, Ayushmann took up the issue of male infertility and sperm donation, a topic which neither any actor had dared to take up before, nor did we, as audience, have the audacity to sit and discuss it with our parents and family at home. The film was well received in the box office and Ayushmann was commended for his Bollywood debut. The film was conferred with the National Film Award for Best Popular Movie Providing Wholesome Entertainment in 2013.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Fat-shaming, something which we must be guilty of doing, yet never acknowledge it or feel sorry about it. This film's honesty and relativity was a hit with the audience and Ayushmann was lauded for his performance as Prem, a video cassette shop owner in Haridwar. Bhumi Pednekar marked her debut with this film. Another hit in Ayushmann’s kitty, Dum Laga ke Haisha went on to receive the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 2016.
Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Where in Vicky Donor, Ayushmann played the role of a sperm donor, in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, he took a U-turn to play a character with erectile dysfunction. For an industry where films run on toxic masculinity and testosterone, Ayushmann chose to do a film that broke the pattern and made it a commercial success. The film was a surprise hit.
This simple feature film dealt with the sex-life of a middle-aged couple. Parents to a 25-year-old man end up getting pregnant by mistake, another matter which is very important, yet never discussed openly. This film also gave a fresh turn to Neena Gupta’s career. Ayushmann and the film's director Amit Sharma dealt with the subject in the most sensitive and beautiful manner. The film passed on a socially relevant message while leaving the audience in splits.
India is deep plunged into caste discrimination and untouchability. Anubhav Sinha’s film, starring Ayushmann, deals with Article 15 of the Indian Constitution which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. While not based on one specific event, the film is inspired by multiple true life events including 2014 Badaun gang rape allegations and 2016 Una flogging incident. The issues discussed in the film are so relevant in our society, yet no other actor or filmmaker had ever dared to deal with it before.
Ayushmann’s latest release, Dream Girl is a comic riot. Ayushmann’s character in the film who has the innate talent of impersonating a woman’s voice is seen taking up a job in friendship call center. He soon finds a queue of men vying for his attention and love. But the situation gets tricky when all his clients fall head over heels in love with this female-voiced character.