Over the past few years, Ayushmann Khurrana has evolved as one of those actors in the industry who has gained the trust of his audience as far as the content of his films is concerned. And it isn’t something that he has built overnight. The actor has made calculated film choices ever since he stunned Bollywood with his first film, Vicky Donor, in 2012.
Like his wife Tahira Kashyap said in an earlier interview, “Ayushmann has a knack of sniffing out amazing, crazy scripts that are relevant at the same time, and as an artist, he is fearless. I am proud of the same.” We couldn’t agree more.
Ayushmann is currently gearing up for the release of his next film Article 15, which deals with the subject of caste discrimination; at a depth no other Bollywood film has attempted till now.
Before the release of another of Ayushmann’s socially relevant film Article 15, we take a look at his previous films that dealt with serious issues while being commercially successful.
VICKY DONOR, 2012
It was a brave step for singer and television host Ayushmann Khurrana when he chose a film like Vicky Donor to make his Bollywood debut with. The film dealt with the subject of male infertility and sperm donation, a subject that no other actor had dared to pick up.
Ayushmann’s effort and his faith in himself paid off as the film was widely successful. And apart from box office numbers, Vicky Donor was hailed by the audience as a groundbreaking film and became a benchmark of socially relevant Bollywood movies. In what was probably the highest acknowledgement for Vicky Donor, it was conferred with the National Film Award for Best Popular Movie Providing Wholesome Entertainment in 2013.
DUM LAGA KE HAISHA, 2015
In the period from Vicky Donor to Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Ayushmann had a string of forgettable films. Ayushmann managed to recreate the magic of Vicky Donor only in 2015, with his film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. The film marked the Bollywood debut of Bhumi Pednekar. It was based on body-shaming. The 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. A chunk of the film’s appeal was in the simplicity and sweetness of the story. Dum Laga Ke Haisha won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 2016.
SHUBH MANGAL SAAVDHAN, 2017
In Vicky Donor, Ayushmann played the role of a sperm donor, and in his 2017 film Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Ayushmann turned 180 degrees and played a person with erectile dysfunction. For an industry where films run on toxic masculinity and testosterone, the latest being Shahid Kapoor’s Kabir Singh, Ayushmann chose to do a film that broke the pattern and made it a commercial success. The film was a surprise hit. It bagged Rs 65 crore worldwide.
BADHAAI HO, 2018
Badhaai Ho was another feather in Ayushmann’s cap. The film talked about the sex life of a middle-aged couple, parents to a 25-year-old man, who end up getting pregnant by mistake. It was a topic that nobody had touched. 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 having the audience in splits.
Badhaai Ho also gave a fresh lease of life to Neena Gupta’s career. The film, made on a budget of Rs 30 crore, broke box office records and bagged Rs 221.44 crore worldwide. It also picked up several awards.