First ever Indian Cis-trans rom-com Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui panned as a success

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui / youtube screen grab

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is a groundbreaking Hindi romantic comedy about a high-profile cisgender man and a beautiful transgender woman.

Except the official trailer makes no mention that the co-star is trans, just 'different', admittedly to interest and not to dissuade moviegoers from buying a ticket.

The star playing her opposite, Ayushmann Khurrana, calls her a transgender person (not woman, in the follow-up interview), and the actress who plays his romantic love interest, Vaani Kapoor, is a cisgender woman.

In an interview published by The Indian Express on the day the movie was released director Abhishek Kapoor came to the defense of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui.

The trailer of the film merely hinted at the larger subject of the film and Abhishek said that it was a conscious call so the audience feels curious. “What happens is the trailer is of 2 minutes. It has a certain tone. The subject and representation could be misunderstood and that could be very damaging to the film, and to the issue itself. Hence we just kind of hinted about it but did not go all out.
Well obviously any interest Abhishek Kapoor gained from the trailer is now negative and probably considered misleading by moviegoers, not to mention transgender people. 

 SATVIK a Trans man reviews the movie on The Quint.

"To give a glimpse, the movie is about Punjabi hunk Manu Munjal (Ayushmann), whose dream is to win an annual gym competition. Enter Zumba instructor Maanvi Brar (Vaani Kapoor) who joins his gym."

"There is instant attraction, and the couple are drawn to each other. Several steamy scenes later – Maanvi comes out as a trans woman. A slew of dysphoric, triggering, transphobic words and gestures follows."

"I must admit that it hurt me a lot when people in the movie theatre started sniggering and laughing when the transphobic slurs were hurled relentlessly. It even made me scared to use the washroom during the interval."

"Several transphobic comments and words are used like- 'Andar se Bahar se' or 'Thi ya tha' or ‘'Ladke ke sath sex, tu toh ladka bhi nahi hai' – are simply crass and reflects nothing educational about it. The constant stare of eyes from head to toe – sent the audience into hysterical laughs".

"But as someone who was feeling dysphoric, I felt there was nothing funny about it. I can say that this movie was not about empowering the community, it was used horribly as a twist in the rom-com. If you are saying that the movie is about empowering the community, it should be well-researched, and inclusive – and mostly importantly, you are accountable to the community," wrote SATVIK.

It would be safe to say the people who panned this movie as a revolutionary success are the investors and cisgender moviegoers who want to laugh at the transgender plot twist without taking accountability for their actions.

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