One could easily argue that 2017 marked the presence of women and their rights in Hollywood cinema scene with films like Wonder Woman, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and shows like Big Little Lies and Handmaid’s Tale getting appreciation from audiences and critics alike. Back home the year belonged to rooted stories with strong female representation in movies such as Lipstick Under My Burkha and even comedies like Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan and Bareilly Ki Barfi. Now the second month into 2018 and we are back to 2008, with cheeky comedy, sexist remarks and misogyny splashed in front of the audience in form of a story. Luv Ranjan’s Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety is a brilliant example of how films shouldn’t be made at a time when the entire world is echoing the thoughts of equality and banishment on gender discrimination.
The film was being promoted with the tagline of ‘bromance vs romance’ and the privileged thinking of the makers ultimately assumed it to be a case of bhai vs ladki. No thought occurred in the minds of either the writer or the director that the material they were producing was dated to the core, and was meant only to entertain a certain ‘privileged’ section of the society, while the other half watches it with a clenched fist, laughing not at the jokes but at the sheer ignorance of the director.
The film is about two friends Sonu and Titu. While Titu is a sweet, gullible boy, Sonu is his guardian angel with a bat. He is his best friend, more like ‘brother from another mother’. The obsessed friend saves Titu from the biggest evil in the whole wide world- Women.
The ‘poison’ of society keeps dictating how the guys should live their lives so Sonu makes sure that his gullible friend (with some sense) breaks up with the devil, only to enter into another ‘danger’. Sweety enters Titu’s life as a perfect woman who starts taking care of everybody from the first shot. Then starts the fight between ‘bhai’ and to-be ‘lugai’, which continues till the very last moment of the wedding.
Now, to be fair the plot seems interesting and it might have been an enjoyable experience, had they kept at least the fight ‘genderless’ by making it between a best friend and a lover. However, the makers decided to take the path most sexist and turned the entire plot and message into entertainment for the ‘guys’. But hey, we’ve enjoyed Pyaar Ka Panchnama, so what’s so wrong with this film? Well, while the film lacks a basic sense of the world, it also misses the connection and over-dramatises depiction of something as relatable as friendship makes the film lose the touch. And because the makers couldn’t show the ‘faulty’ behaviour in Sweety’s character, they made her say it out loud ‘twice’ that she’s the ‘bad guy’ here for basically helping Titu built a life away from Sonu’s toxicity (How dare she! This entire gender needs to be banished from the planet and just ‘bros’ should exist but the two men shouldn’t convey their weirdly low-key romance with each other because it’s gay and we are making a film for ‘dudes’).
There are so many eye-roll moments in the film that even your eyes start hurting after a bit and you actually have to watch the film. The film repeats itself at every given moment and is stretched to a point where the day and night of every wedding ceremony is shown! There are certain scenes which will remind you of Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, especially the treatment of the songs.
Talking about the cast, Kartik Aaryan and Sunny Singh do have chemistry and you want to root for them but the glaring sexism keeps coming in the way. Nushrat Bharucha is pleasant and deserved more than just narrowing her eyes or a plotting smile. But then, when has Ranjan actually portrayed women accurately? They are either conniving and manipulating or dumb enough to give two bucks about their life. It’s always the guys in the film who needs rescuing from such poison by themselves and their fellow ‘good MEN’ with no concept of heterosexual friendship or sisterhood in his films. Thus, you know what kind of audience is going to laugh the loudest or even clap at the cheapest, most misogynist dialogue.
It’s time for Ranjan to actually grow up in his thoughts rather than serving up the same mentality again and again. The film had all the potential with a good cast to address the millennial issue of ‘third wheeling’ and that would’ve been fun to watch, but instead, they decided to make it an out and out ‘guy’ film, slamming women for even existing and that bit hurts a lot.
Overall, the film is a great entertainer in the anti-women genre, but sadly for Ranjan, it is not a proper category yet and thus the film deserved to called a sexist, ‘eye-roll’ worthy ride which will leave you frustrated and angry by the end of it.