Synopsis – Titu is going to marry a perfect woman named Sweety. Titu’s best-friend Sonu doubts Sweety’s character and tries to break the marriage while Sweety tries to do opposite and which leads to war between Bromance and Romance.
My Take – Since the dawn of its inception, the next go-to genre for Bollywood filmmakers after romance and revenge fueled action thrillers has always been films about friendship. Now mix that with a story about toxic love, you have got a film from director Luv Ranjan. Ranjan, who as a film maker has turned the ‘battle of the sexes’ premise into a full-fledged, thriving genre of its own, operates from the most simplistic kind of frat-boy logic where bros always come before hoes. His breakout film Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011) and its 2015 sequel featured young men who were subjected to the emotional cruelties that only women are seemingly capable of. Manipulated and pushed to the limit by feminine wiles, the men in both the films concluded that mankind was an altogether better category than humankind. Here, returning with his Pyaar Ka Punchnama stars Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh, the previously stated understanding is threatened when a seemingly perfect girl becomes a thorn in the lifelong friendship between two male friends. However, despite the frequent misogyny, the objectionable stereotyping and the open sexism, it’s hard to ignore how this film is unquestionably funny and the ample number of gags ensures that there’s never a dull moment. The story follows Sonu (Kartik Aaryan) and Titu (Sunny Singh), two childhood best friends, who have remained inseparable since they were in kindergarten. They share the same roof, family, and alcohol. They are so close that Sonu calls Titu’s mother as Mummy which highlights the depth of the bond.
While, Titu is a hopeless romantic and gets easily gets swayed by the opposite sex, often ending with him being heartbroken, on the other hand, Sonu who never believed in the reasoning behind a relationship, always emerges as Titu’s savior and comforts every time he goes through heartbreak. Nonetheless, things change dramatically when the quintessential good girl, Sweety (Nushrat Bharucha) enters their lives via an arranged marriage proposal for Titu. The problem is that Sonu is concerned about Sweety, who seems too delightful, appealing, and beguiling, as the perfect girl who works with an NGO, arranges prayers and is adored by Titu and his entire family. While, Sonu expresses his doubts about Sweety, Titu is unwilling to listen, as he has fallen head over heels for Sweety, leaving him no option but to unmask her. Now, this is hardly as complicated as the film’s tongue-twister title. How much can you possibly plough through such a plot? That is essentially the brilliance in its story-telling. Writer-director Luv Ranjan has skillfully cracked the desi bro-code in his earlier films and has been waging a war on behalf of simple boys on hot women by cribbing about their bizarre shopping behavior, incessant texting, need for constant compliments and romance. This film too can be described as an upgrade or an evolution of an earlier concept. Not very long ago, we were presented with the perspective that marriages are the coming together of two families. Now, evolving this to the next level is this film, wherein the concept dwells into the thought that marriages are the coming together of two friend circles. One can also say that this phenomenon was preexistent and it is only now that it has been utilized in a film. Here too the film begins with the premise that girls are problems, and proceeds from there, working up the boys to resist all attempts by girls to make them effete, however, here the married women hold sway over the lives of all the men, and the unmarried ones remain a sweet mystery. While Rahul Mody and Luv Ranjan‘s screenplay is skewed against women in general and Sweety in particular, it’s no surprise how it’s all going to end. Director Ranjan’s light-hearted approach seems to be in the right direction as it has tried to counter the typical saas-bahu daily soap and has made a fascinating modern relationship. He has explored the theme in the direction that marriage today is not marriage between two individuals rather it is also between two friend circles. Sweety appears as a utopian woman who is too perfect to be true. The theme further explores and leads you towards the dilemma that perhaps Titu is in love with Sonu unknowingly and by keeping Sweety’s intentions hidden, the film manages to do two things — one, it keeps the outcome unpredictable, as we don’t know who will win in the end. But is the journey interesting? Hell yes, barring a couple of totally unnecessary songs and some repetitive gigs, the film is consistently funny, with clever lines thrown about at lightning speed. The caustic screenplay mines its humor from Sonu’s mounting exasperation at Titu’s willing seduction. Sonu wants his bromance with Titu to retain its innocence and purity. He wants to grow old with Titu, like Titu’s grandfather Ghasitaram (Alok Nath) and his best friend Lalu (Virendra Saxena). The film’s best scenes revolve around these three men who are shown to be the only ones to have retained their sanity around women. Regardless of its sexist nature, director Ranjan’s cheerful way to deal with counter sex generalizations in present day connections makes his take intriguing.
A young lady can be a reprobate as well! We ask why Sweety must declare herself as the shrewd one to Sonu however? In any case, different circumstances appear to be relatable, which makes a difference. All through, the film’s genuine romantic tale is the companionship (dispassionate) between its two male characters, who are indivisible. Sweety’s entry, messes their condition, driving Sonu to think about whether the young lady is sufficient for his sibling from another mother. Who winds up as the awkward extra person wheel in this one of a kind and to some degree strange love triangle, frames the story. The film’s concept is really unique, which makes it quite interesting to watch. Although it has misogynistic shades, it does not show women in a bad manner. It’s just a humorous presentation of how relationships work in the real world. The entire film, to be fair, goes like a breeze, though the songs, not all original compositions, come and go, with one song composed by Rochak Kohli, “Main Tera Yaar Hoon” standing out in the frequent, noisy and Punjabi-heavy melange. Be that as it may, what doesn’t work for the film is its length. Extended for around 138 minutes, the Sonu vs. Sweety fight, a few melodies and discoursed continue going in circles to the point of being uninteresting. Additionally, Sonu’s inside and out disdain for Sweety does not have a substantial reason, which influences his thought process to break Titu’s marriage to appear to be more similar to a sentimental fixation than possessiveness or defensive conduct as expected. Also the film heavily depends on Kartik and Sunny’s friendship and for that their chemistry had to be real, but it’s not. Except for Sunny’s small speech about their friendship, you can see the lack of conviction. It is the most generic idea of friendship pulled out of Bollywood’s understanding of relationships. Of the principal cast, the film is clearly dominated by Kartik Aaryan, who refines a character that he has played in director Ranjan’s previous venture. Aryan has the tough job of making Sonu a relatable, likeable figure despite his misdeeds. He does a perfectly good job, not least because the script is skewed unfairly in Sonu’s favor. Nushrat Bharucha manages to hold her own, while Sunny Singh is effective in his low-key role of Titu because of his understated sincerity and Ishita Raj is as charming and effortless. There’s also a big ensemble of supporting characters in the form of Titu’s family. Most memorable of this lot are Alok Nath as Titu’s grandfather Ghasitaram and Virendra Saxena as Ghasitaram’s best friend Lalu. Alok Nath, in particular, is a real hoot, sending up his ‘sanskari’ image, playing a hard-drinking, swearing old man. On the whole, ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety‘ is a harmless romantic comedy which can be enjoyed for its silly and relentless humor.
Directed – Luv Ranjan
Rated – PG15
Run Time – 138 minutes