Mumbai, 23 Feb 2018 9:46 IST
Luv Ranjan's comedy has colourful characters, and hilarious jokes, but reeks with the same masculinity as his other cult comedies.
Any illusion of viewing something different in Luv Ranjan's latest comedy was shattered in the very first scene, where Sonu (Kartik Aaryan) delivers a minute long machine-gun monologue to a hassled bride's father at a Delhi wedding. This sets the theme and template for Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.
The film revolves around Sonu and Titu (Sunny Singh Nijjar), childhood buddies in Delhi. Sonu is the den mother who cares, protects, guides and helps Titu through relationships, breakups, and life. When on a rebound from a breakup, Titu decides to marry the girl his parents have chosen, Sonu is apprehensive.
The girl, Sweety (Nushrat Bharucha), is a hip, successful Delhi girl. Titu's Ghaseetaram halwai family is wonderfully happy with the settlement, and decide on the match. Sonu, however, seems hell bent on breaking this rishta.
What has Sweety done to deserve this treatment, you ask?
Well, in one scene, she sets up a house-help, cleans up the bachelor pad, asks him to fix the leaking tap, and even changes the boys' diets to a healthier one. Sweety also registers a new apartment for the upcoming marriage, tries to put the family on a healthier vegetarian diet, and of course, attempts to get rid of the very clingy Sonu.
Every good that she does is viewed with suspicion by Sonu because of the 'Bro-code'. Her moves are only taking Titu away from him. So he sets off on the war-path trying everything from digging into Sweety's past relationships to setting up Titu with his ex.
In the end, the battle comes down to the choice between the best friend and the girl. The solution was a little unsatisfactory for the reviewer, despite the hilarious touch at the end.
Luv Ranjan's comedy contains elements of the same themes that made his cult hits, the Pyaar Ka Punchnama series popular. After two editions, they seem a little dated. It seems that the director is revamping the same formula. There is a touch of Saving Silverman (2001), but the lingo is very Indian.
One assumes that were it not for the accusation of being unimaginative, the makers would have named the film Pyaar Ka Punchnama 3: Wedding Destination. The final scene of the film is four men sitting beside an empty swimming pool, drinking and laughing. Ergo.
Of the three characters, Sonu remains at the centre of the film. He is a clingy friend, who drinks, flirts, and has flings but is never seen in a relationship. Perhaps, that is why he does not understand this growing isolation as his friend trusts his fiance more. This, someone should have told him, is life.
Friends fall in love, get married and move on. You learn to deal with it by making new friends or getting into a relationship yourself, while indulging in a crate of beer and NetFlix ocassionally. One almost wished to sing 'Let It Go' for Sonu.
Considering the male-female ratio in this country, for Titu to find a girl as pretty as Sweety is plain luck. To find one as rich and pretty as Sweety is quite something. But she is rich, pretty and has enough guile to outwit her fiance's cunning friend. A true friend would have actually been in favour of the marriage.
Of course, she does have a sense of 'bitchiness' about her. But she is a beautiful and successful girl living in Delhi. No offense to the city, but it is not exactly the friendliest neighbourhood for women in the country. If she were not bitchy, she'd be in trouble.
Do not get me wrong. The film has a fantastic ensemble cast. Led by the raucuous Alok Nath and Veerendra Saxena, who deliver laughs as the mischievous Jija-saala outwitting their family in their ripe old age.
Nath, in particular, is in fine form as he plays the uber cool Punjabi grandpa with swag. He delivers the life lesson of the film — 'If an idiot (replace with appropriate Hindi abuse) is behaving like an idiot, let him be'. Had he passed on that advice at the beginning of the film, Sonu and Titu might have had a different story.
Kartik Aaryan delivers with charm his role as the enfant terrible. He plays the rogue and the charmer with elan. He is matched toe-to-toe by Nushrat Bharucha, who exudes natural charm and grace. She also shares a crackling chemistry with Aaryan and lights up the screen. Even Sunny Nijjar is endearing as the gullible and nice boy, and delivers some great lines.
Ranjan laces the film with some very Delhi humour. The repartees are good enough to be consigned to memory and repeated at a late night drinking session with friends. The best of them ripple with energy and sharp wit.
There are enough peppy song and dance numbers to keep a Delhi wedding going through the night. The visual element of the film is quite colourful.
Yes, the film is entertaining. But at a primal level.
That is exactly what is bothersome. The film's flaw lies not in the conflict, but in the reasoning for the conflict. The villain of the piece, like in previous films by the director, is the woman coming in between friends. This theme only subscribes to an age-old idea of women and men having different likes and dislikes, and that it would destroy age old friendships.
At one point, your reviewer wondered that perhaps he was not the right demographic for the movie. Then again, it is worrisome that there is such a demographic at all.