Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, directed by Luv Ranjan, that released on February 23, is inching towards the coveted Rs 100 crore club. He is the same director behind two films popular among millennials – the Pyaar Ka Punchnama franchise.
Why does the director deserve special mention? His movies narrate stories from the perspective of Indian boys, the eternal victims who are “tormented” by their better halves. These films are a more refined version of the ‘Not All Men’ argument. In other words, Ranjan has managed to capitalise in yet another ‘woman-hate fest’ with a backdrop of the classic bromance vs romance face-off.
Rehashing a number of rancid, misogynist Hollywood bromance comedies, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety talks about two boys who have clearly refused to let go of their bibs.
Luv Ranjan’s better piece of work includes Aakash Vani, starring Kartik Aaryan and Nushrat Bharucha, a film dealing with marital rape. However, his claim to fame continues to be Pyaar Ka Punchnama, which turned into a sleeper hit in 2011. The film’s sequel released in 2015 and appeared to have the same rancidity of women-bashing from the first film, albeit with a different cast. If one has to look at Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, the cast is different but cliches aren’t.
More often than not, the women in Luv Ranjan’s films play terrible, difficult girlfriends who relentlessly frustrate the men, who view themselves as hapless victims with a backdrop of a generic rom-com. Collaboration between Aryan and Ranjan might have proven successful, but ultimately their film caters to the testosterone-filled gyms of Lokhandwala.
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety opens to the ‘Bom Diggy Diggy’ song where, Aryan and the other male lead, Sunny Singh, dance with semi-clad women and grind against them. What’s more amusing here is that Ranjan has managed to cut down on the contempt and disdain for women in this song, which otherwise, is present in the entire film. Titu wants to find a bride to settle down, but Sonu would rather have him buy a dishwasher, a washing machine and have options for sex – a dash of classic misogyny passed off as “rom-com” where women are reduced to inanimate electrical items.
Sonu hates Sweety, yet doesn’t mind ogling at her breasts during a song sequence. The nerve of Sweety, forcibly thrusting herself in front of our hero, who has established the premise that women are evil! While the humour is good in patches, it is, however, marred by poor acting and direction skills. The homosexual undertones to the Sonu-Titu bromance are unwitting and unwanted. The director clearly loses track midway and the film becomes a half-baked attempt in showing male-bonding and friendship. If one has to portray homosexuality on screen, there’s a responsibility and sensitivity that comes with it, something Ranjan fails to incorporate.
Eventually it gets down to this – the movie has brought the team commercial success. Despite delivering a hackneyed plot time and again, Ranjan always manages to find an audience for it. An audience who helped this film nearly cross Rs 100-crores.
And whom must Ranjan really thank? His copy machine for managing to reproduce the exact same content from his other films. At the time of #MeToo and #TimesUp, the popularity of this film shows that feminists have to do a lot of splaining before Bollywood really comprehends what misogyny and sexism is and why it is offensive.