Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety Review

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 of 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- Terrorism 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-dramatised 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 poisonous creatures 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.

Ratings: 1.5/5

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Welcome To New York Review

Director: Chakri Toleti
Cast: Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Lara Dutta, Karan Johar More than two hours have passed since I watched Diljit Dosanjh-Sonakshi Sinha starrer Welcome to New York and trust me I am still not able to register how I survived this pointless and painfully unfunny movie.

Teji (Diljit Dosanjh) and Jinal Patel (Sonakshi Sinha) are strugglers who want to do something big in their lives. While Teji aspires to become a famous actor (I’m sorry but he’s too bad), Jinal is a budding designer whose dream is to design clothes for A-list actors and celebrities. One fine day they get a chance to fulfill their dreams after one of IIFA’s employees Sophie (Lara Dutta) select them to perform with Bollywood stars as a part of a talent hunt contest. However, it’s not what it looks like. Sophie has some hidden agenda.

There is Karan Johar too in the movie. But wait, who is he playing? Are you seriously interested to know that? Well, he plays himself. In short, brand-obsessed, classist and filthy rich guy, who only believes in wearing designer clothes even as he says “Armani mein mere armaan hai.” As if all this was not enough to test the audience patience, there is Karan’s lookalike in the film—Arjun, a New York-based gangster, who hates KJo’s movies and wants to kill him because of the losses he has faced in the world of crime after the director’s success.

At a time when people have just started appreciating Bollywood for bringing some daring tales on screen, Chakri Toleti’s Welcome to New York only proves why you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s basically the lowest common denominator possible when you talk about preposterous films.

wtn 1

We just have one question for Diljit and Sonakshi, are you guys short of money or movies? Is that why you opted for this crap? I mean I’m sorry if you guys thought this project would bring you a much-needed push to your career, it has made it even worse. Let me put it this way, no actor in this world could pull this soul-destroying 118 minutes plot off.

Extremely poor direction and writing from Toleti and Dheeraj Rattan are just the top of the iceberg of this ill-executed film. It doesn’t have any flow or sense. Given it’s a comedy, I don’t think I laughed more than twice the entire movie, thanks to Riteish Deshmukh and his comic timing.


Anyhow, this movie was a complete waste of time and the 300 bucks I spent on the ticket. Watch it on your own risk.

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PadMan Review

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, Sonam Kapoor
Director: R Balki How do you make a mainstream film with a message about menstrual hygiene? Simple. If you’re Akshay Kumar, you stick to the template of your last hit – a film with a message about the hazards of open defecation.

Like Toilet Ek Prem Katha, Akshay’s latest, PadMan, is about the great lengths a loving husband will go to for the happiness and the health of his wife. Like that film it employs humor to ease the fuss around age-old taboos, and as it turns out, it suffers from the same malaise that crippled Toilet – it’s well-intentioned but let down by clunky execution. Which is a shame. Because PadMan, directed and co-written by R Balki, deserves credit for addressing a subject that Indians find even harder to talk about than sauch and sandas.

Lakshmikant Chauhan, a humble mechanic in a small town in Madhya Pradesh, becomes obsessed with finding an affordable alternate to the expensive sanitary pads available in medical shops when he learns about the health risks posed by the scraps of cloth his wife reuses every month. Played by the film’s leading man this character is based on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the country’s real ‘Menstrual Man’ from Coimbatore, a school-dropout who invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine, and who is credited with creating awareness about menstrual hygiene in rural India.

Akshay plays him as a man possessed; whose every waking moment is spent thinking of, or talking about sanitary pads, or assembling his own home-made versions. Given the stigma and the embarrassment attached to menstruation, his single-minded obsession earns him the contempt of his townsfolk. The word ‘sharm’ is bandied about countless times by his hapless wife Gayatri (Radhika Apte), who can’t understand why he won’t just let it go. “Aurat ke pairon ke beech kyon phansi hai aapki jaan?” she asks him, confused, ashamed and upset, all at once.

There is no question that PadMan tells an inspirational story that deserves to be heard. The statistics around menstruation are alarming; according to the film, only 12 per cent of the female population in India uses sanitary napkins, the rest likely resort to options that make them susceptible to fatal infections. Any film that ‘mainstreams’ this conversation – especially one starring a big Bollywood actor – is worthy of praise. But PadMan quickly becomes something between a Public Service Advertisement and an MBA course case study. If Toilet Ek Prem Katha shrewdly attached itself to the Prime Minister’s beloved Swachh Bharat campaign, then this film – which shows in minute detail how our protagonist assembled his revolutionizing sanitary pad machine – fits nicely with the Make in India initiative. At one point, a superstar even makes a cameo to deliver a speech on the innovative spirit of Indians.

The writing, by Balki and Swanand Kirkire, starts out sharp and funny, but quickly becomes heavy-handed and repetitive. Sonam Kapoor’s character Pari, a management student and an expert tabla player who helps Lakshmi realize his dream, seems to have been created only for politically correct reasons. But then an awkward romantic angle in the film’s final act undoes its own design.

All of this is especially frustrating, because there’s so much to appreciate in the film. I found myself fully invested in the relationship between Akshay and Radhika’s characters because both actors bring genuine heartfelt emotion to their scenes together. Akshay plays a refreshingly progressive man in an orthodox town, and he invests Lakshmi with winning earnestness. His big speech at the United Nations is funny and charming, although a bit long.

In the end PadMan is admirable and has its heart in the right place, but it might have benefited from a less sermonizing tone. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five.

Rating: 2.5 / 5

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