Are Indian Men Scared Of #ChaaluLadki?!

I did the unimaginable and watched ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ last weekend!

Honestly, I didn’t have any plans of watching this movie, but the popular reviews which said the movie is really entertaining made me change my mind. I wanted to give this film a fair chance. Why judge even before watching the treatment of the story, right? So I watched it with a clean slate and ignored the director’s past mistakes, sorry, movies!

A huge mistake, I realized how gullible I am to trust what others say about the movie and not go with my gut feeling. After watching the supposedly “entertaining” movie it hit me that neither it is entertaining nor funny. I knew what was in store after watching the trailer. Women are vamp-ish, manipulative and chaalu witches who are out to make the lives of innocent men hell. That’s the brand of Luv Ranjan’s movies. It started with ‘Pyaar Ka Punchanama’ and with his third outing as a director he stuck to the same narrative.

Boy, can’t imagine what made him so bitter!

Sonu is the quintessential Dilli ka launda, dad’s left him a fortune out of which he is minting more money, parties hard, hooks up with girls in those parties, and most important of all babysits his friend/bro/bachpan ka yaar Titu.

Titu is the holier-than-thou and the most innocent boy you could ever think of. The emotional backstory of how Sonu and Titu became best buds is probably the only good thing about the movie.

Enter Sweety, the chaalu ladki. That’s the only explanation given about her character. She is manipulative, well how? No one cares, the guy said she is chaalu, just shut your brain and believe him. Sweety’s character would have been more interesting and manipulative if the writer cared to flesh it out and added layers to it. Chuck it, why care just ask her to glint the eyes and mouth “main chaalu hun” for no reason, that will do.

What irked me was the laziness shown with the story and adding layers to the characters. It could have been a great plot rather the director chose to play to the stereotypes. Let’s not get there, what the movie reinforced my apprehension about the men in Delhi/NCR or North Indian men in general. I am sorry, but why is it that women are depicted and perceived in such poor light.

What do they mean by “homely” girls? The one that can be flaunted and paraded in front of the family, including distant relatives. I have come across men (outside my family) who prefer to date “strong” girls but all hell breaks loose when it comes to marrying them.

Apparently ‘strong girls’ don’t make for good wives and dutiful daughters-in-law!

They are loud and uncouth for their “homely tastes.” With this same attitude the movie was made. The director or writer, either they didn’t feel the need to make the character genuinely manipulative. It was meh!

A son is allowed to date but the honor of the family lies in the vagina of a daughter so dating is off-limits for her.

A scene which stands out in the whole movie is when the “chaalu” bride-to-be suggests to go dutch with the wedding expenses and somehow that is considered a sign of a woman trying to takeover the budget of the household. Huh, what?! She is frigging displacing herself in order to live with your son who will probably take another decade to grow up. Since when did sharing expenses and not splurging mindlessly on wedding became problematic?

The Big Fat Indian wedding has made it necessary to have a pompous ceremony in the name of grandeur. Marriages are considered to be successful only if you manage to have a jaw-dropping wedding affair. The Arrange Marriage market has spread its tentacles  and “Sony Ke Titu Ki Sweety” just proved it with the scene in question.

Wedding is more important than marriage in our society (more so in certain communities), it at least weaves the facade of the beginnings of a well-settled life.

I have a long list on why this movie is problematic but the one thing that makes it even more problematic is that people like it and that does speak volumes about the popular culture.  May be I am just over thinking here and probably wasting too much time in assessing the impact of this movie.

When I see men and women laughing at scenes that are problematic representation of women in general the future looks grim. But it isn’t the ultimate truth, we have got to accept that there will always be a section of society that feels women are manipulative little bitches (pardon the language) if they have a clear mind and loud voice. We have been taught to appease, of course there will be resistance to anything that challenges this status quo including this movie.

I am furious that apparently people with educated backgrounds and famous institutional tags are equally unaware and ignorant. This too shall pass, hopefully!




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