Direction: Luv Ranjan
Produced by: T-Series, Luv Films
Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sunny Singh Nijjar, Alok Nath, Ayesha Raza Mishra
Cinematography: Sudhir K. Chaudhury
Editing: Akiv Ali;
Art Direction: Tarpan Shrivastava
Music: Hitesh Sonik
Hindi | Comedy | 138 Mins | India | 2018
Titu - the prey, Sweety - the predator and Sonu - the saviour. That is the story of Luv Ranjan’s ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ in short and sweet terms. But it is not the ‘What’ that makes the film, it’s the ‘How’. It’s simple. Titu is way too cute, falls in love much too often, gets ditched just as soon and is convinced that getting married is the only answer to get out of this rigmarole. So when Sweety comes along as an arranged match and Titu believes (as usual) that she is the one for him, it’s his BFF (bachpan ka friend) Sonu who has to try everything in the book to make sure they don’t get married. Because Sonu is convinced is that Titu is marrying on the rebound and all he needs is sex but Titu is not marrying for sex and Sweety knows an opportunity when she spots one. So she plays the perfect would-be bahu and it is left to Sonu to take matter into his own hands.
It takes involving family, exes and a whole lot of other tricks – apart from cajoling, lots of cuss words (muted of course) and exotic bachelor parties in gorgeous Georgia (substituting as Amsterdam). For in Ranjan’s world, the girls are invariably ‘chalu’ (manipulative), the guys are way too straight and cute and this time out, the simpleton needs to be pulled back from the jaws of a man-chewing woman! Titu’s bestie can see through Sweety’s game while the simple soul only sees love. So it’s really about one-upmanship – sometimes the best friend wins, while other times the bride-to-be gets the next round and vice versa. Making the complex more complicated is the fact that the adversaries don’t want to involve Titu in the murky, underhand goings-on.
Kartik Aaryan does what he has done best so far but with a twist. He is not the one in love this time and venting his frustration out in private as he did in Pyar Ka Panchnama (PKP) and PKP2. But as Sonu, he goes a step further. He wants to save his best friend – no matter the cost. So, he gets some help from family members, a whack once in a while from Titu’s mom for being over smart and extra zealous in his efforts and a lot of witty one liners! Predictably, he steals the show while Sunny Singh as Titu is really this sweet little dodo towing the line – with Sonu pulling him in one direction one moment and Sweety tugging at his heart strings on the other. He has his own logic for why he’d rather be married than remain single. Still best friend is a best friend but dil kya kare!!
Speaking of Sweety, its great that Nushrat Bharucha is near perfecting her position as a genuinely ‘chalu item’ (remember PKP and PKP2) to get into Titu and his family’s good books. To make the game even more interesting, she openly challenges Sonu, keeps Titu close and makes sure the family is eating out of her hand – literally and figuratively. She makes for a stunning bride and a loveable villain.
Meanwhile, there is Titu’s mother (a rather busy and smart mouthed Ayesha Raza Mishra); Dadaji (a very lovable Alok Nath in a major departure from his benign, onscreen presence) and his perfect foil (Virender Saini). Ranjan takes the leap from ‘couples only’ to ‘families too’ with ease and makes the even the smaller characters rather interesting and rounded. ‘Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety’ has its heart in the right place and definitely a notch up from PKP and PKP2. Smarter, more evolved characters with their trajectories and graphs improving over the course of the film, showcases Ranjan’s strength as a scriptwriter and director.
‘Sonu…’ is set in Delhi against the uber-rich background of Titu’s family of halwais named ‘Ghasitaaz’ who are serious competition to Haldirams but with some quality compromise! The art direction is noteworthy by Tarpan Shrivastava with the mis-en-scene minutely created in every frame to make it all believable and real. Contrast the sophisticated cars and luxury lifestyle with the desi style of dialogue delivery and ‘Sonu…’ suddenly comes alive. Ranjan surely scores a five out of five for those laughs, despite sticking to his formula and genre. He ran the risk of serving the same fare but the twist this time makes it a worthy watch. Do take out time for this one.