Film: “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety”; Director: Luv Ranjan; Cast: Kartik Aryan, Nushrat Bharucha, Sunny Singh; Rating: **** ½
There is something to be said in favour of the spoken word in the movies, or the dialogue as its known. When sharply written, these words can embrace the characters in layers of unvarnished molten gold.
Sure enough the repartees in “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety” (SKTKS) just roll off the characters’ tongues making them sound sassy and sombre even when they are being mean and vicious just because it suits the script’s purposes.
And God knows, this film needs no excuse to let the words flow. So full marks to co-writer Rahul Mody and Luv Ranjan for investing the vivacious proceedings with a verbal gusto that I found to be more sparkling in wit and insinuations than the dialogues in any recent film.
SKTKS is the story of the eponymous Titu (Sunny Singh, suitably equanimous) who is a bit of a rich spoilt dullard mithaiwala’s son who falls in love with every human being in a skirt, the shorter the better. It takes Titu’s BFF Sonu(Kartik Aryan) to rescue Titu from his disastrous relationship crises time after time.
At one point in the slyly silken storytelling Kartik’s Sonu tells the manipulative gold digger a story of what he did to a boy in the classroom as a child when that boy troubled Titu.
Clearly this a bromance of extraordinary intensity and Kartik and Sunny Singh specially the former, plays the brothers-born-from-different-mothers with a ferocious fidelity never allowing gay insinuations colour their camaraderie.
Luv Ranjan is very clear in his reading of ‘bromantic’ relationships. The woman is often a gold-digging manipulative scheming bitch.
Nushrat Bharucha plays the part with relish. It’s her ongoing game of oneupmanship with Kartik Aryan’s Sonu that gives a thundering heft to the plot, lifting even the sagging episodes (like the pre-marriage bachelor party in Amsterdam which stretches into a blingy binge) to a zestful place filled with sexy sounds and seductive images of from privileged homes where no one has to bother about anything except the next holiday abroad.
Luv Ranjan is terrific at shooting family dynamics during festive times. The wedding-time negotiations, backbiting and meal/alcohol consumption occupy a major part of narrative. There is a kind of compelling clarity to the way Ranjan pins down the inner workings of relationships in joint families about to come together through a marital alliance.
Of course it helps that character actors from Alok Nath (abandoning his bovine image to play a wickedly irreverent grandfather) to Pritam Jaiswal (as an annoyingly efficient house help who is manipulated out of the household) add character to every scene they occupy.
Indeed this is not so much a triangle as a wreck-tangle with every supporting actor egging on the central conflict among a two men who just can’t stop loving one another and a woman, who will tear them apart at any cost.
Nushrat Bharucha’s deftly enacted Sweety admits at one point she is not the heroine but the villain. So does she get her hero or does she get her comeuppance? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wink.
Tongue lodged firmly in cheek, Luv Ranjan’s bromance-versus-romance tale has enough bite to make it one of the most invigorating rom-coms in recent times.