Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is Stale Beer-Chakna for the Bhai-Bhai Club

Sonu is the ‘sakht launda’ of the Bhai brigade who thinks Sweety is pretty ‘chaalu’. But is she really? 

Indian Cinema
4 min read
A poster of <i>Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.</i>

When I walked in to the theatre to watch Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, the glee on most of the faces, even before the movie had started, was funny to begin with. The men had a 'sabka badla lega tera faizal' vibe, and the women were in 'aa dekhe zara, kisme kitna hai dum' mode.

Well, that sentiment could be an exaggeration, but the box-office number – definitely not.


Is This Movie Intolerably Sexist?

There are sexist comments and silly digs at women in patches throughout the movie. But is it intolerable? No.

There are assumptions about women in this movie that are completely baseless. But is it intolerable? No.

The movie paints Sweety, the female protagonist, as a ‘chalu’ girl who is apparently a ‘buri ladki’. But is it still intolerable? No. Hell, no.

We, women, are not exactly chuckling at the visuals of a daadi owning the ‘tijori ki chhabi’ and handing it over to her bahu or bahu ki bahu, because, that is NOT our idea of liberation or strength.

Controlling the husband is NOT on any empowered girl’s priority list for sure. You know why? Because women are working as hard, if not more, to earn and pay for the EMIs as the man, today.

So, the film is not sexist. It is not even intolerable because the very plot of the movie fails to even be at par with the larger debate on sexism. Women are way beyond such pettiness. It is harmless and mindlessly funny in parts, where you can simply laugh off at the ‘naive’ film-maker who has sketched Sweety’s role.

Toh Aakhir Film Mein Hota Kya Hai?

Let’s do a brief sketch of the main characters:

Titu is a boy in his twenties, who lends a hand at his father’s sweet shop and chills with his ‘bachpan ka yaar, Sonu, for the better half of the day. He is too ‘bhola’ to be true.

Sonu is a smart ‘Sakht launda’ who thinks he has coded women like no man ever. This character is the typical ‘bhaaai mereko sab pata hai’ dude in every group. He is also an over-protective and possessive friend, who is more interested in knowing more about the ‘intentions’ of the would-be wife of his friend Titu, than the groom himself.

And finally we have Sweety, a confident and beautiful woman, who starts behaving as the ‘perfect wife’, even before she is married to Titu. Her actions lead to her winning ‘dadi ka bharosa’, followed by her getting the ‘tijori ki chabi’, which irks Sonu, Ghasite and Lalu, the grandfathers (who had a sixth sense about Sweety not being the right girl for Titu), and then begins the ‘challenge’.


So What’s The Challenge

A still from the film.
A still from the film.
(Photo Courtesy: T-Series)

Sonu thinks Sweety is a gold digger and is marrying Titu only for his family’s money. To prove that he is right about her, he leaves no stones unturned – from digging dirt from her past, to using Titu’s ex-girlfriend to test the waters.

Sweety thinks Sonu is just a friend who doesn’t deserve so much attention and importance, because ‘woh toh saaga bhai bhi nahi hai’. And asks him ‘Tumhari aukaat kya hai?

Titu, on the other hand, is this clueless man-baby who wants to get married and ‘settle’ down. (Aside: Like really?)

The Bhai-Bhai Brigade Vs The Girl

A still from the film.
A still from the film.
(Photo: T-Series)

The Bromance vs Romance debate is not new. It’s almost like a turf war.

This has existed for ages, and will continue to exist.

The stereotypical portrayal of Sweety’s character suggests all women behave in a certain way. But hello, all women are different, the same way that all men are different. Why paint everyone with the same brush, bro?

When Sonu suspects Sweety’s intentions at the very beginning, he goes the extra unnecessary mile to prove himself right. He meddles and digs into her past and tries to irritate Sweety, instead of giving her the benefit of doubt. He hovers around the couple, never gives them space, and judges her. NOT COOL.

Similarly, I would have cheered if the script of the film portrayed Sweety as this smart and cool girl who became friends with Sonu too, and understood his importance in Titu’s life. Childhood friends are always special – for men and women. This is not even a gender dilemma. Remember, har ek friend zaroori hota hai?! But I cringed when she said ‘Dosti aur ladki mein humesha ladki hi jeet ti hai’. Why, girl, why?! Not true. And definitely, NOT COOL.

But the irony lies in the fact that despite the implied misogyny and deliberate silly digs at ‘Sweety’, she emerges to be the strong woman who can fight her own battles and doesn’t need a Sonu for ‘marg darshan’.

That is where the director fails to put down women in the end, despite several tries.

And that’s where the sexism in the movie flushes itself down the toilet.

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