"“Arre yaar halki fulki film hai, load kyon le rahi hai? Film ko film ki tarah dekh na!”"
Yes, this is the reply you are likely to get from a friend who’s almost going to lose the debate on the misogyny shown in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. But, that’s my point, how can you watch a film just like a film? How can you just stuff your face with butter popcorn, enjoy the songs and dance, laugh on at serial jokes, admire the hot bodies and get senti in the climax and return home and forget the film?
Sorry, this “halki fulki” film had heavy undertones of misogyny. “Misogyny” might sound like a harsh word to the fans of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and they might see you as an 'ultra feminist who is out to spoil the fun'. But how can you unplug yourself so easily? A film leaves you with afterthoughts and this one specially left me thinking for days. I felt guilty about laughing and tripping on some scenes, which later left me with a bad aftertaste.
I am all game for a “boys vs girls” humour track but it should be in equal measure. It can’t be lopsided. For any fair match, you need players on both the sides to play. You can’t kick jokes on only a particular gender throughout. Hello! All girls are not gold-diggers, friend-snatchers, schemers, manipulative, calculative and so on.
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is a good example of how misogyny is cleverly spiked in our entertainment - from Pretty Woman to 500 Days of Summer and from Padmaavat to Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. The problem is that if you are sensitive and get hurt about the manner in which women are represented in films, you are generously stamped as the 'intel, non-fun loving type' by friends and family.
We are a nation that’s happily active on family Whatsapp groups, where loads of misogynistic jokes are shared everyday as ‘nok jhonk pati patni jokes’, which is also supported and encouraged by emoticons of claps, whistles and kisses.
We normally call such gender based jokes as mere “leg pulling”. Little wonder then that families and friends failed to see Sonu, Sweety and Titu's bromance vs romance conflict anything beyond just a love story set in a halwai’s family.
“Meri waali alag hai” boasts Titu confidently in a scene while describing his girl . What is 'alag' for him? A girl who is too good to be true? And what's too good about her ? Ah yes - she loves to live in a joint family, respects elders, eats vegetarian food, keeps the home clean and does jagraata for entertainment!
The "Hum halwai hain, pregnant pehle karenge, mota baad me karenge" type of dialogues did not even give me space to cringe. It’s sad that we live and enjoy a life where we are happy to excuse anything. We get tagged and we don't even realise it. All is good for people till it’s ‘halka fulka' but I am sure that I will never learn the art of 'film ko film ki tarah dekhna'.
(Shradha Singh is an erotica writer and radio programmer and works with India's only romantic radio station - Ishq 104.8. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them)
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