'Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar' Movie Review: It Is Yet Another Lopsided Battle Of The Sexes
‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’ Is Yet Another Lopsided Battle Of The Sexes, But In Luv Ranjan’s Hands The Woman Can Hardly Ever Win

The Ranbir-Shraddha starrer is a fun and fresh Bollywood rom-com that tries too hard to be progressive but fails to mask its patriarchal value

Director: Luv Ranjan
Writers: Rahul Mody and Luv Ranjan
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Anubhav Singh Bassi, and others
Rating: 3/5


Spoilers Ahead: Rohan Arora aka Mickey (Ranbir Kapoor) is a rich Delhi boy, who among other businesses, runs an agency that offers ‘breakup packages’ to couples. He believes: Ek Baar Hi Kiya Toh Yaaron/ Pyar Kya Kiya/ Pyar Hota Hota Hota/Kayi Baar Hai. He has a partner in crime, his wingman, Manu Dabbas (Anubhav Singh Bassi). While on Manu’s bachelor party vacation, Mickey meets Tinni aka Nisha Malhotra (Shraddha Kapoor)—the bff of Manu’s fiancé Kinchi (Monica Chaudhary)—and the two BFFs, initially looking for a time-pass affair, fall in love. Back home, Mickey’s big fat Punjabi family is ecstatic; for them, it is love at first sight with Tinni. They embrace her with open arms and wrap them around her in tight hugs—these hugs, though warm, start to suffocate the free-spirited and independent Tinni who had gotten out of the confines of her own house in pursuit of personal space and independence and is living in her own apartment. As the family unknowingly starts taking away her agency and holds her on a love choke, she starts to feel claustrophobic. She can see all she has strived for—a career, her voice, her individuality, and her dream of a home—being slowly taken away and replaced by #familygoals. She knows she can’t live the rest of her life in a joint family—the Hum Saath – Saath Hain dream is not something she can relate to. She decides to leave instead of putting Mickey in the predicament of choosing between her and his family.

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But eventually, the family wins and Tinni puts her freedom and individuality on the Procrustean bed and fits herself into the joint family. Indian family values and culture triumph over ‘Western influence’. And everyone lives happily ever after.


However, the way Tinni fails to talk out her issues with Mickey and the way Mickey fails to create that space for her makes you wonder about the future of this ‘happily ever after’. Gaslighting one’s partner instead of putting the effort to have ‘the talk’ is the first building block of a toxic relationship.

The verbose movie is an out-and-out commercial rom-com that is actually funny— a rarity in Bollywood today and comes as a breath of fresh air. It is replete with long monologues, hilarious meta jokes, slap-happy women, entitled men, and references and shots reminiscent of some of the best Ranbir Kapoor romances, especially Tamasha and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The songs work, the hero and the heroine wear cool clothes, the choreography doesn’t look like a PT lesson, the dialogues are funny, Ranbir and Shraddha Kapoor’s washboard abs stun, but even in its most progressive, it has a problematic subtext.

There is no denying that Luv Ranjan has taken the criticism he had faced for movies like Pyaar Ka Punchnamas and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and at times he even mocks those (it is hilarious when an actor doing a cameo stops a character from getting into the Pyaar Ka Punchnama ‘Problem yeh hai ki’ rant) forming the movie’s self-aware core. But it is his unconscious bias against women that keeps cropping up informing the gaze with which he tells the story. The absolute nonchalance with which Mickey, his family, and director Luv Ranjan rob Tinni of her agency by guilt-tripping and love-bombing her and the normalization of patriarchy, is amusing and appalling at the same time.

Ranbir Kapoor is back playing the puppy-eyed, goofy loverboy—he dances like a dream, he romances like a true-blue Bollywood hero, and when heartbroken, he smiles through his tears like Ranbir Kapoor. But he comes across as a bit jaded version of the actor and a tad worn-out version of the star. The quintessential Ranbir Kapoor spark is somehow missing. Or maybe as the audience, we were expecting something more exciting and fresh from the actor. At 40, an actor of his caliber needs to stop slipping back into the comfort of such rom-coms—a genre he absolutely rules and has nothing new to prove in.

Although both Ranbir and Shraddha Kapoor look gorgeous, there is a strange lack of chemistry between the two. Shraddha is in her element and has understood the assignment. She gets the pitch right for both the over-the-top moments in the first half and the more subtle and mellow scene in the latter part of the movie.

Dimple Kapadia, who plays Renu Arora, Mickey’s mother and the matriarch of the family looks gorgeous and is a joy to watch even if at times she gets too loud and almost screeches through her lines. She is a tour de force and lights up the screen every time she makes an appearance.

But Anubhav Singh Bassi as Manu Dabbas is disappointing. The hugely popular stand-up comic and social media star, filling up the influencer quota, is great with his comic timing but he could not make half of his face, which is not hidden under the beard, emote even in one scene. His face remains an Aadhar Card picture throughout.

Jatinder Kaur who plays Mickey’s grandmother is spectacular in her brief and sporadic appearances. Her subtle and not-so-subtle digs at almost everything around her are bound to remind one of their own snarky but absolutely adorable grandparents.

The dialogues by Rahul Mody and Luv Ranjan are mostly hilarious and the jokes land. The dadi gets the sassiest ones and absolutely kills it. But there are just too many long monologues, which though funny, make it a tedious watch. Although in one scene, Luv Ranjan mocks his fascination for these monologues, he never stops—it is as if he is getting some sort of sadistic pleasure in putting his audience through it. One is bombarded with so much fast-paced talking in such regular intervals, that after a point you can almost feel words crawling under your skin making you physically perturbed.

What works spectacularly for the film and gives it the extra sheen is the music. The score by Hitesh Sonik works. After ages, we have a good song album. Composed by Pritam and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, these are as Bollywood as it gets and is matched by cool choreography that sees both Ranbir and Shraddha putting their best dancing feet forward.

The editing by Akiv Ali and Chetan M. Solanki could have been better as there are patches where the pace slows down and the movie starts to drag. But the last 20 minutes are sharp and crisp and they ensure that there is no momentum or magic lost.

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Another woman martyred on the altar of tradition. Another instance of celebrating regressive content as woke. Another Luv Ranjan movie shows zero respect or empathy towards women. Another problematic movie that will impress the audience looking for ‘entertainment’.


In this Hum Saath – Saath Hain redux, Mickey Arora, who lives in a loving and close-knit joint family is in love with Tinni Malhotra but she is an independent woman who wants to build her own home and finds this sudden encroachment on her personal space claustrophobic. It is not a life she wants for herself and finds a way to break up with Mickey. But since it is all about loving your family, and since the family loves Tinni, they decide to lovebomb her to submission, and she eventually gets married to the family. Tradition wins. The woman’s choice and voice get drowned under the high-pitched cacophony of the ‘happy family’ soundtrack. Patriarchy smiles.

Releasing a film like Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar on Women’s Day is especially poignant as it shows how terribly we as a society are still failing our women. How you react to this movie can be the litmus test of the level of patriarchy in your bloodstream.

Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar is undoubtedly a fun watch— perfect for a family Holi outing but not so much for a Women’s Day celebration.

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