I’ll never understand the appeal that Bollywood filmmaker Luv Ranjan has. As a writer-director, all his movies feature some form of misogynistic representation of women. Almost every movie. And now, in the first month of 2023, there’s a trailer for a new movie of his, which seemingly has the same issues. I usually don’t cover Bollywood trailers, but there’s a lot to say about this one. The Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar trailer (You’re A Liar, I’m Deceitful) tells a new story about the dynamic in a man-woman relationship, and it’s honestly, a little messed up. But not surprising at all though, given that it’s a Luv Ranjan movie. Read on to find out the main issue with the Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar trailer, and why it continues a disturbing trend from the filmmaker.
Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar Trailer Seems Fun
Starring one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Ranbir Kapoor, along with the talented Shraddha Kapoor, (no relation) the Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar trailer is everything a typical rom-com should be. The trailer sees the lead couple, each with impeccable style, oozing charm and fit bodies, hook up in a seemingly whirlwind romance.
But when things get serious, there’s trouble. The trailer opens with Ranbir’s character talking about how easy it is to get into relationships these days, but hard to get out of them. So he details a convoluted plan about how the best way to get out of a relationship, is to make the girl feel like it’s her idea. Basically by planting seeds of suspicion and manipulating her in other ways. But then, he seemingly falls in love.
The Hypocrisy And Double Standard In Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar Trailer
As the trailer progresses with cool songs and an upbeat vibe, the second-half twist comes when things get serious. As Ranbir’s character falls in love, for reals, the couple starts marriage talks. This time, it’s Shraddha’s character who has doubts about the relationship. Her voiceover repeats exactly the same thing Ranbir said in the beginning. But her approach to breaking up is to make it seem like it’s the guy’s fault, while she maintains her innocence and remains on good terms with his family.
So they both basically hook up for something casual and are both manipulating each other to get what they want. Which is fine. There is nothing wrong with characters who are grey and don’t have the typical hero/heroine attributes. The problems start when double standards rear their head. Apparently, Ranbir’s character has an issue with Shraddha’s character’s approach to breaking up. The same tactic he boasted about earlier in the trailer, by the way. So he decides to ‘make her pay’ or something to that effect. So it’s fine when he’s bragging about being manipulative to end a relationship he doesn’t want. But if a woman treats him the same way, she must fear the wrath of man! Really?
Luv Ranjan Has Done This Before
The most upsetting part about the Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar trailer isn’t this particular movie or this story. It’s very easy to write off one movie that looks bad and move on with our lives. The issue here is that the writer-director Luv Ranjan has a disturbing trend of this kind of content in almost all his movies. The women characters in his movies are all depicted as shrewd, conniving and somehow threatening the masculinity of his male characters. Resulting in the men standing up for themselves and fighting back against the evil woman in their lives. Like, what?!
His debut movie as a director, Pyar Ka Punchnama, as well as its sequel, both featured Karthik Aryan in a leading role. In many ways, Aryan was put on the map by Ranjan and his movies. But while the movies themselves were once again a male versus female perspective about relationships, love and life, it very much leaned one way. Aryan’s character famously has this long one-take monologue in both movies, where he basically craps on women. While the monologue itself is admirable, the content is extremely problematic.
Ranjan then doubles down on his whole ‘women are evil’ viewpoint in this next directorial, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. The story is about how a man feels threatened when his best friend gets engaged to a confident and outspoken woman. The woman begins to influence the friend, her fiancee, to eat better, take care of himself, etc, the usual things in a relationship. But this level of control is apparently manipulative and evil, so the man takes it upon himself to free his friend from her clutches. I ask again: what?!
Why Are We Still Getting Movies Like This In 2023?
It’s baffling how these movies, which clearly seem to demonize women characters, are still being made in 2023. You would think that studios, producers and other creatives would be more aware of the optics of crafting a story where a man has to get payback from a woman. And then doing it repeatedly. It’s a troubling and disturbing thing that makes Bollywood movies so questionable, especially when, as a fan, you know they can do better.
The more irresponsible thing about Ranjan’s films is that he packages these kinds of damaging ideas in very mainstream, lovable, bubbly aesthetics with great music and likeable stars. On the surface, the Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar trailer looks like a lot of fun. But if the trailer is an accurate representation of the story of the movie, then it’s hella problematic. And I don’t think Ranbir’s tanned abs are going to be able to make me ignore those issues.
Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar releases in select theatres on March 8, 2023.
What did you think about this trailer? Do you have the same issues as me? Or do you think I’m making a big deal out of nothing? Let me know in the comments below.