Romancing the Break-up Artist: ‘Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’ is An Enjoyable Comedy of Errors
- Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, and the rest of the cast fit their roles perfectly and portray a typical larger-than-life Punjabi family.
“Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” is a 2023 Indian Hindi romantic comedy “of errors” directed by Luv Ranjan and written by Rahul Mody, Luv Ranjan. It stars Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor together for the first time. If you have watched “Pyaar Ka Punchnama,” “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety,” and “De De Pyaar De,” you will understand the genre.
The film revolves around Rohan “Mickey” Arora a wealthy heir of a business family in Delhi. He dabbles in many investments but doesn’t break a sweat. Like so many suave millennials he and his best friend Manu Dabbas, have a “side hustle.” They break up marriages for a fee. This is where the “makkari” comes into play.
Manu (who is completely at ease in his role) is getting married but has premarital nerves. He asks Mickey to help him “break up” but when Mickey does not oblige, the reluctant groom throws a bachelor party in Spain! Yes, these days even the bachelor parties of the Indian elite are in off-shore locations. I guess Goa and Rajasthan are too passe.
Manu’s fiancèe, Kinchi joins them on this trip (like in the 2011 film “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”) but she also brings her best friend, Nisha “Tinni ” Malhotra to the destination. This is what propels the plot. Mickey and Tinni meet. Mickey is blown away by her spectacular dance performance “Maine Pi Rakhi Hai”! Mickey woos her and determines to marry her because “she looks very cute devouring her croissant.” They hook up.
The first half of the film is a bit over the top with the hero, and the heroine just agreeing to be agreeable with one another because the plot dictates it. Although the two Kapoor prodigies look buff, beautiful, and adroitly air-brushed, their on-screen chemistry is contrived.
The camera focuses more on idolizing Ranbir Kapur “the charming eligible bachelor” with his brooding eyes and quicksilver moves. He is adored by everyone. A typical charming “ghar ka chirag” of every Punjabi household. All the women in the family from Dadi, to mother, to didi to niece, hang on to his every word and hover around him like honey bees.
Don’t get me wrong, the lover boy delivers expressive overarching dialogue-baazi and melodrama reminiscent of Raj Kapur and Dharmender era. Shraddha on the other hand just seems to lose her fortitude in the second half and becomes a coy, agreeable girlfriend. I wish she were given more footage. They seem happy but with every encounter with their families, Tinni looks more listless.
One day, out of the blue she seeks the services of a “break-up” consultant on the phone. It is quite peculiar that the break-up expert does not recognize his girlfriend’s voice. So after a series of predictable “trial and error” suggestions the marriage breaks up with a big showdown at the engagement ceremony.
Luv Ranjan waits for the last minute giving the stars full liberty to don their Manish Malhotra outfits before Mickey roils Tinni in a very subversive, sexist showdown. “How could she think of accepting a job in Bangalore without his permission? Dadi sums up his behavior in one sentence: “Bada maada kam keeta hai.” Everyone is down in the dumps for some time, but then things change.
You have to see the movie to see if Tinni is really “jhoothi,” “what is the reason” for their “ breakup” and if the couple resolves their differences. Although Ranbir Kapoor plays his “lovelorn” heart on his face as well, he made me miss his father Rishi Kapoor.
The film becomes unrealistic and predictable when the romantic duo is pitted together at Kinchi’s godh-bharai ceremony. There is another dance number reminiscent of “Dilli wali girlfriend chod chad ke.”
Both RK and SK can dance! But it’s the dance that does them in. Tinni twists her ankle and Mickey’s niece Chhoti, blurts out a catchphrase that causes Tinni to realize that the breakup consultant was in fact, Mickey. She confronts him and blurts out that she still loves him, and asks him to admit the same. But he hesitates. Tinni leaves for the airport to catch a flight to London. Tragic! But the family comes to the rescue much like in the last scene from the movie “Notting Hill” (even carrying dadi in their arms.)
The film boasts an ensemble cast with veteran actor Dimple Kapadia as Renu Arora Mickey`s mother, Boney Kapur as Mickey’s father, Jatinder Kaur as Mickey’s grandmother and Anubhav Singh Bassi who started his career as a stand-up comedian. Inayat Verma as Sweetu, Mickey’s niece.
They all fit their roles perfectly and portray the typical larger-than-life Punjabi family. Kartik Aaryan shows up as Rahul in a cameo to make Mickey jealous. The music by Pritam with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya is great. I like “Tere Pyaar Mein,” but I think “Pyaar Hota Kayi Baar Hai” and “Maine Pi Rakhi Hai” have more mass appeal.
Arijit Singh’s voice in “O Bedardeya” is soulful. “Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” was released in theaters on March 2023, and was successful at the box office. If you missed it then, it is streaming on Netflix. Feel free to gather your Tinnis, Mickeys, Manus, Sweetys, Titus, and Kinchis and watch it with the whole family for some light-hearted fun.
With one foot in Huntsville, Alabama, the other in her birth home India and a heart steeped in humanity, writing is a contemplative practice for Monita Soni. She has published hundreds of poems, movie reviews, book critiques, and essays and contributed to combined literary works. Her two books are My Light Reflections and Flow through My Heart. You can hear her commentaries on Sundial Writers Corner WLRH 89.3FM.