Sonu ka sweet run

Surprise success of the year marches on at box office amid questions about its portrayal of women

By Bharati K. Dubey
  • Published 9.03.18
From left: Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Singh in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety 

Director Luv Ranjan’s Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety is slowly inching towards getting the distinction of being the first non-big star film to touch the Rs 100-crore mark after a long time. 

“My whole belief is that actors don’t get you numbers, but trailers do. Besides, it’s the quality of a film which is solely responsible for its business. Mostly films which are star-loaded don’t find it difficult to earn money, but the perception created is that it’s a hit, which is far from the truth,’’ says Ranjan.

In the film, which continues to pull in the audiences as it enters its third week, Titu played by Sunny Singh is going to marry a perfect woman named Sweety (Nushrat Bharucha). Titu’s bestfriend Sonu (Kartik Aaryan) doubts Sweety’s character and tries to break the marriage while Sweety tries to do the opposite, which leads to a war between bromance and romance.

Ranjan has worked with Kartik Aaryan three times in a row. They had started the partnership with Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011).

“And why shouldn’t I?”, he counters, adding: “If we focus on making entertaining films, talent gets created. One correct film makes a talent a star whether it is Kartik, Sunny or Nushrat. The fact that the film does a business of Rs 100 crore means we have captured a third of the audience base of a big hit.”

The USP of the film, Ranjan feels, is the language that he uses to tell a story and its characters. “The audience can relate to them,” says Ranjan, who directed the 2011-hit Pyaar Ka Punchnama as well as its sequel Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 in 2015.

Viewers have also loved the grandfather-grandson relationship portrated by Alok Nath and Kartik. 

Giving credit to the director, Alok Nath said: “It is the camaraderie on the set that has made the film work for the audiences. It is the director’s vision to offer me that particular role. I wasn’t comfortable as I haven’t done anything like that in the past. But hats off to him, he took the risk. He told me, you need to hand-hold and see me through.”

The film has earned criticism also — many feel it’s misogynistic in tone and portrays women as control freaks.

But Alok Nath says even women are liking the film. “I thought girls may not like it but they are enjoying the film. Its success sends out a positive message and will encourage filmmakers to try out newer subjects. The film is going to be a game-changer for 2018,’’ he said.

Industry is gung-ho that so early in the year, they have a film that’s raking in the moolah, that too without a single star in it.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan said: “Sonu Ke...has turned out to be the dark horse of 2018. Trade was unsure about the film before its release, especially with its tongue-twister of a title, but it proved everybody wrong and has turned the tables and records around instead. Trade expected it to do a business of Rs 30-35 crore. Besides being a youth entertainer, the promotions did the trick. With no opposition in the second week as well, it will close at around Rs 75 crore. Also whenever a film does well, it gets first preference from multiplexes in the third week as well. Fingers crossed.”

Exhibitor Rajesh Thadani said the youth have taken to the film in a big way. “The film has a very entertaining story with good performances. I can easily see it doing a business of Rs 90 crore to Rs 100 crore.”