Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar Movie Review (2023)

Luv Ranjan

Luv Ranjan's 'Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar', with Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, is overlong and under-plotted

Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar Movie Review

Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar Movie Cast & Crew

Production : Luv Films
Director : Luv Ranjan
Music Director : Pritam,Hitesh Sonik

Remember the Will Smith character in Hitch, the one who helped helpless men woo women? Ranbir Kapoor's character in Luv Ranjan's Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar - he's named Mickey - is the polar opposite. He is a break-up specialist. Give him some money and he - with his small team - will help you get out of a relationship. In the title number, he sings: Ek baar hi kiya yaaron to pyaar kya kiya /Pyaar hota hota hota kai baar hai. (Why fall in love just once when you can fall in love with many people many times.) That would make him the makkaar, the cad, of the title – but here's the thing. Mickey is really a sweetie pie. He loves his large family, and even in his "business", he only breaks couples up after one of them has taken a solemn oath that he/she is no longer in love with the other person. So he's really saving this other person from a bad relationship.

Now, let's get to the jhoothi, the liar, of the title. She's Tinny, and played by Shraddha Kapoor. She meets Mickey on a holiday. He is smitten, and after initial misgivings, she falls for him, too. They have to undergo a trial by fire – otherwise there's no movie. But guess what! She's not exactly a liar, either. She just wants some things out of a relationship, things that Mickey cannot give her. And like Mickey, she "lies" only to save herself – and him. So we have a title that does not accurately characterise either the hero or the heroine. It's just there because it's catchy, and because it gives cool and young vibes to a premise that wants to be a serious examination of romance. Take away Tinny's bikinis and Mickey's shirtlessness and you are left with a tearjerker. It's the movie that's jhoothi and makkaar, promising us one thing and delivering something else.

The first half of the overlong, two-hour-forty-minute narrative is just filler – a big waste of time, a big wait till the interval bang. The leads share zero chemistry, and Ranbir looks strangely lost in this zone. But – for the record books – Luv Ranjan attempts something stylistically interesting. For someone so reliant on dialogues in his earlier films, he lets the scenes breathe. Many of the scenes have intros and outros – things get to linger. And he gives us long, long stretches of dialogue. Now, all of this sounds interesting, but on screen, it's just dull – it's neither funny nor romantic. The long lines are tiresome, they have no flavour. It's like being inside David Dhawan's head while he was reading an Imtiaz Ali screenplay. Luv Ranjan knows what he wants but he can't get there, he can't put it on screen – and the first half is a mostly painful slog.

The post-interval portions are better, but not by much. The film's biggest problem is that its central problem is not that big a problem at all. It could have been fixed with some talk, instead of the insanely convoluted route that's taken. We don't ever feel the deep love Tinny and Mickey are supposed to share. As always, Luv Ranjan writes some nice bits. I loved the rapid-fire outburst by Mickey's friend at a golf course. I loved the idea that if you love your family, you don't always need "space" to express love or hold hands with your girlfriend. I laughed out loud at one of the best slapstick airport climaxes in a Hindi film ever – and the way the comedy blends with the venting of family grievances is brilliant. I liked the small scene between Tinny and her mother – but why is her dysfunctional family hardly given any screen time? That might have been a way to make Tinny's issues seem stronger, but I think Luv Ranjan is better at writing men than women. All you can say at the end is: Well, at least he tried!

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Baradwaj Rangan

National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, former deputy editor of The Hindu and senior editor of Film Companion, has carved a niche for himself over the years as a powerful voice in cinema, especially the Tamil film industry, with his reviews of films. While he was pursuing his chemical engineering degree, he was fascinated with the writing and analysis of world cinema by American critics. Baradwaj completed his Master’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations through scholarship. His first review was for the Hindi film Dum, published on January 30, 2003, in the Madras Plus supplement of The Economic Times. He then started critiquing Tamil films in 2014 and did a review on the film Subramaniapuram, while also debuting as a writer in the unreleased rom-com Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. Furthermore, Baradwaj has authored two books - Conversations with Mani Ratnam, 2012, and A Journey Through Indian Cinema, 2014. In 2017, he joined Film Companion South and continued to show his prowess in critiquing for the next five years garnering a wide viewership and a fan following of his own before announcing to be a part of Galatta Media in March 2022.