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Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar 2023 : Ranbir Kapoor’s return to rom-com is the perfect relief

Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor play the cat-and-mouse game of who will duck the bullet first and escape the guilt pangs of a bad breakup. The film's second half and peppy climax redeem its lazy first half and making it a worthy entertainer. Read our review.

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By Tushar Joshi: Ranbir Kapoor isn’t new to a romantic comedy (rom-com). In fact, he has aced the genre several times (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bachna Ae Haseeno) in his long and versatile filmography. But then, it’s also been a while since we saw RK flaunt his dimples and charm his lady love. Between battling demons in a fantasy world and riding horses in period films, it’s a refreshing relief to see him in a setting that’s not only familiar but also his home ground. But wait, it isn’t exactly a bed of roses for the actor when he makes his debut in Luv Ranjan’s universe where the boy’s perspective trumps over the girls. Will Ranbir be able to fit in with the lighting speed monologues and cheesy romantic songs? Let’s find out.Rohan Malhotra (Ranbir Kapoor) is a Delhi boy whose family epitomises everything North Indian. There is the OTT mom (Dimple Kapadia), the dadi who only speaks in Punjabi and exhibits wit that beats Birbal. The Malhotras are loud boisterous and unapologetic about their ways. Rohan’s source of income is being a relationship guru who helps couple break up or fall in love. He thinks he’s the master of the game till he falls head over heels with Tinni (Shraddha Kapoor) during a lavish wedding in Spain. They sing songs, make out, flaunt their chilled abs and sex appeal, all under the guise of the demands of a rom-com. But like every Luv Ranjan film, their relationship status doesn’t take too long to move from ‘committed’ to ‘it’s complicated’. Ranbir and Shraddha play the cat-and-mouse game of who will duck the bullet first and escape the guilt pangs of a bad breakup. The plot moves at a snails pace pre interval, but makes up for the speed in a second half that feels almost like a different film.

Luv Ranjan and his muse Kartik Aaryan have had a string of hits. They have proved that there is a natural comfort and a certain affable chemistry to their pairing. Kartik’s boy-next-door goofiness paired with Ranjan’s razor sharp monologues has left many divided over whether to enjoy them or realise that they are sometimes laced in sexism. In TJMM, Ranbir takes a while to find a pace with the long monologues that have become a signature part of Ranjan’s films. There are times when you have to chase to keep up with the lines he’s saying. But because RK is so good at what he does, he picks up the gaps before the film hits the middle mark. Unlike Pyaar Ka Punchnama and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, this time around, the love story is more complex and a bit confusing to follow. The previous two films had a protagonist whose conflict and its resolution was pretty simple.The writing in TJMM swings from being insanely funny (most of the second half climax) to awkwardly cringe (the family nokjhok of the first half). In fact the second half picks up so well, that you feel Ranjan has a set of fresh writers to flesh out the complex love story. Ranbir Kapoor’s casanova act isn’t fresh, but his enthusiasm in every scene deserves a pat. He moulds himself impeccably to become part of the Luv Ranjan multiverse. I am calling it a multiverse because there is a complete crossover scene with Ranjan’s favourite actors - Kartik Aaryan and Nushrratt Bharucha. Without going into the spoiler territory, I can say that Kartik and Nushrratt’s scenes are a major highlight of the film. Shraddha Kapoor thankfully has a lot to do beyond fitting into a bikini and shaking her hips to the ‘thumkas’. Given her prowess in the genre, she excels in most scenes where she’s meant to show pain and anguish. Dimple Kapadia is in top form as Rohan’s animated mother who believes a slap can speak louder than words. Boney Kapoor’s dad act is a bit puzzling as he barely has much to do. Ranbir’s sidekick in the film Anubhav Singh Bassi uses his standup comedy learnings to the best ability and is hilarious in most scenes.Where TJMM falters is in its lengthy and tiring first half. Since this is Ranjan’s most family friendly film (to the extent that it has direct reference to the father of family dramas - Sooraj Barjatya), it should have had more fun moments between Ranbir and his dysfunctional family, instead it puts too much emphasis on making the frames look glossy and overdone. There are also a few odd looking close-up shots of Ranbir where he looks like there are multiple Instagram filters covering his lean jawline. Perhaps an effort to make him look younger to suit the character?Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar’s second half and peppy climax redeem its lazy first half and making it a worthy entertainer. Someone give RK more rom-coms in the future please!