When Sintu (Jassie Gill) asks Sonam Gupta (Surbhi Jyoti) why she left him, she replies, “tumhara chota hai”. She meant his brain that was small, gesturing towards his skull, but Sintu, being your usual penis-obsessed cookie-cutter rabid heterosexual assumes she is talking about the size of his tool, and is immediately wracked with fear, shame, and regret. He consults people who tell him to apply ointments regularly. His mother almost slips on some of this penis-enhancing oil. Freud would have had a field day.
Written and directed by SSaurabh Tyagi Kya Meri Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai, set in Bareilly, is stuck in narrative tropes that have aged into offense, in genres like small-town feisty romance slowly going rotten, with sedate acting that couldn’t possibly be resuscitated even by cinematic CPR. It’s quite simply put, the worst.
To be fair, it is not bad acting, but sedate acting — the kind that is unable to infuse the bone-dry uninspired screenplay with anything, the kind of acting you look at and don’t think how awful the dialogue delivery is but how awful the dialogue is. They merely go along with the beats of the story.
The hero, Sintu early on says, “Sincerity se peecha karo, toh ek din zaroor dekhegi,” about stalking his love-interest Sonam Gupta, the feisty small town girl, into submission. Her entire personality is her grit to outgrow the small-town, while his entire personality is to inbreed in Bareilly, to grow the roots deeper. He has never had an original thought in his life, living out life lessons from lotharios in film.
Sonam Gupta, through an awful twist of circumstances, turns out to be a bewafa, unfaithful, and so Sintu, wretched, heartbroken, turns to the Indian currency as a solution, writing ‘Sonam Kapoor Bewafa Hai’ on all the notes that circulate around the small town. A scene later, it becomes national television news. (There is even a joke about Modi being inspired to demonetize 500 Rupee notes because of this, which would make sense, even as a joke, if there weren’t “Apna Time Aayega” t-shirts, a post-2019 reference in a pre-2016 film.)
The rest of the film is a push and pull of this animosity, and at over 2 hours has a marathon-like tiresomeness lugging it. Scenes are under-written, characters pop in and pop out, marriage proposals and wedding invitations mushroom with the shocking randomness of a round of truth or dare. Dated songs erupt with dream sequences with not a tune, lyric, or look worth recollecting here. I am trying hard to delay bringing up the fact that Vijay Raaz, Surekha Sikri, and Brijendra Kala are here. It is simply heartbreaking — the honesty they bring to dead-ends.
Perhaps I am being too harsh, because there are certainly attempts to infuse humour and newness into the dated goings on. There is a rock Mata Ka Jagran, where they sing, ‘Dil pe laga liya humne wallpaper mata ka’, on the backdrop of which Sinu loses his virginity. Even the ending — not of romantic reconciliation but an Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu-like friendship, with Swanand Kirkire’s voice in ‘Azaad Kar’ a song from Daas Dev used here, playing in the background. But that is all they are — attempts.