First it was Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga. Then came Anil Kapoor (again) with Madhuri Dixit in Total Dhamaal. Now, Tabu and Ajay Devgn are coming together in their upcoming “comedy” film De De Pyaar De and 90s kids have lost their shit. Nostalgia has taken over and left them shooketh. So much so that they apparently don’t seem to care about how problematic the trailer of De De Pyaar De looks like.
We know, we know, we shouldn’t judge a film by its trailer. It’s akin to judging a book by its cover…or is it? The art of making film trailers is effectively lost now. They are essentially 3-minute-long summaries of what happens in the entire film. From character arcs to interpersonal dynamics, pretty much everything is there in trailers nowadays, except for the ending perhaps. And the 3 minute 17 second trailer of De De Pyaar De has revealed enough for us to know what school of humour it belongs to.
The fact that Luv Ranjan produced it is already an indicator that sexist humour is going to be fair game. Ranjan’s favourite trope that women are manipulative, insecure, gold-diggers is right there in the first 20 seconds of the trailer. But on top of being sexist, the “humour” of the film relies heavily on ageism and pitting women against each other.
What? Did you think Devgn owning up to his age, for a change, in a film will make for an age-appropriate or progressive narrative? LOL.
His dole shole are on full display to prove his virility and masculinity to everyone, so never mind.
The story of the film is about a 50-year-old Devgn (Ashish) falling for a 26-year-old played by Rakul Preet Singh (Ayesha). Ashish’s therapist reduces his relationship to an old man lusting after youth and a younger woman who must be after his wealth.
Cut to the one-minute mark, where Ashish is asked to name other couples who have had successful relationships, with huge age differences, that lasted. He promptly goes onto name Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Saif Ali and Kareena Kapoor Khan, and when it comes to George Clooney, he refers to Amal Clooney as simply “uski wife”.
Seriously? ‘Uski wife’ as a tag for this woman?
A few seconds later, enters #metoo accused Alok Nath giving gyaan on the absurdity of a “buzurg” dating a 20-something, especially humare yahan, as in India. #Sanskar101. If only someone had pointed out the irony and absurdity of that!
The moment Tabu enters the scene, one ageist “joke” after another is doled out with a blaring soundtrack that’s supposed to tell everyone ki bura na mano comedy hai!
When will mainstream Bollywood stop peddling mediocre crap over and over again to us?
This film could’ve been an astute commentary championing May-December relationships because love is love. And it could’ve been made scathingly humourous too if they called out society’s double standards. But, of course not. This is commercial Bollywood after all, and relying on stale jokes that went out of fashion in the 50s is way easier than hiring a writer who could flex their creative muscles to come up with something refreshing. Right?