Kartik Aaryan is consistently good at one thing - all his films make you cringe. He is the poster boy of male victimhood, his movies reek of misogyny and his characters are the biggest becharas I have ever seen. Pati Patni Aur Woh is no different. Mudassar Aziz has added another such feather to Kartik’s cap. Here are ten things that made me seethe with anger:
1. Marriage a Restriction? Really, Bhumi!
Poor Chintu Tyagi (Kartik Aaryan) is the most obedient boy in Kanpur. Shackled by the expectations of his parents, he never had a chance to be ‘free.’ Even getting married wasn’t a choice for him. When he goes to meet his prospective bride Vaidehi Tripathi (Bhumi Pednekar), the househelp serves Chintu tea and he mistakes her for Vaidehi. In saunters the latter and she questions why it’s only women who are expected to enter in the most coy manner with food.
Bhumi is a “woke” woman of 2019 and she proudly declares her hobby is ‘sex’, adding rebellion suit nahi kiya restriction karke dekh lete hai. (Rebellion didn’t suit me, so let’s try restriction). And she is truly restricted! From cooking meals to cleaning Chintu’s dirty underwear, Vaidehi does it all with a smile. But mind you, the script has to be ‘progressive’ and ‘thoughtful’, so this woman is being rewarded with a job. Slow clap!
2. Ananya’s Introduction – a Long Gaze at her …… butt!
Tapasya Singh (Ananya Panday) comes as a storm in Chintu’s otherwise peaceful married life. Mudassar Aziz seems to have applied a lot of brains into giving Ananya the perfect entry. A train halts at Kanpur station and Tapasya alights wearing tight western clothes. The first thing we see is a long shot of her butt! How else will we understand that Tapasya is the seductress, out to sink her claws into our adarsh balak’s heart?
3. If Chintu Has a Lover, Why Should Vaidehi be Deprived?
Chintu Tyagi has clearly found a way to break out of the monotony of his marriage. After all, when tiffin boxes start becoming smaller because the working wife does not have time to prepare five-course meals, isn’t that a SIGN of the relationship shrinking too? Chintu flaunts his extra-marital affair in the streets of Kanpur and in a city where practically everyone knows his family, it requires a special kind of dumbness to digest his and his best friend Fahim’s (Aparshakti Khurrana) lies. Now, if Chintu has a lover, it’s imperative that Vaidehi be desirable too. So, she is also given an admirer – her 19-year-old student Rakesh Yadav. The guy has guts. He openly flirts with her and Vaidehi gives him sage advice – when you want to impress a girl say ‘Rakesh’ not ‘Rakess.’ Later, this relationship becomes a butt of jokes. My eyes bled seeing such regressive humour passed on as hilarious.
4. All is Well, Because ‘Balatkari’ Becomes ‘Bad Sanskari’
Remember the backlash Pati, Patni Aur Woh faced because of a regressive dialogue? Let me refresh your memory. You might have now memorised the fact that Kartik Aaryan embraces scripts that have a monologue celebrating male victimhood. There’s a sequence wherein he tells Fahim that if a man requests for sex from his wife, he is labelled a bhikari (beggar), if he does not have sex with her, he is an atyachari (cruel man) and if somehow he manages to convince her through “jugaad”, he is branded a balatkari (rapist). The makers took pity on the sane people protesting and decided to make an applause worthy change – they replaced ‘balatkari’ with ‘bad sanskari.’ Jugaad is also too lowbrow. So there it goes – usko sex ke liye raazi kar lena (coaxing her to have sex). Well, that implies a lot of consent, isn’t it?
5. The Muslim Caricature?
Among the innumerable things that are wrong with this film is one dialogue wherein a cop asks the character played by Aparshakti his name. When he says Fahim Rizvi, the policeman asks him to be careful otherwise he might be “encountered.” At a time when incidents make people reach out for others’ throats, lynchings are an everyday affair and polarized ideologies result in blood baths, is this dialogue remotely funny? Another gem. “Why are you making a ‘minority’ paan?,” Fahim chides a shopkeeper. It’s time we question our conscience.
6. When Women Stray, They Wear, eh, Western Clothes!
When Vaidehi finds out that her husband is having an affair, she rekindles old flames and hatches a plan with her ex-boyfriend Doga (Sunny Singh). If Sonu Ke Titu Ke Sweety wasn’t enough, Singh has perched himself on this script too. Vaidehi elopes with Doga and we see them chilling in Lucknow. A woman who has chosen to wear sarees all along suddenly dances around in western clothes. On the other hand, Tapasya snatches this opportunity to impress Chintu’s parents. She glides to their house, all sanskari and wearing salwar-kameez. Lesson of the day - dresses and jeans are tailored for ladies who stray.
7. A Cop’s Million Dollar Question
In a film where there are no brownie points for guessing what’s going to happen, Mudassar Aziz earnestly attempts to provide comic relief through a cop and Vaidehi’s relative. When our bechara Chintu turns to drinking after Vaidehi deserts him, he channels his inner Sunny Deol and resorts to vandalism. After being interrogated, he cries his heart out that his wife has fled with her lover. To which the cop asks, “Why do you look so sad?” and even inquires as to how he can get rid of his wife. With supporting characters like Abhishek Banerjee in Bala, Surekha Sikri in Badhaai Ho, one wonders if the writer actually abandoned his grey cells to flesh out masterpieces like these.
8. Who is the Demanding of Them All ? The Patni!
Chintu Tyagi DOES NOT have ambitions. Who is to blame for dreaming about better prospects? Of course, the wife. Bhumi is the pestering biwi who refuses to give birth to a ‘frog’ like her husband till he decides to move out of his comfort level and relocate to Delhi. Already, Chintu is burdened because he has to take his wife to the mall, how can he drag his weak legs to Delhi? But when Tapasya beckons, tickets are booked in an instant.
9. What Does Real Tapasya Do? Dance at Pubs!
While Bhumi cries at her cousin’s wedding, lamenting that there must be something wrong with her that Chintu flew into Tapasya’s arms, Tyagi enjoys some ‘quality’ time with ‘Woh’. Tapasya insists that Chintu Tyagi meet the ‘real’ her. And then what happens? She slips into a shimmery dress, convinces Chintu to get out of his boring attire and takes him to a pub, wherein Tanishk Bagchi’s obnoxious remix Dheeme Dheeeme is added to the circus.
10. A Woman’s Hatyar? Gang up With her Ex and her Sautan
Vaidehi strikes gold when her ex-boyfriend tells her that she has ‘weapons’ to make Chintu repent. What plan does she hatch? She decides to gang up with “Woh”! Tapasya and Vaidehi take Chintu for a ride and all the while he is oblivious to their master plan. Of course in the end, the sanskari naari has to go back to her husband, forgiving everything that he has done. Tapasya has the best parting line “I wanted to slap you, but you didn’t get physical with me so I won’t either.” Did I just wake up from a nightmare?
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