There was a point when Bollywood films stuck to a narrative that an elaborate wedding is the ultimate happy ending to a romantic relationship.
If you don’t put a ring on it, the bond between two happy souls is deemed tenuous.
This belief, however, will be tweaked this Thursday as Kriti Sanon and Kartik Aaryan serve up their romantic comedy, ‘Luka Chuppi’ (meaning ‘Hide And Seek’).
The good-looking pair play a loved-up couple in a small town in Mathura in Northern India who aren’t keen on getting married, just yet. They want to experiment with living-in before taking the proverbial plunge. But his parents aren’t buying it and the couple is forced to lie that they are married spawning a string of comedy of errors.
“‘Luka Chuppi’ is a hilarious take on relationships. It’s a satire about how families in Indian cultures are always interested in other’s stories than their own lives. They are often poking their noses in other’s lives, often forgetting about their own lives,” said Aaryan in an interview over the phone.
He should know. Aaryan, 28, is fast becoming the go-to guy in Bollywood for playing the lead in romantic comedies. His street cred was enhanced when his love tales such as the hilarious-and-sexist Pyaar Ka Punchnama series and the irreverent Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety was robustly embraced by viewers and the box office.
His on-screen partner, Sanon, who has united with Aaryan in ‘Luka Chuppi’ hasn’t done too shabbily in her career either. Her love triangle, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, was an entertaining small-town romance.
Director Laxman Utekar’s ‘Luka Chuppi’ is set in a similar milieu. Let it be known that satellite towns in India is fast becoming Bollywood’s new Switzerland — the European destination that was a staple in Bollywood musicals in the 1990s and early 2000s. Couples romancing in the snow-clad alps has been replaced the love-soaked couples dancing at Indian festivals in shanty towns. But ‘Luka Chuppi’ aims to take the narrative forward.
“The concept of live-in relationships in a small town in Mathura is still new... Finally, we end up in a live-in situation with the whole parivar [family] and that has never been seen before… ‘Luka Chuppi’ is such a quirky romantic comedy. You will see a crazy family — with every character having an agenda of what they want from us,” said Sanon.
A scene in which her boyfriend’s mother casually remarks about his girlfriend having a pretty face, but remarks on her “skimpy clothes”, is one such comic gem.
Sanon plays Rashmi who hits it off with Guddu (Aaryan), a top television journalist in Mathura. She’s an intern, while he’s an established reporter. While Aaryan is keen to take their relationship to the next level, Rashmi is cautious. But she isn’t commitment-phobic, Sanon clarified. She’s just cautious.
“For the first time, it was the guy who wanted to get married and the girl is just not ready... She wants to be sure that the choice she makes is the right one. She wants to get married only once in her life and she wants to be absolutely sure,” said Sanon. While she’s progressive in her thoughts, her conservative small-towners aren’t so keep at the concept of live-in relationships.
“Think about it: in a place like Mathura, it isn’t easy to get to know each other well. Even when you are together, you are looking behind your shoulder to see if anyone is looking at us or not... Rashmi wants to take a decision about marriage only when she’s ready and that was part about her relatable to me,” said Sanon.
For Aaryan, it was refreshing departure from his previous roles, that showed him as a street-smart young man.
“Guddu is someone who dives into commitment... Usually, in movies, you see commitment phobic men. But here, Guddu is so eager to be a part of Rashmi’s love. He’s just endearing … He wants to fall in love, get married and he’s so sure about her. After playing characters like Sonu, who is so smart about relationships, this was fun.”
Keeping in mind the breezy tone and theme of the films, Gulf News tabloid! asked its lead players some fun relationship questions. Here’s their take on matters of the heart ...
Marriages, is it a redundant concept in today’s age:
Kriti Sanon: “I really believe in the institution of marriage and I want that tradition to continue as it is an important part of our culture. But there should be no time limit, or pressures from external sides, when two people are in a relationship. They should get to decide on the pace. In my opinion, be stable in your relationship, before you get into marriage. No matter what their decision, it’s completely OK and they should never be judged for their choices. Live and let live. That’s attitude of the hour.”
Kartik Aaryan: “I am a romantic at heart. So, I am someone who believe in marriages... When the time’s right, I will definitely marry”.
Is ‘love at first sight’ a myth?
Sanon: “Love should be organic. Sometimes, you never know the reason why you fall in love with a particular person and sometimes, it doesn’t even add up. You don’t know why you are attracted to a person in the first place. But, love is always unconditional. It’s about how you feel and how the other person makes you feel when you are with them. Since I am an absolute romantic, I believe love at first sight cannot be ruled out.”
Aaryan: “Love is the most amazing thing in your life. It is people who become complicated with time. The definition of love hasn’t changed, but because of the pace set by social media, everything has become so fast … That excitement that you feel with ‘love at first sight’ or the feeling of longing for that special someone has disappeared... It’s tough to find love nowadays.”
A deal-breaker in a relationship?
Sanon: “Infidelity is a deal-breaker. If I get attracted to someone, I want that person to be ambitious and hardworking. I find that trait of wanting achieve something in life attractive. I am also attracted to a man’s overall personality. Their money won’t attract me as I can earn a lot of money on my own too.”
Aaryan: “If you break my trust, then it’s a deal breaker for me. I don’t like dishonesty in a relationship either.”
Are looks important in a relationship?
Sanon: “Looks aren’t permanent. If you are falling in love with someone’s looks, then you are not going to be in love for long. With time and age, your looks aren’t going to remain the same. That’s not love. I don’t look for looks. If a guy carries himself well, he becomes good-looking in my eyes and that can be attractive.
Aaryan: “It is a woman’s personality that I get attracted to. I look for the heart and she has to have a good sense of humour. Nothing like a witty person with a great personality.”
Cheesiest pick up line used on them?
Sanon: “‘Do you have Google Maps, because I am lost in your eyes.’ It was cheesy and it didn’t work on me.”
Aaryan: “‘Are you French, because Eiffel [I fell] for you!’ and ‘Are you a banana because I find you appealing.’”
Don’t miss it
‘Luka Chuppi’ releases in the UAE on February 28.
“I have always played this street-smart guy from Delhi, from an urban world. For the first time in my career, I play a decisive, honest young man from a small town. What you see is what you get with Guddu. He will always do the right thing,” Aaryan on his character in ‘Luka Chuppi’.
“You can’t live behind such rules. You can’t control yourself in love. If your love is organic and even if your relationship stems from your workplace, it doesn’t matter. On the brighter side, you may get to spend a lot of time with that person, which is a good thing,” Sanon on workplace romances.
DID YOU KNOW?
Kriti Sanon picks up her favourite romantic comedies:
“I love romantic comedies and I am such a big romantic at heart. A good romcom or a slice-of-life film have the power to make you happy and put a smile on your face. I love movies like Pretty Woman, The Notebook and Before Sunrise which showed the initial phase of getting to know one another. The first few years of a relationship are often the best. I can watch these films over and over again with a tub of popcorn.”