Since the beginning of his career, Luv Ranjan has been accused of serving an anti-women sentiment in the name of comedies. So, it seems Ranjan thought it’s only fair he goes one step ahead and normalises misogyny by turning women against one another. With De De Pyaar De, the writer-director gets two women (Rakul Preet Singh and Tabu) shame each other, all for a man (Ajay Devgn).
Ranjan, who has written this dramedy, of course wants us to believe that even in 2019 it’s funny to objectify and shame women for their looks, age and relationship choices. He also wants to us to believe that no matter how independent and empowered a woman becomes, even in 2019, her existential crisis depends only on the presence and absence of a man in her life.
So, while we have Tabu’s Manju taunting Rakul’s Aisha for falling in love with her estranged husband Ashish (Ajay), who is 20 years older than her, the latter shames her for being “purani gaadi jiski maintanence karwani padhti hai.” De De Pyaar De, directed by debutante Akiv Ali, is shamelessly replete with such problematic and dated punch lines, which, according to Ranjan and Ali, are funny. Except, they aren’t. It in fact reminds one of the problematic, tacky ’80s and ’90s films, which had more colours in their frame than depth in the stories and performances.
Ajay Devgn looks bored throughout the film. Rakul Preet, whose Aisha is one of the better written characters, is impressive. It’s pity that her role eventually falls prey to Luv Ranjan’s skewed idea of a young, modern woman.
Tabu, whose motivation to do the film remains a mystery, uses the art of underplaying to her advantage yet again and becomes the only reason De De Pyaar De gets slightly interesting. Sadly, the film beats her with its tiring length. In one of the later sequences of the film, an exhausted Manju yells at her family members, asking them to shut up. That’s not very different from the emotion one feels during De De Pyaar De.