Luv Ka The End (“The End of Love”) is the first movie released by Y-Films, a subsidiary of the venerable Yash Raj Films aimed at producing youth-oriented movies. In its style and content, Luv Ka The End appeals to a generation of kids more interested in films from Hollywood than from Bollywood. But the movie has such a dismissive view of sexual violence toward women that it can’t be recommended.
The teen sex comedy opens on the final day of junior college for Rhea (Shraddha Kapoor) and her best friends, Jugs (Pushtiie Shakti) and Sonia (Sreejita De). Rhea intends to consummate her relationship with her boyfriend, Luv (Taaha Shah), that night, which happens to be the eve of her eighteenth birthday.
By chance, Rhea and her friends discover that Luv is the leading scorer in an online points-for-sex game. Taking Rhea’s virginity and posting video proof would cement Luv’s victory. The girls set about taking revenge on Luv before the night’s big end-of-the-school-year bash.
The predictable revenge story — where does one buy itching powder anyway? — takes up the bulk of the film and drags on longer than necessary. It’s not bad, just not as cool as the whimsically-named director Bumpy thinks it is.
Things quickly fall apart after the girls finish their mischief-making, and the tone of the film changes from light-hearted to sinister. Fair warning, spoilers ahead.
At the party, Rhea lures Luv into a bedroom rigged with video cameras, intent on humiliating him as the partygoers downstairs watch on monitors. Luv turns the tables on Rhea and ties her to the bed, threatening to broadcast her rape over the Internet.
The revolting scenario is interrupted so that a few of the side characters can make jokes. It’s appalling that the screenplay trivializes sexual violence against women by trying to lighten the mood with humor. Meanwhile, no one at the party besides Jugs and Sonia try to rescue Rhea, as everyone watches the horrifying scene on the monitors. Not even the local news crews that are on-hand to cover the party make an effort to prevent the potential rape that is occurring just upstairs from them.
Compounding the insult to women everywhere is that, within minutes of escaping Luv (to the tone-deaf cheers of the unhelpful partygoers and news crews), Rhea dances at a concert by her favorite singer. When that singer — played in a cameo by Ali Zafar — asks Rhea on a date, she says yes. That’s simply not the way someone who just survived an attempted sexual assault would react.
It’s a disappointing end to what is, for the most part, a pleasant enough film. It distracts attention from the talented cast of young actors, all of whom do a nice job with their narrow characters, and who outshine the adults in the cast.
*Luv Ka The End is currently available on Netflix streaming.