Film, Hindi, Review

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

After his marriage of four years breaks up with the whimsical Tanu, Manu Sharma finds himself falling for Kusum, a Haryanvi athlete in Delhi University, who is also a dead ringer for Tanu…

The characters from the first film are back with a fresh one or two thrown in. Yes, there are funny moments with some extremely witty dialogue writing in places. And a leading lady at the peak of her career, who does carry the film ably on her shoulders with a well-defined double role. If only the narrative flow (choppy) complemented her and all its elements came together more coherently, Tanu Weds Manu Returns would have been a crackerjack of a film. As it is, though director Aanand L Rai manages to infuse it with his usual astute observations of small town Northern India and the occasional high point, the curse of the second half strikes as the film loses steam in the second half well before its moralistic and disappointingly conformist climax at yet another wedding set-piece.

The film begins most unpromisingly after the opening credits with the most ridiculous and perhaps the weakest sequence in the film, at the mental asylum in UK. It does however, pick up once both characters find themselves back in India and Manu meets Tanu’s look alike. The first half still manages to move along at a pretty pace – without being as engaging as one hoped – but the second half becomes a Khichdi that is overcooked as it limps towards its predictable end with the second taming of Tanu. And there;s just so much you can take with so many characters all having something to do with weddings and different stages of married life.

The film belongs to Kangna Ranaut and she does lift it a notch (or two). In particular, she is in her element as Kusum, the Haryanvi athlete studying in DU on a sports quota. Her dialogue delivery, body language and flawless interpretation of a smart young girl, who might be raw and vernacular, but has her head screwed on correctly, helps you empathize deeply with her. On the other hand, her Tanu character is as whimsical, inexplicable and irritating as ever, and there’s little she can do here to make her more likable to get your sympathy towards the end. As in the first part, you wonder what Manu ever saw in her. And though the makers give you what they think is a happy ending, let’s just say it’s not really the one you root for.

Madhavan, stoic as ever, is too far at the other end of the spectrum from Kangna and though a supposed foil to her, is actually quite lifeless in the film. It’s doubly hard hard to accept that not one but two women actually want him! It’s finally up to Deepak Dobriyal to inject some life into the proceedings and this he does with aplomb. Of course, apart from his razor sharp comic timing, it helps that he is given the best lines in the film. He does bring the house down on quite a few occasions. Jimmy Shergill is wasted and doesn’t quite get enough to do, which is a pity as it was his character which had some bite in the original, while Swara Bhaskar does what she can in her subplot. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub’s character is left hanging beyond a point only to make an unsatisfactory entry in the finale.  The rest of the supporting cast is fine.

The technicalities are so-so. The music is not as effective as the first installment and it is telling that barring Banno, the songs that make a maximum impact are the old Geeta Dutt number Ja Ja Ja Ja Bewafa from Aar Paar and Sun Sahiba Sun from Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili.

All in all, the film has its obvious sporadic crowd-pleasing moments and some good performances to boot, but ultimately fails to add up to a satisfactory whole.


Hindi, Comedy, Romance, Color

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