Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Queen Is Back. My Review. Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Director :  Aanand L. Rai

Starring :  Kangana Ranaut, Madhavan, Jimmy Shergill, Deepak Dobriyal, Swara Bhaskar

This sequel comes 4 years after Tanu Weds Manu. We meet Tanu and Manu  again, but this time it is not all pyaar mohabbat coca cola. They are on the brink of marital collapse, their issues mundane, Tanu is bored, Manu is exhausted. Tanu complains " Ye adrak ho gaya hai, kahin se bhi badh raha hai" Manu says exasperated " Jab shaadi kee thi toh kya Hrithik Roshan tha?"  Love, as is often the case,  in the bland mix of day to day travails of a marriage, gets pushed to some dark corner of the heart and the relationship.

So as Manu is put in the mental asylum ward in London, Tanu flies back home to Kanpur. But not before she calls Pappi, Manu's best friend,  to come and get him out.  Have they fallen out of love or have just forgotten how it feels to love the other?

 The plot thickens deliciously when Manu spots Tanu in a pixie hair cut in a Delhi college. As it turns out it is not Tanu but Kumari Kusum "Datto" Sangwan, a state level hockey player. His heart flutters again, he has found love again, and despite being a 40 year old married man, is ready to follow her around like a puppy chasing a cute motorized toy. Datto is disarmed by his genuineness and charm, his gentlemanly ways and honesty. Thus starts a tender love story. But what will happen when Tanu finds out about Datto and things get into a holy mess?

What I liked was how subtly the film raises some interesting questions about marriage and love and the changes it goes through as people live together, year after year. Did Manu fall in love with Datto or with subconsciously Tanu again, with new facets which he likes? Is Tanu wrong in being bored in a marriage, does an unhappy wife complaining about how mundane the marriage has become give the licence to the husband to fall in love again? If yes then should one even work on a marriage? Should we give up the moment the going gets tough? I may be seeing layers which Aanand never weaved, but I think it is a plus if a film made me think so much!!

Rai has collected quite an ensemble, with some familiar and some new characters. All woven together into this contrived yet endearing tale, with their own individual tracks and troubles! There is Pappi, Jassi, Raja Awasthi, Payal,  Anand Tiwari the Lawyer, Tanu's parents, Manu's parents and Kusum's Bhaiya, Bhabi and family and !! Phew!!

But he manages to weave them together in a tale that is predictable yet you are so involved with the characters, you want to see where fate and love lead them.

What makes TWMR special and stand out in the clutter of loud commercial cinema and superflous rom-coms that Bollywood keeps churning out is Kangana Ranaut.

Kangana Ranaut has yet again proven what a great actor she is, breathing fire into two different characters. A double role which is so well played that you feel for both Kusum and Tanu like they are two friends of yours, and you don't know whose side to take when they get into a fight.  The genius of Kangana makes them so unique... you can only marvel at the hard work that has gone behind this performance. To get a Haryanvi accent correctly, where even stalwarts have often failed, itself is a victory. Her Datto is so real, I felt I was back in my college in Delhi and observing her while eating a samosa from the canteen.

Madhavan is pitch perfect as Manu, and carries off the added layers to his character well. The highlight of the film apart from Kangana is Deepak Dobriyal as Pappi. He has a meaty role and he chews on it with relish. He gets some absolutely fun dialogues and his charged performance lights up every scene he is a part of. Look out for the college lecture scene! And Jimmy Shergill, ooh.. I like I like, Raja Awasthi is back! And he will win more hearts this time around. Mohd Zeeshan Ayub as the young and chalu lawyer is perfectly cast, another good performance from him. Swara is good, as usual. Rajesh Sharma as Datto's brother pulls off another role well and makes the most of it.

Another strength of the film are the dialogues, my favorite being " hum thode bewafaa kya hue, aap toh poore badchalan hogaye" said by Tanu to Manu when she discovers he is in love with Datto. 

And now coming to the music, I loved it!! And in a heart tugging sequence there is Geeta Dutt's Ja Ja Ja Bewaffaa... A fabulous touch!!

The film does get preachy at a few points, but it is well intended. It falters towards the climax, the contrivances and predictability of the plot clouding an otherwise brilliant experience.  But Kangana, the savior comes to the rescue and pulls you back with her sterling performance.


My rating 3.5/5