Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns a flawed but fun film

Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns a flawed but fun film

Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns a flawed but fun film
Director: Aanand L RaiCast: Kangana Ranaut, R Madhavan, Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhaskar, Deepak Dobriyal, Mohd Zeeshan AyubSaibal Chatterjee

In the real world, four years may not be a very long time.But in a marriage, it can be an eternity as the protagonists that we first met in the 2011 Bollywood hit, Tanu Weds Manu, discover in this vibrant, cheerful follow-up.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns is livened up by a mercurial double act by Kangana Ranaut, cast as the sassy eponymous heroine and a sedate lookalike who has nothing in common with her except the visage.

Small-town Indian tales are director Aanand L Rai's proven forte. In Tanu Weds Manu Returns, he alternates between Kanpur and Delhi before ending up in Jhajjar for a climactic wedding marred by runaway confusion.

Himanshu Sharma's screenplay provides all the grist that this yarn needs in order to fly. It takes from the word go and stays afloat virtually all the way through.

The script captures the sights, sounds and flavours of the locales through the means of both language and situational detailing. It brings alive a tangible world peopled by severely blemished but endearing characters.

The opening of Tanu Weds Manu Returns, which carries on from where the previous film ended, is anything but happy.

The marriage of London doctor Manoj 'Manu' Sharma and Kanpur girl Tanuja 'Tanu' Trivedi, has hit a dead-end. They can no longer stand the sight of each other.

So, leaving Manu high and dry in a London mental asylum, Tanu returns home and goes back to her old wayward ways.

In the company of his madcap friend, Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal), Manu (R Madhavan) lands in Delhi and stumbles upon a Tanu lookalike, a Haryanvi student Kusum Sangwan.

This pixie-haired and buck-toothed girl is the exact opposite of Manu's estranged wife in every other respect, both physical and behavioural. Unassuming and tough, Kusum is a national-level athlete keen to break free from her conservative moorings. In Manu, she sees her one chance of escape.Complications arise when it turns out that Manu's bete noire from the previous film, Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Shergill), isn't out of the picture yet and that he could prove to be a party-pooper again.

The mayhem that ensues is never goes over the top. It is tempered with dialogue that sounds real and situations that stay largely within the realms of believability.

Kangana Ranaut fleshes out two opposites with impressive flair. She pulls off the tightrope walk between the whimsical and rebellious Manu with the sedate and steady Kusum, alias Datto, without ever losing balance.

The actress receives solid support from the rest of the cast, With Madhavan holding his own in a film in which he can only play second fiddle.

It takes enormous skill for an actor to contain himself just enough not be overshadowed by a dominant co-star.

The supporting cast – Jimmy Shergill, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma, Swara Bhaskar, Mohd Zeeshan Ayub, K K Raina and Rajendra Gupta, among others – throws its collective weight behind this comic drama, ensuring that every single scene counts.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns isn't a path-breaking film. It is not even perfect. But its failings are at worst only minor. Propelled by an irresistible Kangana Ranaut star turn, this is a fun film in which the highs far outweigh the flaws. 

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