Bombastic build-up, but damp squib of an end

Bombastic build-up, but damp squib of an end

Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Hindi (U/A) Director: Aanand L Rai
Cast: R Madhavan, Kangna Ranaut, Deepak Dobriyal, Jimmy Shergill, Rajesh Sharma, Eijaz Khan, Zeeshan Ayyub and Swara Bhaskar

Relationships, when portrayed or depicted well, become sagas for generations. Anyone who has seen director Aanand L Rai’s Raanjhanaa will tell you as much, and probably also mouth a few of Dhanush’s lines. But the portion of the film that elevated Rai’s previous film lets Tanu Weds Manu Returns.

This one is, for the most part, every bit a Rai-trademarked tour de force, from the comedy to observations about life, from Deepak Dobriyal and Zeeshan Ayyub’s near-show-stealing performances to music that powers the film forward. However, it is only at the end that the film sags, and how! For those unfamiliar with the premise, we last saw the perennially docile Dr Manoj “Manu” Sharma (Madhavan) manage to snag the potentially anarchist Tanuja “Tanu” Trivedi (Kangna) from UP badlands goon/builder Raj Awasthi (Jimmy Shergill) in Tanu Weds Manu. The Returns flick – one of those ultra-rare true sequels in Bollywood – starts with their wedding video, goes on to show how, four years later, their marital discord spills onto the floors of a psychological precinct, resulting in Manu’s incarceration to the mental asylum.

Tanu lets him “marinate” there for a few days and returns home to Kanpur, but not before asking Pappi (Dobriyal) to get Manu released from the asylum. On his return to India, Manu sends a legal notice to Tanu, who then begins to use her charm – from a far-removed cousin (Ayyub) to Awasthi – to see if she can get Manu to come grovelling back. Manu, meanwhile, falls for motormouth golden-hearted Haryanvi athlete Datto aka Kusum, whom he mistakes for Tanu, and she reciprocates.

So who ends up with whom? Rai’s story breezes through the first half, but falters in the second.

While the histrionics, the music, the dialogues, occasional social messages and most of the story hold it up, several stray loose ends, an unnecessary song and a dampener of a climax prevent this film from getting that one extra star in the review that it otherwise deserves.

 To spell it out would spoil the end. Let’s just say that Kangna ended up better as Datto than Tanu.

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