Director: Anand L. Rai
Kangna Ranaut has become a name big enough to call out audience to the hall single handedly. And she never takes a short-cut when it comes to acting. Tanu Weds Manu Returns is yet another film which the actress carries on her shoulders, twice over, till the climax.
The film takes off from exactly where the last one had ended. A grainy wedding video of Tanu and Manu’s wedding along with all the embarrassment of Indian weddings (cheesy photo shoots, drunk dancing and catering chaos included) spelling out an exact antithesis of the glamour shaadis of traditional Bollywoodfilms. So much so that one immediately wonders whether someone like Tanuja Trivedi who wants everything executed with the perfect style and drama was actually carved out for sitting on a shiny wedding chair and suffer in silence.
Director Anand L. Rai answers that in the very next scene where the couple is debating their relationship before psychiatrists in London 4 years into their marriage. Tanu has not changed and neither has Manu (a few extra kilos and grey hair aside), and the two are in a blissful state of marital hate. While Manoj Sharma wants to settle down and lead the easy life of having constant comfort in the domestic front, Tanuja misses her old flames – freedom and excitement. Well nobody thought this was going to be a perfect match.
To cut the story short, Manu gets locked up in an asylum and Tanu to reclaim her sanity heads back to Kanpur. From then on, it’s back to flirting and fashion. Tanu meets old flames and asks them if they miss her, throws compliments with ingenious eye blinking antics and has Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Shergil) back at her heels within moments. In the meantime, Manu (having been rescued from the asylum) has landed in Delhi and sent his absconding wife a divorce notice which she responds to with first a hearty abuse and then by teaming up with budding lawyer and annoying tenant Chintu ((Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub).
This is till when the film makes fairly enough amount of sense. But with the introduction of one of the strongest characters of this film, the plot starts losing logic. While giving a lecture in Delhi Unversity, Dr. Manu Sharma spots, his almost ex-wife’s look-alike, Kusum aka Datto, and starts stalking her by awkwardly hanging around the corners of any public space the teenage girl occupies. To voice Pappi’s (Deepak Dobriyal) anxieties – it’s just wrong for a 40 year old man trying to do ‘fraandship’ with a college girl because she looks like his wife. But the point is lost as Manu narrates his sad tale to Kusum and start ‘dating’ her over boating rides in Purani Delhi and thirty rupees juice stalls in gallis.
The strange bit is the film trying repeatedly to question the logic of the direction the film is taking. Besides Pappi’s inconsequential opinion, Kusum herself voices the problems of taking this forward and more often Manu himself is heard justifying his acts by saying that none of this is happening for the first time but she is different. The two (Kusum and Manu) go through a vague kidnapping sequence and then a preachy Haryanvi women empowerment/stop honour killing episode. Even when both these sequences seem absolutely redundant, it still makes the audience believe that Tanu Weds Manu Returns is going to be about Tanu weds Kusum. And it almost is. And maybe should have been too.
Despite so much Kolaveridi, the film digresses (almost towards the end) to Tanu and Manu’s romance and tries rather lopsidedly to rekindle the entire emotion of the first film. And spells the doom for this sequel. The film ends leaving a bad taste in the mouth despite keeping a fall full of audience in splits throughout with its hilarious dialogues and Priyadarshin-esque sequences.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns is definitely worth watching. There are a lot of good things happening for this film. It definitely will entertain you but you won’t be surprised hearing yourself say that the first part was way better, as you leave the hall.