Two To Tango
Film: Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, R. Madhavan, Deepak Dobriyal, Jimmy Shergill
Directed by: Aanand L Rai
Duration: 2 hrs 2 mins
Rating: * * * *
Tanu Weds Manu Returns is yet another remarkable feather in Bollywood’s hat. More interestingly, this is clearly a case where the sequel betters the original by a decent margin and that is something you don’t see too often.
Either by coincidence or otherwise, the former mostly, since Kahaani there have been quite a few women centric films that have stood out not only in terms of quality cinema but they have also triumphed at the box office. Tanu Weds Manu Returns is another film that is dominated (and how!) by one actress playing two characters.
The film opens a few years after Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) and Dr. Manu’s (R. Madhavan) marriage. They are living in England but there is serious trouble in paradise, so much so that the good doctor ends up in a mental asylum for few days while Tanu takes the next flight back home. She couldn’t care less about her better half, without flinching too much she is ready to rekindle her relationship with her old flame Raja (Jimmy Shergill) while Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub) who is a part of her support staff, harbors feelings for her.
Meanwhile Manu’s friend Pappi (the fantastic Deepak Dobriyal) rescues him from England and before you can say cheese, Manu falls for Kusum (Kangana again) a Harayanvi athlete who looks like Tanu. The girl is as feisty as they come and a romance blossoms between them leading to a climax where Manu has to choose between the duplicate and the original.
For a large part, the film is breezy, in fact the first half is devoid of a single dull moment. It gets a bit contrived in the second, including some unnecessary song and dance routines but there is enough fodder to keep you entertained. The finale is bit of a predictable cop out but now that we are seeing feisty woman characters, our film makers will push the envelope further with them.
Full credit goes to the writers, Anand L Rai and Himanshu Sharma for those sparkling dialogues and humor. After being a bit regressive in his previous film Raanjhanaa, Rai turns the tide this time.
There are several wonderfully crafted scenes in the film but none better than the one where Tanu wanders on the streets in the middle of the night with a bottle in her hand with Geeta Dutt’s melancholic Ja Ja Ja Ja Bewafa (Aar Paar, 1954) playing the background - Tanu doesn’t say a word but yet she speaks volumes.
It is criminal that we don’t see a talent like Deepak Dobriyal more often on screen, his sense of timing is immaculate. R. Madhavan is apt reprising his previous role. But the show belongs to Kangana Ranaut who steals the thunder, lightning, rain and sunshine. She slips so effortlessly into both those characters that you have to marvel, what a gifted actress she is.
For her performance as well as for a film that delivers the goods, Tanu Weds Manu Returns is eminently worth a watch.
Published in The Navhind Times on 24th May 2015