Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tanu Weds Manu Returns - Movie Review

I loved this one. The highly entertaining sequel of 'Tanu Weds Manu' starts four years from the day T and M get married under dramatic circumstances. Now in London, they hate the sight of each other and are at each others throats. At a marriage counsellors' one thing leads to another and Manu is taken into custody and kept at the mental asylum. Tanu returns to India to reclaim her freewheeling life and starts meeting a whole bunch of her exes which include a rickshaw wallah she meets at the railway station. A new character Chintu, a cunning lawyer, falls in love with her and joins her list of fans.

Manu comes to India. He sees a young Haryanvi athlete Kusum who looks like Tanu and falls in love with her. The entire cast gets involved in what follows - Jassi and his wife who now have a baby from an artificial insemination procedure, Pappi who wants to get married to Komal who does not like him, Awasthi ji who was to get married to Tanu lookalike Kusum but who finds Manu getting in the way again, the parents of T and M, the Haryanvi characters - its fantastic.

Kangana Ranaut as Kusum, the 'state level athletes' as she calls herself, is unbelievably good. What talent! I am convinced that no one in the Hindi film industry can even remotely pull off what she has done here in such contrasting roles - the rustic Haryanvi athlete versus the suave, commitment-shy, running-away-from-reality through alcohol and other escapist and high risk behavior wali, Tanu. It's so easy to fall in love with the plain speaking, action oriented Haryanvi girl who thinks nothing of taking on anything for what she believes is right. The way Pappi admires her no-nonsense, action and speech and the way he keeps asking her to handle all the tough situations they end up facing is subtle and cute. And it's so easy to fall in love with Kusum - she is so disarming with her honesty and intensity and can just about handle anything. It's been a long time since a female character like this has come alive with such force. She is too good for this fickle minded Manu Sharma.

The film is a bit like Kusum's character - dealing with bold themes that blur the boundaries in a no-nonsense and matter-of-fact way - infidelity, what is appropriate behavior, what the girl child should do, what choice is really about etc. Pappi is hilarious, Chintu is a great new character, but none can come close to Kangana Ranaut's Kusum. She and Tanu steal the show outright. The one thing that comes across is how all the characters are so relatable, real and identifiable. Verdict: I could watch it again today. Don't miss it.

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