Friday, 22 May 2015

Tanu Weds Manu Returns :: Movie Review

                                             Image result for 4 stars out of five   

Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a well made sequel by Aanand L Rai that not only begins from where its prequel ended, propels the story further in most justifiable way but is also full of plausible moments that coherently add up to the fun quotient of the movie. To helm a sequel to a successful movie is no mean task as the prequel serves as a hard benchmark. In Bollywood, several sequels have been made as well as rejected by masses and the successful ones can be counted on fingers. Fortunately, TWMR falls in the latter category as this movie has superseded the expectations and has turned out to be one of those rare sequels which is far better & entertaining than its prequel.  The movie tugs at your heartstrings right from its opening scene where marriage of Manu (Madhavan) is being solemnized with Tanu (Kangna) with famous song "Sun Sahiba Sun" from the movie "Raam Teri Ganga Maili" playing in the background. Director, Aanand L. Rai along with the able support of his writer, Himanshu Sharma and gem of an actress, Kangna has woven magic on screen. The movie in an entertaining way talks about several prevalent social messages that include women empowerment, social diktat & how marriages fall apart when expectations get bigger than the reality. A standout scene of the movie is ; Manu is having drinks with his father (K.K.Raina) & his bosom pal, Pappi ( Deepak Dobriyal) discussing his marital problems. While His father is calmly explaining him the dogmatism of bickering in the institution of marriage, the hormonal nature of women and the panacea of handling them with love when they blow their fuse, his mother is constantly bickering in the background and switching off all the lights of house and than suddenly his father breaks down the only tube-light which is glowing with a rod. This moment and several other moments like this speak volumes about the craftsmanship of the movie. The first half of the movie is a such a laugh riot and so engrossing that you don't even realize how quickly has the time passed when interval flashes on screen. It is in the second half that movie nosedives a bit but it ably recovers quickly and than it turns into an emotional roller coaster ride. The biggest highlight of this movie apart from the performances of its entire star-cast is its content in the form of rich screenplay which has captured the finer nuances of language along with culture ranging from the semi urban milieu of Kanpur to the rustic, rural ambience of Haryana. The nuances of small town families with neighbors being a privy of their on going affairs has been effectively portrayed on-screen by Aanand L.Rai and this is something that audience will make an instant connect with. The film is deeply rooted and hence makes for a delightful watch.       

STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD)                                                       ::               The story and screenplay by Himanshu Sharma is not only fresh but also engaging. The best part about the screenplay is that it progresses smoothly and quite logically so that the drama does not bore or dip anywhere. Also, the characters have been so well etched out with perfection that they genuinely invoke interest in you. And the ambiance - so real that the audience gets a feeling of watching a real and authentic drama unfold on screen. Probably, the biggest victory of a writer is that his script comes across as a very honest and straight-from-the-heart attempt which will not be lost on the audience. And to his credit, Himanshu Sharma has laden the screenplay with some real quirky one liners and dialogues which invoke aplenty of laughter. As far as the storyline goes, film begins with the scene where Tanu (Kangna) is getting married to Manu (Madhavan). Cut next, four years later both of them are sitting in front of a panel of psychiatrists and discussing their marital problems. During the discussion, Manu gets infuriated and seeing his behavior the panel admits him to St. Benedict's Asylum. After this, Tanu decides to leave for her hometown Kanpur. But, since she has a softer side for Manu so she calls up his bosom pal, Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) to come and get Manu discharged from asylum. Manu along with Pappi comes back to Delhi & is helluva angry with Tanu for getting him admitted to asylum. Meanwhile, Tanu reaches her home back where her family is enraged to hear about her marital dispute with Manu. One room of Tanu's house has been taken on rent by a law student Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) who soon engulfs friendship with Tanu. Tanu wants to meet her ex flame Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Sheirgill) & goes to her house with Chintu. On reaching there, she comes to know that marriage of Raja has been fixed. Meanwhile, when Manu goes to deliver a lecture at a Delhi college, he sights upon Kusum Kumari (Kangna Ranaut) who is a state level athlete but her looks are very familiar with Tanu. He gets fixated by her and falls in love with her. He starts following her around in Delhi along with Pappi. One fine day, Kusum confronts him for following her all around and it is than that Manu reveals to her that he is going through a bad marriage and she is a look alike of his wife and even shows her the picture of his wife. Soon, friendship develops between both. In Kanpur, Tanu starts seeing Raja often and starts going out on movie dates with him. This enrages Chintu who has fallen in love with Tanu. So, an infuriated Chintu not only sends a divorce notice to Manu on Tanu's behalf but also calls him up telling him about the (supposedly) romance brewing up between Raja & Tanu. This enrages Manu further and he decides to propose Kusum for marriage. He goes to her house in Delhi where she is living with her elder brother (Rajesh Sharma) and asks for her hand. Another twist in the story comes when it is revealed that Kusum is the same girl with whom Raja Avasthi's marrige has been fixated. But Kusum agrees to marry Manu and wants to take him to her hometown in Haryana to meet her folks. On the other hand, Pappi is madly in love with a girl whom he met at the wedding of Jassi (Eijaz Khan) & Payal (Swara Bhaskar) and the girl is getting married in a few days. So, the trio of Manu, Kusum and Pappi land up at Jassi's place, kidnap the girl and take her to Kusum's hometown. Kusum's folks are so enraged after knowing that Kusum is asking to tie the nuptial knot with Manu that they are about to kill him but timely intervention by her elder brother solves the issue. On knowing that Manu is getting married to Kusum, Tanu also reaches the hometown of Kusum along with Raja, Jassi and Payal. Will Manu marry Kusum, Will Tanu realize her mistakes & able to stop the marriage is what forms the rest of the story.      

STARCAST                                                                                            ::          Kudos to the casting director for assembling a fine coterie of ensemble starcast for this movie who have portrayed their characters to the hilt. Though, the movie belongs to Kangna Ranaut. Its a double whammy for the fans of Kangna as they get to see her in two different avatars in the movie i.e. Tanu Rawat as well as Kusum Kumari & to her credit, Kangna has come out equally impressive in both these characters. Although, her portrayal of Kusum has come out as more endearing. The way she has caught up with Haryanvi dialect, mannerisms, body language and portrayed them on-screen is sheer brilliance. Kangna seems to be on a new high after her much appreciated performance in Queen and it seems she is slowly climbing up her way to become Queen of Bollywood. She is like soul of this movie and has carried this movie on her shoulders. With her apt & brilliant portrayal of duel characters, Kangna makes you think whether any other actress would have been able to portray these characters so convincingly. Way to go......Kangna. Madhavan once again excels in his character portrayal of a subtle and restrained guy. The best part about his acting is that he remains in his character so wonderfully and makes it so believable that he is able to woo all the sympathy from the audience. Had he gone overboard even in a few scenes, the effect would not have been the same. He lends sheer credibility to the character of lovelorn Manu with his acting prowess. Deepak Dobriyal is one such helluva actor that you give him any character to play, he will delve deep into the skin of the character. In TWMR, he lends a fair amount of charm to the character of Pappi that he portrays. His body language, face expressions are a treat to watch especially when he mouth-es those one liners. He is simply terrific and invokes aplenty of laughter in the frames that he is present in. He is definitely one of those brilliant actors who deserves to be seen more frequently on big screen with more meatier roles. The performance of Mohammed Zeeshan Ayuub in this movie as Chintu is simply first rate. He proves that it is acting prowess and not the length of the role which is important to leave a lasting impression. Watch out for him in the scene where after getting rebuked by Jimmy, he provokes him to kill him right there and not leave him like that because if he leaves him alive he will strike back with vengeance. Zeeshan is a delight to watch in this movie. Another actor who manages to impress you with his performance is Jimmy Sheirgill. I have always held the view that he is one of the underrated and underutilized actors who has a great screen presence and can set the screen ablaze with his talent. Rajesh Sharma has once again given an apt performance as Kusum's brother and his enraged act where he confronts with villagers to save the skin of Manu has come out as a stunner. Eijaz Khan's portrayal of flashy Jassi is effective enough. So is the act of Swara Bhaskar as Payal. Swara has portrayed the character of Payal with such ease that it becomes difficult to differentiate her from the character. Not to forget Aakash Dahiya who plays a short stint in the movie as a rickshaw puller who was once heads over heels in love with Tanu. He has enacted his short part in the most natural and effortless manner. Amongst ensemble star-cast, noticeable performances have been delivered by K.K.Raina, Navni Parihar, Rajendra Gupta & Dipti Mishra.    

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                                                     ::           The musical soundtrack of the movie has been composed by a motley of music directors namely Surj RDB Rythm Dhol Bass, Krsna, Tanishk & Vayu which has become a trend these days. Since music of Tanu Weds Manu was a runaway hit, so expectations from the music of sequel were supposedly high and to a certain extent the soundtrack has been able to match up to those expectations. Certain tracks like richly arranged Haryanvi track "Ghanni Bawri" sung by Jyoti Nooran, "Ho gaya hai pyaar" sung by Dev Negi  stand out amongst others. The cinematographer of the movie is Chirantan Das who has done an excellent job of capturing the visuals from behind the lens. His cinematography is plush, passionate, heightens the kitsch of the settings with warm-hued interiors as well as captures the outdoor locales with aplomb. He has ably captured the semi-urban class milieu with the roving eye of his lens. A special mention of Ankita Jha & Reza Shariffi for their contribution in apt Costume Designing. The movie has been edited by Hemal Kothari who has kept the run-time of movie to 120 minutes. Hemal's done a descent job by maintaining the tempo of the movie at a constant pace throughout without giving you a chance to go out for a loo break, As a director, Aanand L. Rai has once again proved that he knows the pulse of the audience as with this movie, he has made a hat trick of successful movies that were lapped up by the audience. The earlier ones being Tanu Weds Manu & Raanjhna. He has a distinctive style of film-making with his movies giving a very believable feel. It is not easy to direct sequel to a hit movie as the expectations from the audience are very high but with TWMR, Aanand is able to hit the right chords with the audience right from the word go. His movies have kind of rustic touch and he etches out & develops the characters in such a way that audience are able to relate to them. Aanand L. Rai has done a swell job of portraying the screenplay unto on-screen and in the process has also extracted the best from his cast and crew members. Aanand is one of those few rare directors who knows how to portray the urban middle class milieu on-screen in most efficient and endearing manner and is definitely upping the ante with every subsequent movie of his. 

CONCLUSION                                                                                            ::             Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a full on family entertainer that works primarily because the movie has got its heart and soul at the right place.  Also, the movie is an exemplary amalgamation of rich content, brilliant craftsmanship and towering performances by its entire star-cast which results in full paisa wasool experience for the audience. I am giving it 4 stars out of 5. 

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