‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’: Fair entertainer

MUMBAI: Most sequels are not even sequels; they are just another story taking advantage of the same title used by an earlier successful film. To that extent, Tanu Weds Manu Returns justifies its name, being a proper sequel to Tanu Weds Manu (2011).

In the first film, Kangana Ranaut and R Madhavan were married after a long drama. Tanu (Ranaut) had two suitors, Madhavan and Jimmy Shergill, both of whom brought a baraat to her house. Shergill was the violent kind and even ready to shoot down Madhavan but later had a change of heart looking at Kangana’s preference.

Of course, the writer and director have bent many rules, taken a lot of liberties wanting to live up to the original — but they have come up with a fairly entertaining fare.

The first film ended on a happy note with Tanu marrying Manu. The sequel starts with realities of married life. It is four years since they married and the marriage has gone sour. The couple is in London. Madhavan, who is now a doctor(!), keeps busy while Kangana tries her hand at various activities including to run a cr?che but to no avail. Compared to her tomboyish life in her native Kanpur, she feels clamped and bored.

The film opens with the couple landing up at a madhouse. And one thought visiting marriage counselors solved marital problems! Since they are at an asylum, a panel of experts sits with them as both exchange accusation. Finally, Madhavan becomes violent and the expert doctor admits him in the asylum.

Kangana is on her way back to Kanpur, relieved she has got rid of Madhavan and can now be free again to get back to her old bold lifestyle. But, with a pang of guilt, she calls up Madhavan’s cousin, Deepak Dobriyal, to get Madhavan back from the asylum. Madhavan decides to return to India instead of staying back in London and carrying on with his practice. But he is morose. He still loves Kangana and expects that she will change her mind and come back to him.

But, soon, Madhavan finds someone who can fill his void; Kangana 2, a Tanu lookalike in Kusum, a Haryanvi Kangana in dual role. Kangana 2 is an athlete who not only represents the University but the state too. Initially, he just thinks that she is Tanu and starts chasing her till he is almost beaten and lynched by a mob when Kangana 2 shouts foul. He saves himself in the nick of time showing her the picture of his wife and how both look alike.

Soon a romance starts budding between the two. While Madhavan cultivates Kangana 2, Kangana 1 is busy catching up with her old flame, Shergill, and also uses a tricky paying guest law student in her house, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. Ayyub starts his friendship with Kangana 1 by addressing her as a sister but soon gets emotional about her. He even sends divorce papers to Madhavan on behalf of Kangana 1 without her knowledge. In due time, the divorce comes through.

After crossing a lot of hurdles, Madhavan gets the approval of Kangana 2 and her family to agree to their marriage. That is when jealousy sets in and Kangana 1 reacts. After that, she sets out to win over Madhavan again.

The comedy ends here and melodrama begins. While Kangana 1 tries to belittle everyone, when it comes to running down Kangana 2, she gets it back because the latter is much more qualified and endowed despite being from a village background. Their first encounter cuts Kangana 1 to size. The melodrama ends opting to re-establish the “so called” Indian values as love is rediscovered.

Despite liberties taken, the script makes sure its entertainment quotient does not drop much. However, the end drama seems a little stretched. The director tries to stick to the basic idea of living up to being a worthy successor to the original; making Indian wedding films gives you a lot of stock content which is common to all films. The film manages to do so by about 75 per cent for after all, originals are always the best while in a sequel the surprise element is lost. Thankfully, the film does not go overboard by including songs and offers a couple of peppy numbers. The film is a few seconds over 120 minutes but can still do with a bit of trimming, especially towards the end. Photography is okay. Background score is effective at points.

As for performances, it is a Kangana vehicle all along and offers her a rare opportunity to pit her against herself in two varied characters. While Kangana 1 is good as usual, Kangana 2 steals a definite march over her: she adapts to being a native Haryanvi villager totally in command of her situations. Madhavan, despite having limited scope, manages to hold his own. Shergill’s character of a perceived threat remains just that. He is a paper tiger with a soft heart. Dobriyal impresses. Swara Bhaskar, Eijaz Khan and Dipti Mishra are okay. Ayyub is good and so is Rajesh Sharma, as usual. The supporting cast contains of celebrated character artistes like Rajendra Gupta, K K Raina, Navni Parihar and Rajesh Sharma who all justify their roles.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a fair entertainer. However, the opening response being weak, it faces further hurdles of IPL match today and the finals on Sunday, which will affect it. Also, the film caters mainly to the multiplex audience, factors, which may limit its prospects.

Producers: Krishika Lulla, Anand L Rai

Director: Anand L Rai

Cast: R Madhavan, Kangana Ranaut, Jimmy Shergill, Ejaz Khan, Swara Bhaskar, Deepak Dobriyal, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Rajendra Gupta, Navni Parihar, K K Raina, Dipti Mishra, Rajesh Sharma, Akash Dahiya 

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