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Movie review 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns': Pappis to all, jhappi to Ranaut

DC | SUPARNA SHARMA
Published May 23, 2015, 6:49 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ story is fairly straightforward, but is served both shaken and stirred

Cast: Kangana Ranaut, R. Madhavan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Deepak Dobriyal, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Swara Bhaskar, K.K. Raina, Rajesh Sharma, Rajendra Gupta
Director: Aanand L. Rai
Rating: Three and a half stars

Tanu Weds Manu Returns opens with a fun wedding scene in India — Tanu Weds Manu (2011) — complete with cheepad dancing, talli baraatis, and soon after recaps what went on during the four years after that wedding.

Tanu and Manu are in England and are having the sort of fight where each one is eager to bitch to strangers about their most intimate moments. They not only tell us what happened four years ago, but also what happened in these four years, while taking the story forward with lots of marital mirch-masala. We watch with the delight of local mohalla gossips as Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Sheirgill) is dragged in and the husband and wife start addressing each other with their full, formal names.

 

In Twickenham he stays while she leaves for Kanpur, en route dialling the services of Pappi to take care of Manu. It’s a gift to us and the film. Pappi is the film’s wagging tongue. Manu too returns to India and the story begins to twist with the help of some old and new characters. There’s Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), a lawyer and squatter in Tanu’s house in Kanpur. But before he can dazzle Tanu, Raja Awasthi rides in. And before he can really take off, Manu meets Datto, Kusum, and all attention is on this girl from Haryana. A state-level athlete studying in Ramjas College on sports quota, Kusum is the film’s throbbing heart.

As Tanu and Manu go about living their new lives, a pattern begins to emerge: Manu has a thing for young girls who are not into him and are slightly cuckoo; Tanu is always riding pillion with one to make-out with another. Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ story is fairly straightforward, but is served both shaken and stirred. The film is not just aware of its rather commonplace plot, but acknowledges it with a good amount laugh-out-loud cynicism.

What makes the film special is the way it has been directed by Aanand L. Rai with sharp intelligence based on a screenplay by Himanshu Sharma that is both sparkling and incredibly smart. Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a sort of actors’ championship: Kangana Ranaut, Jimmy Sheirgill, R. Madhavan, Deepak Dobriyal, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Swara Bhaskar, K.K. Raina, Rajesh Sharma. It’s crazy how good all of them are. But some stand taller than the others. This film belongs to Deepak and Kangana. They both have the film’s best lines and make them sparkle.

All actresses in the top echelons of box office — Priyanka, Deepika, Anushka, Katrina — and the ones who call themselves actresses, like Vidya, should just accept and acknowledge that Kangana Ranaut is by far the best actress today in Bollywood.

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