Around five years ago, a film named TANU WEDS MANU hit the silver screens. In a world of vfx, gadgets and gizmos, this film not just stood out, but also proved to be a huge box-office hit, purely because of its simple content and easy-to-digest plot and very relatable performances by its cast. This week, the film's sequel titled TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS hits the silver screen. Will it be as simple yet powerful as the original or will it apply brakes at the box-office windows, let's analyze.
The film starts off with the nostalgic wedding day of Tanuja Trivedi aka Tanu (Kangna Ranaut) alongwith Dr. Manoj Sharma aka Manu (R. Madhavan) with the iconic 'Sunn saahiba sunn' track playing in the background. The opening scene sets the tempo of the film. This is then immediately followed by the admission of Manu in St. Benedict's Asylum by Tanu. After that, she returns to her hometown Kanpur to be with her parents. But the human side of her being makes her call Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) and ensures that he frees Manu from the asylum. When she reaches Kanpur, she meets up with Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Sheirgill), who is on the verge of getting married. Around the same time, when Manu reaches Delhi, he sights upon the very 'sporty' Kusum (Kangna Ranaut), who happens to be a state level athlete. The very moment Manu sees her, he falls in love with her so much so that he starts following her and ultimately convinces her and her relatives for marriage, despite being a 'second hand' man, which is how Kusum describes him as. Meanwhile, with the help of her just-graduated lawyer friend Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), she manages to threaten Manu with a divorce notice. Frustrated and aggravated because of this action, Manu ultimately decides to marry Kusum. Seeing her 'husband' about to tie the knot with Kusum, Tanu lands up with Raja at the venue, despite being all geared up for all the insults. Will Tanu realize her marital mistakes and be able to stop Manu from marrying Kusum, does Manu actually love Tanu or Kusum, does Raja Awasthi land up marrying the girl of his dreams... is what forms the rest of the film.
Right from the word go (read 'first frame), the film's director Aanand L. Rai successfully hits the right cord. At the onset, it may sound and look very easy to make a successful film's sequel, but real challenge lies in transforming the sequel into a goldmine at the box-office. And Aanand. L. Rai achieves that successfully and how! Backed with an immensely believable plot (Himanshu Sharma), Aanand. L. Rai helms his role of a director very successfully. There are times when you get a feeling that he has surpassed the original as far as storytelling and film presentation is concerned. It's a very wittily written film and superbly performance oriented film. He has successfully demonstrated the onscreen version of the famous adage 'Marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.' Aanand. L. Rai establishes the 4-year itch in the first five minutes of the film, which sets the tempo of the things to come. Despite it being an almost flawless film, it starts lagging midway in the second half, but makes up for all this in the chilling climax. His direction is excellent and artistic but hugely entertaining. The end of the film is absolutely conventional. The film's one liners are sure to bring the house down.
As far as the performances are concerned, absolutely no prizes for guessing who is the undisputed captain of the ship - Kangna Ranaut, who delivers a career best performance. Her performance in the film is definitely award worthy, which will also add one more feather in her cap after QUEEN. She really knows how to carry the film on her shoulders. Despite having excelled in both the roles, it is her portrayal of Kusum with Haryanvi accent that remains etched forever. The impact of her roles is so significant that you just cannot imagine any other actress in her role. She gets into the skin of both the characters the very way like a fish takes to water. As far as Madhavan is concerned, he excels in his role despite it being a restrained one, which was anyways the call of his character. He is very endearing who never tries to overshadow anyone and emerges a winner. It is his simplicity and realistic approach to his character that makes him endearing. Deepak Dobriyal is absolutely amazing with his character. His one liners are absolute epic. His character adds to the film in making it immensely likeable and watchable to the core. Other actors like Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Jimmy Sheirgill, Eijaz Khan, and Swara Bhaskar help with their 'contributions' in making the film a winner all the way.
The film has its share of melodious music (Surj-Rdb Rythm Dhol Bass, Krsna, Tanishk, Vayu). What one observes about the music is that, despite the songs being very situational, it has a superb music score. While the tracks like 'Banno' and 'Ghari Bawri' were already popular, tracks like 'Old School Girl' and 'Move On' are real gems, which are bound to grow once people watch the film.
On the whole, TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS makes for a must watch, especially for Kangna's spellbinding performance, outstanding plot and amazing one-liners. SURE-SHOT HIT!