I take movie titles very seriously. While RGV got away with the title of his Sholay remake few years ago, I won't let Mr Rai get away with this absurd title of his. How obnoxious does Tanu Weds Manu: Returns sound?
Essentially, the film picks up where it left off in the prequel i.e. start of the matrimony of the protagonists - Manu (Madhavan) and Tanu (Ranaut). However, after four years of an apparently torturous marriage, Tanu pushes Manu into a mental asylum and flies back to India to the comfort of her maternal home. What follows is a ridiculous and dramatic play where these central characters fool around just because they couldn't keep their issues with themselves. One will empathize with Manu, but audiences in their right minds will never support Tanu and her mercuric attitude which sums up to two words that Manu so efficiently describes her using, earlier in the film - bipolar disorder.
The film started quite well and I had jotted down few good points like clever humor and good dialogs, but I am going to deny Mr Rai the pleasure. The reason that no insight is provided into why Tanu does what she does is horrendous. And it is the biggest problem the film faces.
Madhavan has nothing much to do here other than flexing his expressive face muscles, and it is Ranaut really who runs the show with her double role and ample cleavage. Dobriyal and Shergill also deliver great performances. There is also a dash of a stark social reality in the plot that may have earned few brownie points if the film had something more and new and inventive to tell.
All said and done and having lauded Ranaut's (who is definitely thanking her stars right now) high-standard performance, for a film that is so bad, she only works as a rope that is used to send a convict down the gallows, here the convict being the film itself. I just hope the makers don't come up with another sequel, with a suitable title like "Tanu Weds Manu: Returns: 2."
BOTTOM LINE: Tanu Weds Manu: Returns is a film that you won't hate, but will just come to disagree with.
RATING: 2 stars out of 10 - avoid. Tanu Weds Manu (2011) was 2/10, as well.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES