4 Very Good

Tanu Weds Manu Returns

There are two significant qualities that make seemingly ordinary films such as 'Tanu Weds Manu', crowd pleasers and entertainers as they are. Anand L. Rai's ability to focus our attention on relatable, enriching characters and performances by actors who get completely absorbed by those characters. Four years after their dramatic wedding, Tanu and Manu return as a vicious couple who have had enough of each other. Kangana Ranaut delivers a powerhouse performance and re-establishes herself as the best actress in current times.

During the couple's counseling session, Tanu's (Kangana Ranaut) allegations against Manu (R. Madhavan) send him to a mental asylum. Quite bored already in the English countryside, this was Tanu's opportunity to return to her home in Kanpur. Drama ensues upon such an abrupt return while Chintu, an astute lawyer has forcibly taken over a room in her house. He befriends her however, owing to her audacious antics and they re-visit her friends and life before her marriage. That includes Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Shergill), who is finally, about to get married.
Meanwhile, Manu is released from the asylum by Pappi's (Deepak Dobriyal) aid and returns to Delhi to end his troubles. He sends a legal notice to his wife and resumes to normalcy when, while delivering a lecture at a college, he notices a girl who looks just like Tanu. After briefly encountering her, he pursues her everywhere along with Pappi, who clearly senses trouble, only to learn that the Haryanvi girls is actually Kusum. He finally clarifies his doubts by sharing his wife's picture and soon, they spend time with each other, learning more about themselves. Tanu learns about this development, so does Raja, so does Chintu and so does Kusum's conservative family. This will certainly lead to awkward, cringe worthy moments but it will all be entertaining.

Kangana Ranaut is an incredibly versatile actress. So much so, that it takes a moment for us to realize that she has stepped out of one character and is already into the other. There are so many scenes where her expression of an emotion or reaction to a situation are just so natural and convincing. That is the beauty of the Queen's performance and she easily bears the film on her shoulders. This isn't a woman-centric film necessarily but she draws enough attention through her talent, to make it a Kangana-centric film.
R. Madhavan is his usual self again being calm, pensive and spontaneous. Deepak Dobrial is a remarkable character actor and his comic timing is impeccable. His dialogues are memorable and his spontaneity almost comes naturally for him. Jimmy Shergill is comical as well and has some hilarious one-liners. Some witty writing by Himanshu Sharma provides the actors with refreshingly funny dialogues overall.

Ksna Solo's music is peppy, wild and suited mostly to the protagonists especially banno and ghani bawri. A song or two might be in excess but they never obstruct the flow of the story, owing to some crisp editing. Anand Rai's desi rom-com is by no means a pathbreaking film but it is quite an entertainer that re-establishes the fact that relationship based films do not have to be cheesy and hackneyed. A bit of straight-forwardness goes a long way with his characters, story and dialogues and that is reflective of the film's most admirable character, Kusum aka Datto.
Watch it for its re-imagined marital issues, family drama, awkward affairs and a whole bunch of lively, entertaining characters.

- 8.001 on a scale of 1-10.