Tanu Weds Manu Returns: The taming of Tanu

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A Hindi film usually puts a full stop when the boy and girl get over the obstacles to take vows. But what about life lines after love gets social and legal stamp? Director Aanand L. Rai looks at the madness that at times creeps into matrimony resulting in a crazy, feel good sequel that has both style and swagger of North India to keep you entertained for two hours.

Now settled in London Tanuja Trivedi/Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) is bored of the dreary ways of her doctor husband Manoj Sharma/Manu (Madhavan). She is looking for a Salman Khan in a Sanjeev Kumar and he doesn’t realise that honesty is not always enough to nurture a relationship and that too when you have a high maintenance spouse, who demands constant validation of her appeal. The two part ways in a mental hospital. Cut to India.

Director: Aanand L. Rai
Genre: Drama/ Comedy
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, R. Madhavan, Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhaskar, Zeeshan Ayyub, Rajendra Gupta, K.K. Raina
Bottomline: Defying the law of diminishing returns, it is a double delight from Kangana.

Back to Kanpur, where the contours of morality haven’t changed much, Tanu revisits the moths who once threatened to burn themselves in her flame and discovers that Raja (Jimmy Shergill), who almost won her heart in the original before the doctor stepped in, is still single. Then there is Chintu (Zeeshan Ayyub), the tenant in her father’s house, who feels her marital status doesn’t spoil her standing as a free bird. Or Batman, as Chintu describes her. It is an ode to a character that reshaped the contours of a Hindi film heroine. Meanwhile, Manu strays into the territory of Datto/Kusum (Kangana), a feisty Haryanvi athlete, who resembles Tanu. Unlike Tanu, she is not self-seeking, is a straight talker and doesn’t step back once she makes up her mind to take the leap.

Manu follows her despite warnings from his sidekick Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) and love blossoms all over again amidst hilarious situations and witty one-liners. It sounds like a clichéd mishmash of love quadrangle and extr- marital affair but once again Rai and writer Himanshu Sharma rise above the obvious to create a universe where the pace and pitch of drama makes you ignore the exaggerated pixels in the bigger picture. The way they observe the situation and shape the characters, infidelity doesn’t sound like a bad word.

Known for creating a tangible atmosphere of small town, the team once again hit the ground running and doesn’t leave the audience’s pulse for even a moment. Every character is chiselled with care. There is nothing put on. Tanu represents the selfish, materialistic side of youth emerging out of Hindi heartand. She believes in instant gratification and has little patience to nurture relationships. In contrast Datto attempts to break the stereotype of a Haryanvi woman. She is in control of her life and can give Tanu run for her money with her confidence and spirit. Interestingly, both are self-assured, both are not dependent on men. While Tanu uses them to service her ego, Datto has seen men as competition and in Manu she sees somebody who won’t come in between when she takes the long jump. She comes across as the hope for a State often criticised for the way it treats its women. Carrying forward her good form, it is a double delight from Kangana as she brilliantly delineates both the characters. She gives each of them a distinct identity which goes much deeper than the haircut and artificial dentures. It is her gutsy performance that prevents the film from getting reduced to a frivolous comedy.

The male characters are more or less one-dimensional. Perhaps it reflects the state of the society. Payal (Swara Bhaskar) goes for artificial insemination but doesn’t tell her husband fearing he won’t be able to take it. Manu represents the silent, suffering types. Raja is more layered. A contractor, who feels a man-woman bond is like putting cement between two bricks, he is not the villain of the piece. He is one of those nonchalant tough guys you come across in neighbourhood who love to throw their weight around but in need when most make excuses they stand by you in the middle of the night. Chintu reflects the variety of boys who like to be used by women despite knowing that they are being chewed like a gum which will never be ingested.

Every dialogue is dipped in the treacle of delicious North Indian dialects and the lovely nuances of the region will stay with you long after the credits roll. But their biggest victory lie in the fact that the coincidences that threaten to spoil the party and the leaps of faith that feel like heading for a dead end don’t go beyond the realm of intrinsic logic.

If Himanshu finds humour in the desperation of his characters, lyricist Rajshekhar uses songs to explain contradictions of human mind. Take the use of an English song “Old School Girl” in Haryanvi accent and “Sun Raha Hai Tu Ro Raha Hoon Main” to describe the lament of a lover while addressing his prospective father-in-law. The apt use of “Ja Ja Re Bewafa” from Aar Paar creates a haunting effect as it reflects the mental state of Tanu after being given the dose of her own medicine. “Banno Tera Swagger” is a case study on modern day Haryanvi women. Together they create a texture which ensures that eyes well up without notice and smile refuses to fade away.

cerdit : thehindu

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