By Pallavi Ghosh:
‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ is one rare movie that reverses the traditional order of movies and their sequels. Usually the sequels tend to weaken the plot; are filled with painful exaggerations; or in a noble attempt to replicate the glory of a previous success, end up as complete disasters. Think of Race 2 for example. If Race was within the tolerable levels for the audience, with its tragic use or rather overuse of a classic literary tool- peripeteia or complete change of fate or reversal of circumstances – Race 2 was like some nuclear disaster with a forced and unconvincing revenge plot!
But here comes a movie that is nothing short of a sure treat with a balanced use of repetition, cliché and fresh concept. It is in short, a story for the world to watch and listen. The freshness in the concept comes from a break from the happily ever after image that one would have taken back from ‘Tanu Weds Manu’. It discusses the problems of compatibility in marriage and also has a prolonged theme of moving on for both Tanuja (Kangana Ranaut) – who returns to her life in Kanpur- and Manoj (Madhavan) – who falls for another woman in Delhi.
Comedy is brought to life as history repeats itself with them, in a comic way. But it is the zero-sugar-coated-day-to-day humour that makes the movie special. Dialogues linger in one’s mind even after the movie has ended. Some of them actually sent the entire theatre where I was watching the movie, into peals of laughter. One such laugh-out-loud moment comes when Manoj’s friend Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) comes to release him from the mental asylum in London, and sees two inmates playing chess and quips, “Dekho bhaiya do paagal chess khel rahe hai.” Dobriyal, in particular, is at his comic best in the movie, who keeps our face muscles engaged in heavy-duty exercise through his dialogues and comments. In another instance, when in Delhi, Manoj and Pappi end up stalking Pratibha because of her resemblance with Tanuja. So while Manoj is observing Pratibha in the field, Dobriyal cracks you up as he offers this unique observation, “Tharki logon ki sabse pasandeeda kitaab hai Lolita.”
Acting is at its best with Kangana leading the cast with a stunning double-role. Both the characters played by her have a strong personality; so much so that they lend the actress centrality in the film. Jimmy Shergil as Raja Awasthi, who is all set to marry Pratibha this time, and R. Madhavan as Manoj, also play their characters well.
The only match to Tanuja’s strong and bold character is Pratibha (Kangana herself), who also happens to open the road to reflection and retrospection for the former in the movie, bringing about a major transition in her (Tanuja’s) character. Her acting comes across as natural; and what is indeed commendable is that despite them being played by the same actress, both characters retain a unique individual quality within the movie. Kangana’s smooth juggle between a Haryanavi college athlete and a witty woman-of-the-world from Kanpur, is indeed commendable. While the Haryanvi accent is spot on, the Urdu tinge in Hindi that spreads across UP is also performed well. The only way to sum up the swagger performance by Kangana is perhaps by using the movie’s own song- “Banno Tera Swagger Laage Sexy…”