Film: “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”; Cast: Kangana Ranaut, R. Madhavan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Deepak Dobriyal, Eijaz Khan, Swara Bhaskar, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyb, Rajendra Gupta, Navni Parihar, K.K. Raina and Dipti Mishra; Director: Anand L. Rai; Rating: ***
Very rarely do sequels create an impact as the original, but in the case of “Tanu Weds Manu Returns”, the intensity is as forceful or more than the original. Once again packed with sharp and witty dialogues, fine performances and a feel-good factor, “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” excels as a scaled-up family entertainer.
This sequel takes off from where it left in the previous edition in 2011 and returns with the lead pair after four years of jaded bliss. Their marriage is now on the rocks. Tanuja Trivedi aka Tanu is as moody as she was and he, Manoj Sharma aka Manu is at the end of his tether.
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Still in London, their divorce is inevitable after Tanu manages to ensure that Manu is kept back in St. Benedict Mental Hospital in Twickenham in Britain. She returns to Kanpur to her family. Manu too returns forlorn to India where he lands up meeting Kusum Sangwan, who is Tanu’s lookalike. Seemingly in love with Kusum, he decides to remarry.
Jimmy Sheirgill as Raja Awasthi has a few scenes where he makes his presence felt as the unlucky man-in-love. Swara Bhaskar as Payal along with Eijaz Khan as Jassi, make a fine pair and are fairly noticeable.
Director Anand L.Rai’s plot is punctuated with moments of family tension and spiced with great rustic colloquial one-liners that sparkle. The dialogues keep you in splits.
His screenplay is frothy and he takes a lazy approach in certain scenes. Though scene after scene you roll with laughter, they falter at times with forced humour. This is evident in the seminar scene, where Manu is invited to give a medical speech.
The graph of the narration too, is inconsistent. The first half though flighty, is engaging. The second half digresses with lengthy unwarranted scenes; especially the scene which has Geeta Dutt’s song “Ja, ja, ja bewafa” as the background score and Tanu wandering aimlessly on the streets.
The rest of the songs merge well into the narration. The English jazz number, “So What if I am an old school girl” takes you by surprise. It stands out as an odd piece, but one that settles well into the overlay. It is well-picturised too. The background score is loud and excessive, but suits the overall design of the film.
Conceived as a realistic film, the production quality is apt and cinematographer Chirantan Das’s frames are atmospheric. They capture the small town ambience perfectly.