Not to sound picky, but there’s something about grammatically wrong movie titles that gets my goat.
Like a Sohail Khan movie released a decade ago named ‘I Proud To Be Indian’. I understand that the story, the production, the budget – is yours. But how much does it cost to add an ‘am’ in the middle. Or may be a comma?
The makers of this film could have named it ‘Tanu Weds Manu Again’, or ‘Tanu Weds Manu After Returning’. ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ makes no sense.
Right. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here’s what I thought about the movie.
There are a few things Anand L. Rai gets bang-on in his films.
Casting, for one. If one were to forget his first two forgettable films, director Anand L. Rai has a knack for casting people who fit the role, even though it might not seem right in the beginning.
Another thing he gets right, is the sharp dialogues. His films are laced with interesting lines, mouthed by interesting characters. Tanu Weds Manu is no exception.
After reading the universally rave reviews, I got to watch the film very late in the day. And I’m sorry to say, I wasn’t blown away by it or anything.
I know the usual argument. That it is better than your average Bollywood fare. But somehow, over the years of watching, analysing, and writing about cinema, that lame description doesn’t cut it for me any more.
Tanu Weds Manu does the classic Bollywood trick of raising your expectations and slamming it down on your head with a gigantic Thud! at the end. I had problems with Manu’s choices in the film, but I’ll get to that later.
Deepak Dobriyal is a fine, fine actor. But I’m tired of seeing him as the hero’s sidekick. He has done it in Omkara, Tanu Weds Manu, and this one again. But if you’ve watched him in Teen They Bhai, or Shaurya, you’ll know he’s capable of much, much more.
Kangana Ranaut is undoubtedly the hero of the film. She reminds you of the time when Sridevi would make films with less famous actors and carry the film on her shoulders.
Having perfected the crazy-girl-with-big-heart role, Kangana nails the fiesty, if slightly cranky Tanu. As someone who has found her immensely watchable from her very first film, I am scared if it will get tiring after a point.
Which brings us to the second Kangana in the film – Kusum.
Tanu was probably an exaggerated stereotype on purpose. Because when Kusum comes on screen, she steals your heart. Ranaut puts so much into the role, that you forget it’s the same person at one point. Kusum is vulnerable, attractive, strong, and steals your breath away.
And when Manu (Madhavan playing the nice guy, a role he’s been playing since he was a sperm) has to choose between the two, is when my problems with the film really begin. Why would he choose the crazy, psycho, alcoholic Tanu when he has gone through the pains of getting married to another lovely girl?
I’m not trying to be Mohan Bhagwat here, but let’s do a comparison.
Tanu is moody, clearly dim-witted, critical and caustic, and uses men in her life because they are attracted to her.
She also walks about the streets at night after getting drunk, and eats chow mein, which a Sanskari Indian girl shouldn’t do.
Kusum on the other hand, is independent, caring and mature. She doesn’t shy away from fighting for her love, and most importantly – is superfantastico, smoldering hot. She’s so hot, she makes Tanu seem like a loud, insecure starlet in comparison. Then why would Manu choose Tanu over her?
I failed to put my head around this.
Ah! Because, love.
Love is supposed to be blind, and biased, and doesn’t need to follow logic or reasoning. I’m hardly an authority on love. Like Mahishasura, most of my decisions are driven by lust.
Love might be blind, and deaf, and HIV positive, but all that love bullshit is what ruins Tanu Weds Manu Returns as a finished product. If Manu chose Komal, I’d have been impressed. But with its present ending, the film is just about Meh!
I am waiting for the director to release a third part – Tanu Weds Manu and Returns with Komal.