Tag Archives: Kangana Ranaut

A Very Late Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

tanu weds manu returns

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.

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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 OmkaraTanu 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. 

#Threesome

#SorryIKnowThatsATerribleThought

#KarnaPadtaHai

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Queen : Makes Yashraj Look Like Kanti Shah

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Queen, please go ahead and read the review. There are no spoilers. I’m not Rajeev I’ll Screw Your Film For You Masand.

Kangana-Ranaut-in-still-from-Queen-Movie-Stills-Pic-1

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In the very first shot of Queen, we see yellow and orange garlands hanging from walls, women singing and dancing, children running around, and people in such glittery attire that they could light up the Mohali Cricket Stadium.

I groaned.

I had seen this is in every Yashraj film I had watched since I was a sperm.

 

It’s nice if you begin with no expectations at all and things start looking up from there. Of late, one aspect of Hindi films that has irked me is the whole ‘establishing the premise’ that films indulge in. I mean, we are shown trailers, and we are not anteaters, and we have decided to watch the film – why not get on with it already?

Queen thankfully avoids that, taking little time to establish. Even then, it is thankfully in flashback scenes peppered through the film, providing layer after layer to peel off.

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All through its length, the film is walking a tightrope.

The film is saddled with situations we have seen over the last few years. The Indian abroad facing a cultural clash has been done in countless films. The lack of English has been done in English Vinglish. And the Coming of Age has been done by Ranbir Kapoor in every film since he was a sperm.

And yet, Queen hops along merrily, reminding you of the kid on a rainy day, jumping over puddles on the road, while the grown-ups next to him hold their clothes and flock to the footpath.

I have never been a fan of Kangana Ranaut. Probably because nearly all the films I have seen her in, has her play a psychotic, disturbed character. In Woh Lamhe, Fashion, Raaz 3, Tanu Weds Manu, Gangster – she was always the shrieking, screaming, disturbed girl. Half way through Queen, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she looked up at the skies, slit her wrists, tore her shirt and ran through the streets of Paris.

Thankfully, nothing of the sort happens here. Her character shapes out beautifully, making you realise that there couldn’t have been a more apt name for her. Certainly no Anjali or Simran would do.

Kangana Ranaut has already received rave reviews for her performance, with Raja Sen proclaiming her to be the future. With a carefully etched out character, Kangana Ranaut (to use a Masand cliché) sinks her teeth into the role, making it her own.

When she cries, she goes all out. When she dances, there is no grace. There are enough unflattering, no-make up shots of her to ensure a few of those awards pop up at her house.

But the performer of the film for me was Rajkummar Rao. In a short span of two years, the guy has built up a sizeable amount of good work – and not a single role has a shred of the other. Something that’s credible in an industry where people debut with films like Moron Of The Year.

Playing a wannabe, aspirational guy who’s too consumed by himself to even appear caricaturish, Rajkummar Yadav is spot on every time he comes on screen. It’s yet another effective performance by the man, who’ll probably only be recognised by the industry when (like Naseeruddin Shah), he is 50 and has done an embarrassing item number called ‘Soye Soye’.

It’s rather sad.

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Queen’s greatest achievement is that manages to hold its footing on such a dangerously slippery track. That the heroine doesn’t walk into a salon in the middle of a song and come out looking like a runway model.

That you don’t feel a large tin drum on your shoulders when you walk out the film.