In business terms, its pretty safe to make a hit film’s sequel with the same star-cast and an already established theme approved by the majority of audience. But then writing an almost perfect sequel taking the story forward, introducing many new twists and turns surpassing the original is nothing less than a herculean triumph achieved by a talented team. Thankfully TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS can easily be included in the category of those rare sequels that do not let their originals down in any sense. And for many the film might turn out to be one step ahead than its initial part too due to their own loved sequences and characters.
To give you an honest opinion, the film is not a flawless venture as per its unconventional or unrealistic storyline dealing with divorce and re-marriage (discussed later). But giving the makers their much deserving credit, it never lets you think about the missing logic or flaws due to a highly entertaining progression right from the word go. And thus emerges as a thoroughly enjoyable family entertainer for all age groups especially from the related regions of Kanpur, Haryana and Punjab.
Beginning with the complete song “Sun Sahiba Sun” from Raj Kapoor’s RAM TERI GANGA MAILI (1985) being played along the typical marriage video coverage visuals on the screen, it sets the mood brilliantly and then keeps serving many highly enjoyable sequences till the next one hour with a well-paced story advancement introducing the fresh settings. There are witty one liners, realistic portrayals of smaller towns, superb performances and full ‘paisa-vasool’ entertainment in this electrifying opening hour, till an English song comes in putting the first brakes in the momentum going so strong. In short, TWMR proves to be a sure shot winner in its first half and for this the major credit goes to its talented director Anand L Rai and his writer Himanshu Sharma conceiving it so beautifully with the help of their exceptional cast ensemble.
Post intermission the pleasant surprises continue to come for the next 30 minutes but then admittedly the pace drops mainly due to a few unwanted songs and further plot complexities weakening the overall progression. The Chandigarh sequences (the kidnap) do not turn out to be that convincing as expected, plus the climax doesn’t deliver any surprises walking on the same set pattern earlier seen in numerous hit Hindi films based on love triangles. Yet what keeps you purely undisturbed and engrossed is the film’s charming treatment, entertaining (hilarious) dialogues and simply outstanding performances from every single person giving you a good time in the theater without any heavy melodrama or emotional sequences (that was in fact the key feature of its original). The golden oldie “Ja Ja Ja Ja Bewafa” from AAR PAAR (1954) gets incorporated beautifully towards the end and also for the first time one gets to see so many Sikh characters dressed in typical Gharba attire holding dandia sticks.
Cinematography and background score successfully maintain the required mood throughout and costumes certainly attract your attention depicting the diverse cultures (especially the Haryanvi ones). Musically the songs look pretty fine while watching the film, but the soundtrack surely misses that one big upbeat number as enjoyed in its first part. Still “Banno” inspired from a folk traditional track works well and so does “Main Ghani Bawari Ho Gayi” sung by Jyoti Nooran along with the innovative “Move On” and “Old School Girl”.
Coming to the biggest merit of the film, its performances, no doubt this is another ‘eye opener’ performance from the powerhouse called Kangna Ranuat, who keeps on delivering pleasant surprises one after another (including the dud REVOLVER RANI). The girl once again comes up with an act (rather double act) that is sure going to give many more sleepless nights to all big female stars of our Hindi cinema unarguably. Particularly her well adapted dialogue delivery and local accent playing Datto (the Haryanvi athlete) deserves to be included in her career best performances till date after QUEEN. Kangna truly leads the film with her hypnotic twin acts played to perfection and one simply cannot imagine any other girl playing these two contrastingly difficult roles in the same film so impactfully.
However another undeniable truth remains that TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS would not have been the same without Deepal Dobriyal posing as the backbone of almost all enjoyable sequences with his quick (superbly written) one liners and amusing comments. For instance just watch out the scene where in Madhavan’s father breaks the tubelight and he is just sitting between the father-son (and mother too constantly speaking in the backdrop), or the sequence where he at once poses as a crippled person in front of his long-time Sikh friend in the marriage pandal.
Along with Kangna and Deepak the third strong pillar of TWMR is Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub giving a terrific performance as the unwanted tenant of the house. And then are the adorably cool and underplayed acts of R. Madhavan and Jimmy Sheirgill as the two leading stars of the film looking for their respective girls. Swara Bhaskar in her small role of Tanu’s best friend plays her part well and the same can be said about the entire supporting cast adding their own impressive bits in the enjoyable proceedings.
Talking about the illogical flaws (many friends would not be interested in), the film actually begins on a quite weird note where the couple is strangely discussing their divorce case in front of a team of people/doctors of a mental asylum or a psychiatric hospital (Now what they have to do with the divorce cases?). Further a person (Madhavan) is taken in as a sick case and then taken out as a normal man from the mental asylum so easily, as if it was a hotel where Madhavan had simply checked in for just a few days.
Secondly, the whole script unrealistically revolves around the second marriage of the hero and he is even shown going for the ‘Saat Pheras’ in the climax, whereas he has not even taken an official divorce from his earlier wife making it all illegal, against the marriage act.
Thirdly, there is a huge mess in age difference in the characters where at one end both Madhavan and Jimmy Sheirgill are probably 30-35 in age (as per the storyline) and Datto, the girl they are willing to marry studies in a college, putting her in the age group of 18-20, resulting in a big age difference of about 12-15 years between the couple.
Fourthly, the song “Main Ghani Bawari Ho Gayi” is surprisingly sung by the foreign returned Tanu in the film whereas the Haryanvi language is supposed to be the forte of Datto who is getting married at that specific time of the film. So we have strange role reversals in terms of language in this particular song.
Lastly and most importantly at one end Datto’s uncle (Rajesh Sharma) gives us the message of women liberation in the film, talking about their higher education, freedom and equal status in the society. But on the other is eagerly willing to marry his ‘young athlete’ niece of mere 18-20 years to an over-aged (30-35 years old), yet to be divorced person just after a few days of interaction so childishly (following the same old sick mindset of our society).
Anyhow as I mentioned above, the flaws are certainly there but they also need to be ignored for a change to enjoy the big positive features of the film offering you a great time in the theater. I personally enjoyed it a lot watching in a single screen premises where the viewers love to participate whole heartedly with their comments, seetis, taalis and laughs. Plus just one line from the film made me love the project even better, when Jimmy annoyingly says about Madhavan,
“Yaar Kamaal Ke Aadmi Hain, Original Bhi Inhi Ko Chahiye aur Duplicate Bhi Yahi Rakhenge”
In fact that was the key line of the film giving you the exact gist of its basic, well written idea of a double role.
In all if you loved watching TANU WEDS MANU, then chances are that you would love TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS even more. But in case you find the emotional factor missing in this worth watching sequel, then also it will not disappoint you at all with enough in store fulfilling the basic needs of a viewer, of getting thoroughly entertained. So do opt for it at the earliest and have a great time.
Rating : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (Including an additional 0.5 for the beautiful insertion of two golden songs of the past “Sun Sahiba Sun” and “Ja Ja Ja Ja Bewafa” in the film)