Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

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STORY: Tanu and Manu’s marriage collapses. What happens when Manu meets Tanu’s lookalike Kusum – and when Tanu returns?

CAST: Kangana Ranuat, R. Madhavan, Jimmy Shergill, Deepak Dobriyal
DIRECTION: Aanand L. Rai
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
DURATION: 2 hours

REVIEW: Straight away,  Tanu Weds Manu Returns is a total delight that keeps you laughing, sighing, cheering – and guessing throughout. After a stormy romance, Tanu (Kangana) married Manu (Madhavan) four years ago. But in London, the sparks between them die.

Separating sourly, Tanu returns to her hometown, lighting Kanpur up with her wild-child Bohemian ways while Manu mopes in Delhi until he meets Haryanvi athlete Kusum (Kangana) – who resembles the woman he once loved. Will Manu and Kusum find romance – despite Tanu returning to Manu’s life?Tanu Weds Manu Returns boasts one of the finest double roles ever in Hindi cinema. Kangana is breathtakingly good, both as doll-like drama queen Tanu and simple, dignified, earthy Kusum, whose wide-eyed honesty, flat, sporty figure and large, dusty teeth contrast sharply with Tanu’s peachy prettiness, her dressy appeal, her petulant rosebud mouth, her vain, glittering fragility. Each role is performed with sensitivity, precision and flair, Kangana displaying the confidence of a talent Queen.

Alongside, Madhavan does a fine job as quiet, often morose, sometimes hopeful Manu – his shyly searching look at Kusum, wearing ear-rings he’s gifted her, is lovely. Deepak Dobriyal smashes it as Manu’s chatty buddy Pappi. Deepak carries off superb lines with breezy perfection, scolding his confused friend with, “Are you Salman Khan jo commitment nahin choroge?”, mumbling and grumbling through a sparkling performance.

Other roles – Kusum’s brother Omi to creepy lawyer Chintu – click like clocks while Jimmy Shergill, as Tanu’s smouldering gangster-contractor ex, is reliably intense.

The plot’s racily pacy. Packing in eccentric characters, hilarious scenes – Manu’s mother has a whole monologue, nagging – and emotions that tug at your heart while tickling you pink, crisp editing and deeply authentic visuals keep surprising. The music glows while gemstone-like scenes evoke crazy romance, crushing heartbreak – and delightful new crushes.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns with double fun – and philosophy. It’s hard to love happily.

Yet, so easy.

Aanand L. Rai merits applause for his masterful direction of Himanshu Sharma’s rich, riotous story. Evoking a new-age Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rai keeps things tight, light, yet layered – and handles two leading ladies, one of whom deserves an extra half-star.

Sorry, Tanu – but Kusum is truly something else.

Like a certain Kangana who’s returned – and how.

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