Review : I have to admit that I wasn't particularly fascinated by Tanu weds Manu (first part), not least because it had weird characters and a love story which you could not root much for. But much like this month's Piku, the biggest strength of Tanu weds Manu returns lies in its writing. While the former gave us an insight into Bengali traits and emotions, the latter revels in unabashed humour with sparkling and amusing dialogues that form its backbone. It treads a familiar path in terms of story but it is the treatment which distinguishes it from your usual, predictable love story. So, while the last-minute turbulence the confused bridegroom goes through on the day of marriage is common, the bride's questioning him whether he's prepared or not for the marriage in the sixth circumambulation is something funny. There are many such instances when even a tepid scene is redeemed by sharp comic timing and brilliant acting. This sequel is, undoubtedly, umpteen times better than its prequel.
The sidekicks in the film are perfectly cast. Deepak Dobriyal as Manu's best friend, Jimmy Shergill as the man struggling to get on the wedding horse, Zeeshan Ayub as the rough, fearless advocate who'll go any distance for Tanu, and many others mine hearty laughs from the most unpredictable of situations and it is to their credit that the film races along without leaving you much time to crib about the minor hiccups and the convenient turns the plot takes, especially in the second half. Director Anand Rai has skillfully complemented the smart script by Himanshu Sharma and he seems to have mastered the art of an authentic portrayal of north India, which has become his hallmark.
There are a few portions in the second half that could have been obviated, but the witty one-liners, catchy songs and Kangana Ranaut more than anything else, make you carp less and accept the film as it stands. She's at the top of her game here and will make you feel for both her characters. She effortlessly slips into the role of a Haryanvi and dazzles with the terrific accent that may take some time getting used to. As Tanu, her awkward Hindi accent acts as a roadblock on certain occasions, but for most part she oozes sincerity in a role which comes most naturally to her. She's one of the main reasons why you should watch this film. Madhavan nicely reprises the role of a sweet, naive husband who's caught between his love for two girls with the same face, but strikingly different qualities.
I'm going with 4/5 for Tanu Weds Manu Returns. It's a nice way to spend the evening and I bet you'll return satisfied to the hilt. While it may not be a perfect film, it reinforces the fact that films are made to provide wholesome entertainment, which it delivers in dollops. Sometimes, that's not such a bad thing!!