THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS. IT IS TO BE READ ONLY IF YOU HAVE WATCHED THE MOVIE. IT IS NOT EXACTLY A REVIEW. IT CONTAINS THOUGHTS ABOUT HOW I LIKED THE MOVIE. IT IS LONG AND CONTAINS QUITE SOME IMAGES.
Few facts we learnt from Tanu Weds Manu Returns –
1. Southhall mein logon ke ghar ke baahar kacchhe sookhte hain.
2. Tharki logon ki pasandeeda kitaab hain “LOLITA”
3. “TILANDI” means “VANISHED”
4. Tanu saves her husband Manu’s number in her phone under the contact name “HUSBAND”
5. Delhi ka aadha pollution aashiqon ki wajah se hain.
6. “JHAND” means “DESTROYED”
7. “PEEPNI” means … “Bachpan mein buddha hota than a neeli aankhon waala, jisse pichkaao toh aawaaz aati thi PEE PEE”
8. Pappi ki colony ki do nikkar wali ladkiyon ne use propose kiya tha.
9. Masoor ki dal mein ajinomoto nahin padta.
10. Tanu and Manu last had sex in 2013, bhaiyya dooj ke din.
11. Jab kahin jaana hi nahin, toh bus ke dhakke khaane se kya faayda?
12. Precaution is better than cure.
These are just few things related to the movie which are lingering in my mind even after two weeks of its release and having watched it four times.
The first movie which released in 2011 was a lovely one. A personal favorite, it came as a whiff of fresh air amongst other mediocre bollywood stuff. The simplicity, the indian-ness, the dialect, Kanpur, Kapurthala, Kangana and Madhavan’s unusual yet crackling chemistry, a superb soundtrack, brilliant supporting cast – there were many things which made it kind of a cult movie.
TWMR begins exactly where TWM ended in 2011. As “Sun Saahiba Sun” from “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” plays in the background, we see the duo getting married. The detailing is perfect. It took “Band Baaja Baarat” 3 hours to show us an Indian wedding. But Aanand Rai does all that it just two minutes. That mirror wala pose with photos of Manu hovering around Tanu, the food menu, the brilliant dancing skills showcased by Pappi, Jassi and Manu’s father.
Speaking of Manu’s father, there is this scene where he gazes down at Tanu’s mother. And then the one where he puts a gulab jamun in her mouth. And then he tries to dance with her while his own wife tries to intervene - That was genius stuff Mr Rai! That was an aspect never shown before in bollywood – the soft corner for the samdhan.
But happy endings are a myth, as we know. Four years later, we are subjected to a couple who growl at each other. They shout, bicker, taunt, ridicule and finally end up creating a mess – not a surprising thing considering the kind of unusual pair they make.
I will not narrate the entire plot. Instead I will just go on rambling about random scenes I am reminded of.
Kanpur introduces us to two new characters. The first one is Deepak, a cycle rickshaw wala. Aakash Dahiya shines in his guest appearance. Considering the type of personality Tanu is shown to have in the first movie (Har hafte naya boyfriend), it is not surprising that a past affair is unearthed. It was an affair between Tanu and Deepak in the past, jo waqt aur umar ki wajah se barbaad ho gaya. We laugh in astonishment as she hugs him. But the best reaction was that of Tanu’s father – “RICKSHAW WALA DOST HOTA HAI?”
Remember that Govinda movie “Jis desh mein ganga rehta hain”? it had few lovely comic scenes, but one which stood out was that between shakti Kapoor and his associate Birbal. Yaad aaya? The one who kept on repeating everything shakti Kapoor said? TWMR also has one such hilarious character. He translates “club” into “Gymkhana”, “IT firm” into “computer ki dukaan”, and “I…I…” into “Main… main…”.
There is one more new character we are introduced to. After enthralling us in Raanjhanaa, Aanand Rai once again ropes in Mohd. Zeeshan Ayub as Arun Kumar singh aka Chintu aka razor – baarik laundaa aka KANDHA.
He is simply superb. Be it his opening shayari, or his chemistry with Tanu, or his attitude against Awasthi, or his rudeness with Tanu’s parents or his outburst in the end of the film – he makes you laugh. That scene when he urges Awasthi to get off the bike and kill him – showcases what kind of intense acting he is capable of. He comes in a short role but shines like a gold medal.
Things take a turn when Kusum aka Datto makes an arrival. As the pixie hair cut athlete who has bugs bunny like teeth, Kangana is superb. You can’t believe she is the same person playing Tanu. As expected, our Manu ji instantly falls for her. At first sight, Datto is a typical hariyanvi girl who likes to stress on the fact that she studies in Delhi University. But gradually as the chemistry blossoms between her and Manu, we get a glimpse of her character. A simple girl from Jhajjar district of Haryana, she invites Manu to have food from her dabba, goes boating with them to celebrate their good result, sings a song in an American accent, and finally falls for the “SECOND HAND” Manu.
Aanand Rai has this special affinity for ear rings, I guess. Both the movies feature them. While the first one featured a very cute and genuinely romantic scene where Manu and Tanu buy earrings, here Manu gifts Datto earrings which she lovingly wears, loses one of them, and ultimately Returns them. However, the entire sequence evokes such genuineness that it touches your heart. This is a director’s achievement – to use a small prop to maximal effect.
The entire sequence prior to the interval when Manu realizes his feelings for Datto and goes to her house, is beautifully done. It is Pappi who while his “Ghuttne ghadi ban gaye hai; tik tik kar rahe hai” suddenly realizes what is going on in Manu’s mind. He reprimands him about this
Dhaatu ka girna,
He warns Manu that “Don’t go to the dark path”. What a super hilarious scene that was!
But finally the two of them reach Datto’s house where thay are greeted by Datto’s brother Om Prakash Sangwan. It is a highly funny scene which takes place in the living room – Pappi sitting with arms folded, his attention towards the samosas lying in front of him; Omi bhaisaab with that “peee” noise making toy in his hand, Manu looking expectantly at him, Omi bhaisaab’s wife glancing from the kitchen and Datto silently watching all of them from her room. In a heart wrenching scene, Manu confesses his feelings for Kusum. It is a scene which feels so real. Maybe that is the genius of Madhavan. With no over the top promises, he tells her he has been through all of this once, and he wishes to repeat those mistakes again with her. It is a scene which evokes honesty and sincerity. One look at Manu and you know he has genuinely fallen for Kusum.
Here again, director saab intervenes with a “Haath rakhke boliye, tabhi maanenge” scene. Once again, he so subtly brings back a déjà – vu feeling with a flashback scene from the first movie. Beautifully done. I could see the audience around me looking at each other and marveling.
The interval is placed so perfectly. As pappi peeks from outside the “Khula darwaaza” with a samosa in his hand, Omi bhaisaab reminds him that “DIKKAT TOH SE..”
And so Pappi enters the room and shouts “Bandh karo yeh hawas ka nanga naach” and brings down the curtain with Awasthi’s photograph.
Post interval the regular characters of the first movie which enchanted us, make an entry. Jassi and Payal are as lovable as they were earlier. The entire sequence featuring the gujju – punju wedding is a lovely one. There occur a series of goofups – Tanu gets stuck with a cribbing Payal, Manu reunites with Jassi who asks her, “Ek hi colour ki do Mercedes kyun li?” but the one who steals the show in the entire sequence is Pappi. He is fabulous. Be it the scene where he stresses to Manu the fact that “Now it is too late. You already MISBEHAVED the deadline” and “Bhaisaab, jab who Datto hai toh sab use Datto samjhenge” or the dandiya scene where he accuses Komal of misguiding him by sending him “4 km lamba LOL LOL” at 3 am in the night.
Datto’s home place Jhajjar is the place where the last 45 minutes of the film are shown – the portion which make the movie superlative.
Jhajjar is a place where small children with lollipops in their mouth are ready to ignite live people; where the to be bride is seen in plain clothes on the terrace just hours before her wedding, and not in some parlour. There is this entire sequence depicting honour killings which has just the right doses of preachiness that never goes overboard. Omi bhaisaab intervenes at the right time to prevent the caste rigid villagers from inflaming Manu and Pappi. He gives the villagers a dose – insulting them, all the time making us laugh with his lovely one liners. The scene stealer however is Datto who fights valiantly for Manu. Once again Mr Rai brings in a reference from the first movie. There is this dialogue which Datto says – “Main apne baap se bhi na daroon”. If you recollect, there was this same dialogue in the climax of the first movie where Tanu proclaims to Manu, “Aap they iss liye chup baithi hoon, varna darti toh main kisi ke baap se bhi nahin.”
The similarities don’t end here – in the first movie, Manu arranges everything in Tanu’s wedding. He even watches silently from the terrace as the ring ceremony goes on and Awasthi and Tanu slip rings into each others’ fingers.
In TWMR, it is exactly the reverse. Tanu requests Datto to allow her to arrange everything in their wedding. Likewise, this time it is Tanu’s turn to be on the terrace while Manu and Datto’s ring ceremony occurs. Everytime such similarities popped up, I silently applauded for Aanand Rai.
There is one thing which has always stood out in Rai’s movies – the use of TERRACES. He uses them like no other director has ever used them in the past. Tanu Weds Manu feaured so many of the scenes on terraces – the scene where Manu and Awasthi first talk, the Mohd Rafi wala scene featuring Manu and Pappi, and many more. It was something that had touched me. And in TWMR, he again continues filming scenes on the terrace.
He also seems to have an affinity towards the festival of holi. In Raanjhanaa, he depicted a colorful and lovely holi. Here, he keeps it less intense, but whatever amount he shows, it is very well done. That scene where Datto gleefully dabs gulaal into Manu’s T-shirt is highly cute.
There is this one sequence towards the end which alone deserves all the awards this year – that is the “Ja ja ja ja bewafaa” sequence. Trust Aanand Rai to utilize old songs so beautifully. If TWM had “Kajra mohabbat wala”, this one has “Sun Saahiba Sun” and then Geeta Dutt’s immortal “Ja ja ja ja bewafaa”. What picturisation! What ideas! The way Rai captures the night and the various scenes is wonderful. The ideas he uses are brilliant. There is a sleeping fortune teller whom Tanu wakes up. True to his profession and seeing the plight of Tanu, he instantly takes her palm into his hand and examines it. The expression on his face as he turns back to give Tanu something and sees her gone is beyond description.
Similarly, there is this hairdresser’s shop which Tanu knocks on. The little girl smiles, but her smile drops when she sees a dejected Tanu. To think of a fortune teller and a hairdresser late in the night is something superb. I seriously think this is the best directed sequence by any director in the last few years.
The music is the life of the movie. There are only few songs in the first hlf of the movie. It is the last 40 minutes which pack in close to 5 songs and yet you never feel any of them forced. It begins with “Banno Tera Swagger” which is filmed very nicely. It is a delight to see Datto dance. Then comes “Ja ja bewafaa”, then “Mat ja re”, then “Ghani Baawri”. At multiple places, we hear the instrumental version of the best song of the movie “O saathi mere”. WHY O WHY MR RAI? WHY DID YOU NOT INCLUDE THIS GEM OF A SONG? There definitely was scope for including atleast one antara.
READ MY MUSIC REVIEW HERE
DIRECTION & WRITING
Jitna bhi kaho, kam hai. This is Aanand Rai’s best work till date, and by a big margin. It is his unique style of direction which makes you fall in love with every frame he shoots. Be it his lovely portrayal of Uttar Pradesh and the rest of north india, or his affinity to certain props / places (Terraces, dialects, accents), or his style of finishing on a very conventional note, his direction is first rate. There wasn’t a single dull moment in the entire duration of 128 minutes, and that is an achievement.
When it comes to writing, please welcome the new star Himanshu Sharma. For those who don’t know, Himanshu also wrote TWM. Here however, he packs in dallops of humor, more of emotion and very well etched characters.
The team of Aanand Rai and himanshu (The captains of this joyful ship) deserve a huge applause for making such a brilliant film.
Every single character’s performance is top notch. Be it Komal (Guneet Kaur)in a small role, or that groom who worked in an IT firm, everyone shines in his/her respective role.
As Tanu’s father and mother, Rajendra Gupta and Navni Parihar are perfect. Rajendra Gupta is excellent in some scenes.
As Manu’s mother, Dipti Misra’s voice is heard more than the time she appears on screen. She is cast very well. K.K raina as Manu’s father is awesome. With that small choti, he is just as he was in TWM – caring for Manu but never interfering beyond a point. I still recall him saying in TWM – “Bhai hum toh apni zindagi maze se jee rahe hain.”
The scene where he thrashes the tubelight is too good.
Rajesh Sharma as Omi bhaisaab is again perfect. He combines humor, aggression and wins you over. That dance pose during “Banno” with a toothbrush in one hand is awesome.
Mohd Zeeshan Ayub, as I said earlier is top rate.
Jimmy Shergill is wonderful. He shows much more restraint than his character in TWM, making it a good role rather than a negative role. He too gets some of the funniest lines – “Eent se eent judne ke liye cement chahiye bas. Phir chaahe who JK cement ho ya Ambuja cement.”
He looks quite fit and handsome in that moustache. As Tanu says, “Mooche badi jach rahi hai awasthi ji..”
Swara Bhaskar is brilliant. I have always had a crush on her. Here, my crush only gets stronger. Eijaz Khan is also wonderful. As the Punjabi in a kediyu, he is apt and plays his part beautifully. As a couple with their own subplot, they are superb.
As Pappi, Deepak Dobriyal is sure to sweep away ALL the awards this year. He is in one word – MINDBLOWING. His comic timing is impeccable. Be it the scene where he is forced to deliver a lecture (GOOD QUESTION… YOU ARE A GOOD QUESTION) or when he gets up from the stretcher and starts running, or when he confronts Jassi and imitates a limping man, he shines in every single scene he appears. He is the life of this movie. Undoubtedly, this is the finest comic performance I have seen in a film since the time Priyadarshan stopped making good movies.
Madhavan does what he is best at. He plays himself. And I love when he plays such roles. Call it a coincidence or call it my love for him, there is a list of films which I can watch endlessly. And 3-4 films out of that list feature Madhavan. (RHTDM, Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, Tanu Weds Manu). He knows that this is a film for Kangana to shine. Yet he devours his part. He plays this slightly coward, yet faithful husband with elan. There is this sincerity and genuineness in his eyes which instantly win you over. No one but Maddy can do this role. That is a fact.
And finally we have the STAR of the film. They call SRK the king of bollywood. it is high time they crown Kangana as the QUEEN of bollywood. and as if one queen was not enough, here we have TWO QUEENS.
As the whimsical Tanu, kangana is first class. Her transformation from the full-of-attitude Tanu to the dejected one is beautiful. She never goes overboard. She still continues all the madness she did in TWM. At the core, she hasn’t changed. I mean, there isn’t a sudden transformation in her, as we see in certain hindi movies. Even when the movie ends, she is shown as she was, with slight changes for the good. The scene where she declares "Abhi toh humein aur zaleel hona hai" is lovely.
But it is Datto aka Kusum who takes the entire movie on her shoulders and carries it till the end. She is OUTSTANDING. Her dialect, look, body language (Watch how she walks when she is packing her tiffin at her home), her pride of being in Delhi University, the way she thrashes her brother in Jhajjar, the way she thrashes Tanu and shows her what she actually is, the way she blushes when she falls in love, the way she shows her KARATA skills with that neck chop – she delivers an award winning performance and SINKS her teeth into the role.
The icing on the cake is the finale where she walks down the mandap and breaks down sobbing and crying – that was ultimate.
Till the last minute, I wasn’t sure whether Manu will proceed to marry Datto or return to Tanu. And I was fine with either. Both seemed equally good options. THAT is a victory for Kangana, Aanand Rai and Himanshu Sharma.
In short, Kangana deserves the National award, the Filmfare, The IIFA, Stardust, Screen, Zee Cine Award, and all the others I am forgetting to mention. I suggest not to have even nominations for this category, because I am sure that no one will get even remotely close to delivering such a performance till this year ends. Period.
After long, I watched a movie which I can happily watch ten times more without even remotely getting bored. I feel a part of the entire family. THAT IS TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS FOR ME.
Thank you to the entire team for this movie. Thank you for ever introducing us to the world of Tanu and Manu.