Tanu Weds Manu review: The right dose of humour, drama & romance

Tanu Weds Manu review: The right dose of humour, drama & romance

Source: Sify

By: Taran Adarsh

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Thursday 24 February 2011

Movie Title

Tanu Weds Manu


Anand L Rai

Star Cast

R Madhavan, Kangna Ranaut, Jimmy Sheirgill, Ravi Kissen, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajendra Gupta

I have often observed that people living overseas adhere more to Indian values, customs, festivities and rituals, than many living in India.

And for some strange reason, Hindi cinema has often projected an NRI as a cool and hep dude, pretending to speak Hindi with an English accent. But that, in my opinion, is merely a fa?ade. It's far from real.

Sure, there could be exceptions, but every NRI who arrives in India isn't wearing an Armani or Versace. Neither is he a die-hard romantic like Raj or Rahul.

Yet, the East-West love story remains a pet theme. Films like Purab Aur Paschim, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Namastey London have explored this topic most convincingly. And of late, films carrying the scent of the soil are being attempted by our storytellers. Tanu Weds Manu, too, highlights this facet.

Special: Tanu Weds Manu | Images: Preview - Tanu Weds Manu

The NRI in Tanu Weds Manu is docile, unassuming and soft-spoken, has no accent or attitude, believes in arranged marriages, relishes the evergreen songs of Mohammed Rafi - is old-fashioned literally.

The girl is the opposite. She's belligerent and dominating, smokes, drinks and uses expletives, has had many 'affairs', has her new boyfriend's name tattooed on her chest, is a straight-forward and fearless. This is their story!

Like his directorial debut Strangers, director Anand L Rai opts for unconventional and unpredictable situations in Tanu Weds Manu.

Of course, the fact that Tanu and Manu will tie the knot sooner or later is at the back of your mind, but you want to experience their journey - their voyage from strangers to lovers.

Tanu Weds Manu has some great moments, some standard ones, and some tedious ones as well, when you feel that the story is being stretched for no particular reason.

The drama tends to get heavy after a point and that takes a toll on the film. In fact, the writing gets shaky in the middle of the second hour, although the finale is well thought out and implemented. You may call it clich?d or formulaic, but it works big time.

Meet Manu [R Madhavan], a seedha saadha doctor from London. Intelligent, temperate and from a respectable family, he is the perfect groom every parent wants for their daughter.

When he arrives in India, he realises that India has changed and so have the people. The Indian women in particular are more attracted towards the western lifestyle.

Family pressure leads him to Kanpur to meet Tanu [Kangna Ranaut], the quintessential small-town girl who has studied in Delhi.

Tanu is a smart, intelligent girl who will do everything that her parents disapprove. With a mind of her own and a love for rebellion, Tanu is dead against an arranged marriage.

But destiny has something totally different planned for these diametrically diverse personalities.

Although not similar to Jab We Met, Tanu Weds Manu conjures up memories of the Imtiaz Ali-directed film. The Punjabi setting and the rebellious girl are two prominent similarities that one recollects instantly.

Besides, in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Pardes, Jab We Met as well as Tanu Weds Manu, the girl is in love with someone else and the protagonist helps them take the relationship forward.

But director Rai ensures that Tanu Weds Manu retains its individuality and doesn't come across as a clone of those immensely likable films. In fact, his handling of several light moments as well as dramatic ones is exemplary.

The soundtrack takes you by surprise. It is earthy and charming. Sadi Gali and Jugni are two tracks that act as pillars and would help attract moviegoers to cineplexes.

Special: Tanu Weds Manu | Images: Preview - Tanu Weds Manu

Also, the popular track of yesteryears, Kajra Mohabbat Wala, is well integrated in the narrative.

Chirantan Das' cinematography captures the lush locales of North India well.

Even though Madhavan enacts the role of an NRI, he doesn't come across as a stereotypical phoren returned desi. He is real, restrained, yet forceful.

To essay a character in such an understated manner is a challenge for any actor and he does it with complete understanding of the character.

Unlike her past films, Kangna plays a part that has a zest for life, and is bold and fun-loving at the same time. She's audacious, but lovable. Nonetheless, she needs to work on her diction.

Jimmy Sheirgill springs a pleasant surprise. Known for portraying soft roles, this one comes as a complete shocker. Though his role isn't well etched out, he leaves a solid impression in the latter reels.

Ravi Kissen is wasted. What is he doing in this film? Deepak Dobriyal is superb yet again. This dynamic actor is under-utilised in our films.

Rajendra Gupta, K K Raina, Navni Parihaar and Deepti Mishra are effective. Eijaz Khan and Swara Bhaskar are wonderful.

On the whole, Tanu Weds Manu is a feel-good, light-hearted entertainer with the right dose of humour, drama and romance, besides a popular musical score and some smart dialogue that act as toppings.

If you like simple, uncomplicated films that tug at your heartstrings, then chances are that you might just like this sweet little rom-com.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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