Tanu Weds Manu Returns. And when director Anand L. Rai claims that, he actually means it as well.
Picking up from where the first film left us (with Tanu and Manu’s wedding), the second part is a progression of the same story about the same characters. This time Tanu (Kangna Ranaut) has returned to India and from the looks of it her married life in London is a thing of the past.
Tanu is as she was: cheeky, impudent and unapologetically sexual. Manu (R. Madhavan) has however (as expected) gained weight and settled comfortably (like most Indian men) down to embrace mid-life crisis with a paunch and a chin that has made friends with gravity. And as far as Tanu is concerned, she won’t take ‘living with ginger’ lightly.
If only for the first time, it’s amazingly heart-warming to see that a journey hasn’t ended with wedding bells. Commercial Bollywood films always makes marriage and monogamy look like they are the means and end of every woman’s life while the man reluctantly gives the woman what she wants because, you know, he loves her so dearly.
Given such a history of Hindi cinema, it’s refreshingly brilliant to see at least a trailer that talks about what women want. And looks like women clearly don’t want to live a mediocre life without excitement.
The Tanu Weds Manu franchise is one of those rare commercial ventures which talks about female sexuality with a fresh perspective. While Tanu’s character is the exact representation of the kind of female sexuality society at large is suspicious and wary of and tries to repress with much moral preaching, it’s fascinating to observe that the director choses to not change and mould Tanu to ‘fit in’ as someone’s wife. Instead, she is more beautiful than ever, makes public appearance in a towel and is pulling on the most irresistible tricks flirting has ever seen on her ex-fiance/boyfriend – Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Shergill).
It’s not just Tanu’s effervescent character that’s going to keep you hooked to the trailer and await the film’s release with growing desperation. No. There’s more for offer. Tanu Weds Manu Returns has long been creating much furor in anticipation of Kangna Ranaut’s first double role act. And from the looks of it this woman just can’t fail.
Playing his wife’s doppelganger Kusum “Datto” Sangwan arrives to mend Manu’s broken heart (or at least he tries). She is a sports quota Delhi University student from Haryana with an altogether different ball game of female sexuality. Kusum is not sexual at all. She would rather use her hockey stick to beat up potential suitors than lure them on with her eyelashes. Yet one can’t forget the tragic nervous laughter she tries to suppress when Manu addresses her as Tanu while confessing his love to her.
Though it’s tough to predict anything further about the film as of now with just the trailer at hand, there is no doubt that many like me will eagerly wait for the film to hit the theaters. Director Anand L. Rai pleased us immensely with his nuanced story-telling, great sense of humour and quirky characters the last time; one can only hope for him to be that relevant this time as well.