Friday, February 25, 2011

Tanu Weds Manu 

Runaway Bride

Unfortunately for Anand L Rai’s Tanu Weds Manu, it comes soon after Band Baaja Baaraat, which, you hoped would close the book on shaadi films, at least for a while.

A large chunk of this one is set amidst a wedding, and it is a bit much to take all the constant naach-gaana, and riot of colour.  The point of focus is the addle-headed Tanu (Kangna Ranaut), who thinks drinking, smoking, swearing and eloping with a hooligan (Jimmy Shergill) is a sign of rebellion.

As a result, she harasses her nice middle-class parents no end, and mistreats her gentle NRI suitor Manu (R. Madhavan). When he first goes to see her, she falls down drunk.  He still flips for her and even when she kicks him out, keeps going back for more punishment.

They meet after the first fiasco at a wedding in Punjab, where his buddy (Eijaz Khan) and her friend (Swara Bhaskar) are getting married.  She scandalizes everyone with her behaviour, but after a point Tanu’s callousness just gets tiresome. And Manu is more a moron than a gentleman as his sidekick Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) keeps pointing out.

The film still has enough fuel to keep going and that is mainly because of the authentic North Indian milieu Rai has brought to life—small town India with all its ugliness, noise and warmth, where everybody minds everybody else’s business. The dialogue is well written and rings true.

The lead pair and the way their characters are conceived, is totally devoid of charm, but the supporting actors more than make up for it—Deepak Dobriyal is wonderful, and Swara Bhaskar brings to her part the likeable gravity it needs. Jimmy Shergill in a small role, is appealing—particularly in the last scene.

Since nobody would have great expectations from this film, Tanu Weds Manu does not disappoint… it fact, it does offer small doses of delight.  


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