Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Tanu Weds Manu: Doesn’t soar, but will make you smile
Director Anand Rai’s “Tanu Weds Manu” is a romantic comedy about a meek doctor who falls in love with a feisty, rebellious Kanpur girl, as a result of which he finds himself in the middle of what can only be described as a sticky situation, and staring down the barrel of a gun.
R. Madhavan plays Manoj Sharma aka Manu, who in spite of having lived alone in London for more than a decade, wants an arranged marriage with a girl from the Indian heartland and falls in love with the first girl he sees, at one glance, while she is asleep.
Kangna Ranaut plays the sleeping girl aka Tanu aka Tanuja Trivedi, who is nothing like the simple village belle Manu imagines her to be when she wakes up. While smoking a cigarette, she tells him that she doesn’t want to get married to him because she already has a boyfriend and has no intention of marrying someone her parents have chosen for her.
Disappointed, Manu returns home, but when he runs into her again at a friend’s wedding, a fledgling romance seems to develop between two people with absolutely nothing in common.
Rai’s first half is a rollicking ride and you don’t find your attention wavering at all. The dialogues, by Himanshu Sharma,are sparkling and you will find yourself laughing out loud at several places. Also, it’s a refreshing change to see a heroine who is feisty and not afraid of taking risks, and Kangna pulls her off with some aplomb, bad dialogue delivery notwithstanding.
It is in the second half that the film unravels — rapidly. Manu’s intentions become unclear, there is too much of melodrama and the script is nowhere as tight as it was in the first half. What saves this film are the interesting characters that director Rai develops, not just the lead pair, but even those around them. Special mention to Swara Bhaskar and Deepak Dobriyal who play Tanu and Manu’s best friends respectively and bring so much to what is essentially a side role.
In the end, “Tanu Weds Manu” doesn’t reach soaring heights, but I’d recommend you watch it any way, because it will bring a smile to your face.