You know the story and you know the final result. There ought to be something compelling in order to draw in an audience which is getting smarter with every passing movie. Tanu weds Manu scores on two main points: one, it engages and second it entertains… and that is what Bollywood is all about. So, here is a movie which is masala fare through and through.
Madhavan (Manu) is a NRI doctor who is coaxed into agreeing for an arranged marriage with an Indian girl, on his visit to India. Madhavan doesn’t have many options any which way, since he lives a drab and monotonous life away from home, and so he agrees to their plans. But plans are plans, they can’t compete with life. So, when the “ladkawalas” land themselves in Kanpur, the heart of UP’s mess and mayhem, in order to see the bride, they are in for a surprise – well at least the prospective groom is. Manu gets smitten by Tanu (Kangana), the firebrand, expletive mouthing bride-to-be, who is the exact opposite of the “gharelu Indian wife”. Tanu, who has a completely different view of female liberty and modernity, smokes often and drinks by the gallon. This usually-sozzled, Kanpuria girl is in love with a “goonda” (Jimmy Sheirgill) and asks Manu point blank to refuse to the marriage. Manu, however is completely in love with Tanu and puts off pronouncing the refusal. Tanu, on the other hand starts getting confused about what she actually wants – the local goonda or the “shareef” NRI. Need I tell how it all ends?
You see Madhavan and you think, why does this guy not hit it off in B-wood? He is charming and better looking than many of our resident Bollywood heroes. He acts so well and remains so beautifully in control of his character…well, R.Madhavan scores once again with ‘Tanu weds Manu’.
Dialogue delivery is not her strongest point, but at one point you wonder whether the director actually cast Kangana because of her strange accents. The thick tongued dialogue delivery goes well on her when she plays the drunk scenes. Anyways, Kangana looks ravishing in the colorful dresses and her curly hair only help in creating the middle class look in some way. She manages to pull off the character and that too with élan.
The supporting cast is great. Especially Deepak Dobriyal is wonderful. He is making quite a mark for himself with each of his movies. People may not yet know his name, but they’ve started recognizing him as the “half bald guy who acted very well”. In his role as Manu’s buddy, Dobriyal packs in lots of energy and comic timing. He is surely one guy to look out for.
A vibrant canvas:
A high point of this “shaadi-flick” is its cinematography. While the scenes of Kangana’s friend’s marriage are well shot, the movie gets its real shot of life from the look the cameraman takes at the small city’s innards. The chaos, the traffic and the utter mayhem on roads are characteristic of small town urban India. The bustling nature of the city somehow matches the temperament of our Tanu.
It may be easy to draw parallels between ‘Tanu weds Manu’ and ‘Jab We Met’.. and they are similar in certain respects, yet TwM has a certain quality that makes it unique. What’s more important, once you start getting involved with the characters you don’t care enough to compare the two movies. ‘Tanu weds Manu’ is immensely engaging and unique in its own right and that is what makes the movie work for you.
Go see it. It’s fun all the way and total paisa-wasool, just don’t go looking for an Oscar winner. Wait, Indian movies don’t get Oscars, right? Well, then just go and have a blast. Worth a dekko.