Cast and Crew:
Starring: R Madhavan, Kangna Ranaut, Jimmy Shergill, Ravi Kissen, Deepak Dobriyal, Eijaz Khan, Swara Bhaskar
Music Director: Krsna
Singers: Lehmber Hussainpuri, Mohit Chauhan, Ujjaini, Krsna, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mika Singh and Wadali Brothers
Cinematography: Chirantan Das
Choreography: Saroj Khan, Pony Verma
Editor: Hemal Kothari
Story: Himanshu Sharma
Director: Anand L Rai
Producer: Vinod Bachchan, Shailesh R Singh, Surya Singh
Banner: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Paramhans Creations and Movies N More Pvt. Ltd.
If one is attempting a love story replete with all the typical Bollywood ingredients, one can’t help but get inspired from some of the popular classics of the same genre, even if one doesn’t wish to. There’s of course nothing wrong in that and it’s natural too. But in order to avoid getting ‘old-wine-in-new-bottle’ kind of response, the filmmaker should ensure that his execution stands out from the rest of the films, even if it borrows heavily from them. Now this is not an easy task to attempt but director Aanand L Rai succeeds in achieving the feat in Tanu Weds Manu! A sweet romantic comedy, the execution along with the one-liners and performances ensure a good time to the viewers although the film does falter at places.
Manoj Sharma aka Manu (R Madhavan) is the ideal bridgegroom anyone can ask for. He’s sweet, temperamental, working in the medical field, has a nice family and home in Delhi and doesn’t have any addictions (although he smokes occasionally). Based in London since 12 years, he’s compelled to come to India when his family pressurizes him to get married. As soon as he lands in India, he’s told to go to Kanpur to meet Tanuja Trivedi aka Tanu (Kangna Ranaut) for marriage. Manu falls for her but Tanu is least interested in him. She’s a rebel and diametrically opposite to Manu. Besides, she already has a boyfriend named Awasthi and hence in no mood to marry Manu. Manu thus steps back. But destiny has other plans. They keep crossing each other’s paths wherever they go, resulting into some awkward and amusing situations!
Tanu Weds Manu wins half the battle with its North Indian setting, which is a treat to witness on screen. The story spans across Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Kapurthala, Sahibababad and Noida (Sector 31 to be precise!). The mood and feel of these cities and small towns is well captured which makes for a nice viewing. The film begins on a nice note and gets better with each proceeding sequence. If Manu meeting the (sleeping) Tanu for the first time made you smile, the sequence thereafter in the train and not to forget Manu confiding to Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) about Tanu on the way to Vaishnodevi brings the house down! It was a terrific idea and I rate it as the best scene of the film!
The film maintains the energy for some time but falls a bit in the Kapurthala sequence especially after Kajra Mohabbat Wala song. It seems some unnecessary editing was done here. However, the intermission point is where the film rises and how! The second half is where the fun and humour goes out of the window but the film remains interesting nevertheless. The transformation in Kangna’s feelings for Madhavan was well directed. At a point, you feel that the film has ended but wait, there’s more to come! The climax seems stretched but was ideal for such a film and Jimmy Shergill single handedly comes as a savior here!
Barring his cameo in Jhootha Hi Sahi, R Madhavan has always delivered some fine performances and he confirms the same yet again in Tanu Weds Manu! He has beautifully underplayed himself and got the nuances of Manu’s character perfectly right! He infused soul into Manu and proved that good guys might not be boring after all! Kangna Ranaut in many ways is the life of the film because of her loud and wild character. And she plays it flawlessly, never mind her diction. She shines out in some of the significant scenes, especially during the pre-climax. She looks very cute in her new hairstyle and watch out for her jhatkas and matkas in the songs Jugni and Kajra Mohabbat Wala!
Jimmy Shergill (as Raja) comes up with yet another rocking performance! He impacts the viewer’s right from the entry scene and totally shines in the last 20 minutes. This is a performance worth watching for. And happy that we’ll get to see Jimmy in many films this year (Game, Mumbai Cutting, Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster)! Deepak Dobriyal provides lots of laughs! What an actor! Eijaz Khan (as Jassi) surprises! He looks every inch an energetic sardar. The actor has always given some fine performances in TV serials and now it’s high time that he gets to do more cinema too! Swara Bhaskar (as Payal) especially impresses when she has to scold Kangna! K K Raina (Madhavan’s dad) and Rajendra Gupta (Kangna’s dad) were nice. Ravi Kissen was wasted.
Krsna’s music is soulful and peppy! Sadi Gali has already become a rage while Manu Bhaiya, Hey Rangrez were soulful too. Jugni is nicely shot. Krsna’s background score was even better. Chirantan Das’ cinematography was topnotch. Saroj Khan’s choreography was particularly good in Kajra Mohabbat Wala song.
Himanshu Sharma’s story seemed inspired from films like Jab We Met, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and even DDLJ (the climax) but it’s his characters that work big time. Also the story has enough twists to keep the unexpected factor going on till the end. And Himanshu’s dialogues however were truly the best…the one-liners were just too good!
Aanand L Rai, who directed the thriller Strangers, does a good job as a director and understood the concept, characters and his actor’s capacities and limitations quite well. Also, he made Tanu Weds Manu not only for classes of cities but for the masses and people of small towns aka the real India. This is evident from the small town setting and also mentioning of various places in Hindi instead of English. Also hats off to him for using the original Kajra Mohabbat Wala instead of the remix. If only he would have not allowed the film to drag at places, Tanu Weds Manu would have been in a different league!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Manu meets Tanu for the 1st time
2. The entire Vaishnodevi trip sequence
3. Manu speaks to Raja on the rooftop of Raja’s house
4. The medical store joke
5. Tanu races on a bike to meet Tanu at the station
6. The marriage registrar sequence
7. Manu takes Tanu for shopping
8. The last 15 minutes
On the whole, Tanu Weds Manu is a nice feel-good film that has some flaws but manages to make the viewers smile with its situations and characters. It’s nothing extraordinary in terms of storyline and is a one-time watch. Although released during World Cup, it’ll still succeed owing to no competition for next 5 weeks at the box office!