Tanu Weds Manu Returns review

Posted In : Movie Reviews
(added 29 May 2015)
At the opening of Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) says of her husband of four years: “I think I love him, but I’ve stopped liking him. I like him like a mammal.” It’s a sentiment that’s surely recognizable to couples the world over, and a nice starting point for a sequel to a romcom that ended with the promise of happily ever after. The story picks up again with two people who want to slit each other’s throats in a way that can only be inspired by the grating annoyance, drudgery, and pent-up resentment of cohabitation. For me, Kathleen Turner said it best in War of the Roses, “When I watch you eat. When I see you asleep. When I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in.” But Tanu makes a pretty good go of expressing herself, too. She leaves her husband Manu (Madhavan) in London and heads to her family home in India, where she rebuffs all attempts at reconciliation and tells anyone who’ll listen, quite rightly, that marriage for the sake of making something happen in one’s life is a terrible idea.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns review
It’s only when her husband develops a new love interest (also played by Kangana Ranaut, sporting a fantastic crop this time) that the film veers away from the heady joy of a woman escaping a stale relationship to something more conventional. But even within this conventional setup, there are glimpses of something new and interesting taking place here. Both Tanus are formidable (as they say “strong women”) and infinitely human. Tanu Weds Manu Returns doesn’t seek to overthrow patriarchy with its desire for a tidy ending, but it still shows up some of its ugly hues, with one of Tanu’s suitors feeling he’s entitled to try to destroy her for not returning his advances. It takes a swipe at elitism with Tanu mocking Manu’s girlfriend’s social status, only to have her confidently inform Tanu that she helps run her house and has got into college on a scholarship while Tanu has never worked a day in her life and considers it an achievement. Even given the formulaic nature of the third act, with its witty script and superb performances from the principals and supporting cast, Tanu Weds Manu Returns accomplishes something no other major Indian release of 2015 has achieved – it’s terribly entertaining. With few exceptions, this has been a year of pointless, derivative action movies or bloated, self-indulgent offerings from auteurs seeking to make terribly important films. What one has been missing is someone perhaps with smaller ambitions, someone seeking to make just a good film, like this one.
(added 29 May 2015) / 1076 views

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