When Tanu Weds Manu was released (in 2011), I had gone to watch it with a low expectation. And to my immense surprise, I felt extremely satisfied after watching it. In fact, as the movie progressed, I found myself being lost in the narrative, flowing with the storyline and the characters (mainly with the hero). This low profile movie is based on an unrealistic story of a well-educated (and well-mannered) NRI doctor, falling for a drunkard, smoker, foul-mouthed and philandering girl of a middle class family of Kanpur (it’s been told that she had had her education in Delhi). However, it’s the utterly realistic portrayal of this unrealistic story on the screen which makes it a winner.As expected, the boy falling for the charms of the girl (whom he sees for the first time in a highly intoxicated state and he thought she was slept), finally wins her over first emotionally and then practically. So the end of the movie is as predictable as any other Bollywood movie of the same genre. However, the twists and turns in the story alongwith the highly realistic milieu and the supporting characters involved, turn the experience of watching this movie into a highly satisfying one.
At the very outset, it reminds the viewer of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and later it is reminiscent of Jab We Met and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge at places. However the commendable thing is that despite similarities in bits and pieces, this movie maintains an identity of its own. It’s definitely not a copy of any other movie.
The locales of Kanpur, Kapurthala, Lucknow etc. have been captured by the cinematographer with a high degree of excellence for which he deserves an award for sure. The lives of the middle class people (whether they are from the prospective bride’s side or the prospective groom’s side) have been shown with so much naturalness that the characters and their homes look quite real and nowhere filmi. The middle-class India shown in the movie is, in fact, the real one with real flesh and blood characters that we may find at the next door to us.
The first half is thoroughly gripping and entertaining whereas despite its shorter length, the second half is a bit dragging and edgy. However, overall the movie renders an air of feel-good. We know that the hero will get his love in the end (after all, he is an Indian hero), still the script-writer has done a marvellous job by maintaining the curiosity throughout.
After a very long time, I had happened to listen to such soul-soothing songs in a Bollywood movie. So full marks to the music director as well as the lyricist.
The supporting characters of the movie are above its story; utterly real, familiar and like a gust of fresh air. Whether it’s the chaddi-buddy of the hero or his present best pal, whether it’s the closest friend of the heroine or the fathers of the hero-heroine duo, all are able to leave their imprints on the viewers’ hearts. In fact, it’s the supporting cast which is the heart and the soul of this movie.
Jimmi Shergill stands out in the predictable climax and once again proves that he’s an actor par excellence. I have been an admirer of R. Madhavan since his Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein days and to me, he played the character of the mature and considerate hero, doing justice to his love at first sight, with perfection. His underplay deserves a standing ovation indeed. Many readers may not agree with me, however I found Kangna Ranaut as miscast in the role of the spoilt girl. Barring the final 15-20 minutes, I felt her expressions and gestures as plastic, not emerging from her heart.
When Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge had been released, I was a heartbroken boy and not being mature enough, used to think of getting the love of my life in the style of Raj (Shah Rukh Khan). Later on, upon growing up with age only I realized that I could never be so resourceful as the larger than life character of Raj in DDLJ. However I am able to identify with Manu of TWM; the considerate, understanding, well-educated yet old-fashioned and traditional and above all, sacrificing, true lover.
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