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Saturday, April 04, 2020

Marital Woe

London-based Manu is in India to choose a suitable bride.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: February 26, 2011 11:16:48 pm

Tanu Weds Manu

DIRECTOR: Anand Rai

CAST: R. Madhavan,Kangana Ranaut,Deepak Dobriyal,Eijaz Khan,Swara Bhaskar,Jimmy Shergill,K.K. Raina,Rajendra Gupta

Rating:**

London-based Manu is in India to choose a suitable bride. Kanpur girl Tanu has no intention of getting into an arranged marriage. Manu is almost unbelievably saintly; Tanu is almost excessively fiery. The two are chalk and cheese,just right for a rollicking rom com. But that’s exactly what we don’t get in Tanu Weds Manu. A range of interesting supplementary acts distract us from the lead pair whose rocky path to the mandap we are meant to follow with interest.

Under the tutelage of a benign father and a sharp mother,Manu (Madhavan) is led through a series of potential sasurals,where he is as much on display as the girls he’s meant to be “seeing”. And of all those specimens,he falls for Tanu (Ranaut) who chooses to knock herself out for the encounter: there she is,lying with her eyes closed,her sari in charming disarray,and there he is,all agog.

Their first meeting looks promising. But this is before Ms Ranaut opens her mouth. Once she does,her shrill self emerges full-blown. She has no qualms in calling Manu names,and for all her rebel-without-a-discernible-cause act,she wants him to dump her,not the other way around. Seldom has a Bollywood heroine been so gormless and charmless. And what kind of a true-blue Kanpuria girl,even if she went to DU ( Delhi University),say aivayin? That is more a purview of Dilli girls. (The last who used the phrase just right was the Janakpuria Shruti from Band Baaja Baaraat.) Why anyone but the smitten Manu would want her is hard to understand; turns out,there is another,a completely unsuitable boy,whose feelings she reciprocates.

The triangle,completed by Shergill,would have gone under if it hadn’t been for the splendid Deepak Dobriyal. Playing Pappi,pal-cum-chief fetcher-and-carrier of dulhe raja Manu,Dobriyal shines in the film,lifting it to a place,whenever he can,where it can be watched. As Tanu’s best friend,Bihari girl Payal,who sees her as she is and still likes her,Swara Bhaskar does a good job. In the mélange of accents and places (Dwivedijis and Sharmajis,and Kanpur and Lucknow and Allahabad),both of them stand out. As does Eijaz Khan playing a sardar friend who’s getting married. Can’t have a long-drawn Bollywood shaadi film without a full-blown Punjabi wedding,can we?

The very likeable Madhavan deserves better. Also,will someone please give Deepak Dobriyal a proper lead role?

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