Review of Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Kangna Ranaut, R. Madhavan, Jimmy Shergill, Swara Bhaskar and Zeeshan Ayyub starrer movie Tanu Weds Manu Returns went all good in its opening week. It has been the first movie of 2015 to cross the 100 crores marks in the box-office. Though some of the reviews I came across did appeal me to witness the movie, few among my friend circle did the opposite to me. Usually, I am a fan of Kangna’s acting. So I chose to watch this one despite my friends’ discouragement.

Kangna Ranaut as Tanu. Courtesy: Google Image

Actually, this movie started with showing the quarrel of a four years-old couple. Kangna has successfully finished her double role as Tanu (Manu’s wife) and Datta (later, Manu’s girlfriend). Madhavan played the role of Manu, Dr. Manoj Sharma. After getting married, they started to live in London. Good sense of humour will give extra impetus to your entertainment.

The bone of contention between the couple started after a year of their marriage and the issue is that they do not accept their faults and instead they are busy in noticing their partner’s fault. So, they do not want to compromise and their relationship starts decaying.

Tanu is a careless and ‘free from shackles’ kind of girl, as the movie wanted to portray and she does not care about anything beyond her understanding. So, in one occasion Tanu proved Manu a mental patient to take him aboard to a mental asylum for a few days and then she returned to Kanpur, India without letting him out. That provoked Manu to send her a ‘legal notice’ demanding an apology from her (note: that was only a legal notice and not a notice for divorce) after getting out of the asylum with his relative’s help. If someone sees here any kind of ‘patriarchy’ as because Tanu was asked to apologise for being a female, that person will be highly mistaken. You have another character called Datta in this movie. Consider her also.

Datta, a girl from Haryana having pure Haryanvi accent, is a national level athlete, facing the problem of discrimination from her family for her being a girl. Free movement and ‘love’ are restricted. It will put more gravity to the atrocities if the love is outside of their caste.

The relationship between Tanu and Manu was further cornering. Meanwhile, when Manu went to Delhi University to deliver a talk, he suddenly met Datta who has some resemblance to Tanu. Manu first thought that it was Tanu and started following her and after few meetings, they started liking each-other. On the other hand, Tanu was living her life with full freedom, which she lacked while living with her family, but she wasn’t that much happy she used to pretend.

Both the roles played by Kangna are challenging the present patriarchal society. Tanu is challenging the institution of marriage, relatives and family (not only her in-laws but also her parental), whereas Datta has been shown as an empowered girl who has her individual freedom in opposite conditions. She can take her own decisions and even at the later part of the movie, Datta refused to marry Manu as a goodwill gesture to Tanu. Reunion of Tanu and Manu took place finally.

Swara Bhaskar, who played the role of Bindiya at Ranjhnaa, also did a fantastic job. She played the role of Tanu’s college friend. Swara had to face some anger from her husband because she had a ‘test-tube baby’ and this is not because of her fault but the fault is from her husband’s side. But, exactly as the way a typical Indian woman does, she did the same job of hiding this event from her husband Jassi only to keep him happy. Here, the question of freedom of decision making arises.

Finally, I can conclude by this that I respect Tanu’s freedom but the way she behaved with Manu’s parents without any reason can be a matter of question. The movie was actually trying to convey the message of females’ voice and their decision-making freedom. Indeed the economic freedom is must for the women to have their voices intact. Tanu was dependent but Datta wasn’t. So, you saw the differences between their life-style and confidence. It does not mean that someone should discard his/her love allegiance to someone only to show their different kinds of life-style. As Datta was financially independent she had her voice but others did not have the same.

By Biswanath. He can be reached at @modontanti


About Biswanath Saha

Biswanath is a Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Development Studies Kolkata. He loves to engage himself into research in the broad areas of international politics, culture and diplomacy.

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