It's been a while since we saw a good romantic flick in the league of DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE and JAB WE MET. There was something very refreshing about these films that was lapped up by the audience. The quirky promos of TANU WEDS MANU showed the same promise.
The film traces the life of Manoj Sharma aka Manu (R.Madhavan), an NRI doctor, who's living a forlorn life in London for 12 years. As per his parents wish, he comes to swadesh to get married. He gets smitten by Tanuja Trivedi aka Tanu (Kangna Ranaut), the very first girl that he meets, even though she has passed out. He gives her a peck on the cheek, takes her picture on his mobile phone, leaves the room and announces to everyone that he likes her. Their wedding is on! But there's a hitch. He has to pay the price for not taking Tanu's approval. It turns out that Tanu has a boyfriend, whose name she has inscribed on her chest. So Manu is forced to call off the wedding. But can he live without her?
Director Aanand L Rai (STRANGERS) begins the proceedings impressively. You soon get acquainted with the unpretentious yet strong Manu and the bindaas Tanu. The sundry characters especially, Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) and Payal (Swara bhaskara) add life to the proceedings. Although the first half gets a bit wobbly before the interval, it's pretty watchable primarily because of Tanu's crazy histrionics.
The problem lies in the second half when the narrative takes the much traversed path of numerous past movies. It's a mixed bag of HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM, JAB WE MET and PYAAR TOH HONA HI THA. The predictable end is not a problem, the docile script is. There's not enough spunk in the storytelling. You never get to know why Manu is going out of his way for Tanu, when he knows her intentions (is it his unconditional love for her?). Tanu's character all of a sudden becomes soft, and thereby loses her charm. Even the humour quotient isn't up to the mark.
TANU WEDS MANU is not completely bad and has its moments. The twist post the interval is deftly done. Some of the genuinely beautiful moments include the 'Jai Mata Di' scene in the beginning and Pappi conversing with Manu on the terrace.
Chirantan Das's cinematography is excellent which captures the bylanes of North India in a new light. Krsna's music is passable with Sadi Gali being the only hummable tract. Editing by Hemal Kothari is decent. The dialogue writer deserves special mention.
R Madhavan delivers a very restrained and fine performance. His acting is subtle but very effective. Watch out for the scene in which he confesses his love for Tanu in a car. Kangna acts pretty well but her dialogue delivery is a major put off. Jimmy Sheirgill proves his acting calibre again. Swara Bhaskara (last seen in MADHOLAL KEEP WALKING) is too good. She's confident and has an amazing screen presence. Ejaz Khan is excellent. Deepak Dobriyal is hilarious. Ravi Kissen is wasted. All the other actors are fine in their respective roles.
TANU WEDS MANU lacks the freshness required for a breezy romantic flick. The wedding doesn't turn out to be a grand one.