Tag Archives: Tanu Weds Manu

Streaming Video News: May 1, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a ton of new additions to the catalog. More than thirty titles were added today, some for the first time (like Tanu Weds Manu) and some after a prolonged absence (like Kahaani). In addition to the Bengali film Abby Sen, the TV show Ramayan, and the documentaries Fire in the Blood, Mostly Sunny, and Saeed Mirza: The Leftist Sufi, the following Hindi movies are now available for streaming:

For everything else new on Netflix (Bollywood or not), check Instant Watcher.

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Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015)

tanu-weds-manu-returns-poster2 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Tanu Weds Manu Returns is the feel-bad romantic comedy of the year. Lighthearted moments are undercut by a cynicism about the institution of marriage that leaves one feeling melancholy at best, depressed at worst.

2011’s Tanu Weds Manu was a conventional romcom about a pair of opposites: wild-child Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) and steadfast Manu (R. Madhavan). Tanu Weds Manu Returns (TWMR, henceforth) picks up after the first four years of their miserable marriage.

Tanu is so desperate to get out of her marriage that she has Manu committed to a London mental institution. She later feels bad, calling Manu’s friend Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) to rescue her husband while she flies back to India.

The couple wind up at their respective family homes in different cities (the geography in TWMR is confusing for international audiences). Tanu flirts with her parents’ tenant, Chintu (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), and unwisely reconnects with her short-tempered ex-boyfriend, Raja (Jimmy Shergill). Manu notices a college athlete who is the spitting image of Tanu, only with a pixie cut. He stalks Kusum (also Ranaut) until she relents, and they start dating.

Manu falling for his wife’s younger lookalike is a cute story setup, but it gets creepier the more serious the relationship becomes. Pappi warns that the new relationship is a bad idea — especially since it begins before Tanu and Manu are officially divorced — but he doesn’t call Manu’s obsession what it is: weird.

It hard to know who to root for in this movie. Tanu and Manu are both incredible jerks to each other. Tanu is arrogant and lacks empathy. Manu is selfish but wishy-washy. He doesn’t even possess enough will to make his climactic decision on his own, without prompting.

Worse, TWMR makes the characters’ circumstances so dire that its impossible to resolve the story in a satisfying way. There are really only a handful of things that one spouse could say to the other that would permanently destroy their marriage. When Tanu is at her most pitiable, Manu says one of those things to her. It’s crushing to watch.

Director Anand L. Rai and writer Himanshu Sharma give themselves only two possible outcomes: either Tanu and Manu get back together, or Manu weds Kusum and says good-bye to Tanu forever. Neither option feels good, and both are bad for Kusum.

Kusum is the movie’s redeeming element. She’s an independent tomboy, but she’s also sweet and honest. She’s reluctant to get romantically involved with anyone because, if the relationship negatively affects her athletics, it will make it that much harder for other girls from her village to get scholarships in the future. That Manu pursues her anyway is a sign of his selfishness.

Ranuat’s acting abilities are widely acclaimed, and it’s fun to see her pull off two very different roles in the same movie with such ease. Dobriyal is also entertainingly twitchy as Pappi. Manu’s not much of character as it is, and Madhavan doesn’t add much.

In addition to an unsatisfying story, international audiences will be hampered by poorly translated subtitles. Minor spelling errors — such as writing “apologies” instead of “apologize” — hint at greater problems in translating the humor from Hindi to English. The crowd of mostly native Hindi speakers at my showing laughed uproariously to lines that, in English, read as utilitarian.

Watch Tanu Weds Manu Returns for Kangana Ranaut. Just don’t expect to have a lot of fun while doing it.

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Opening May 22: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Tanu Weds Manu Returns — the sequel to 2011’s Tanu Weds Manu — hits Chicago area theaters on May 22, 2015. Kangana Ranaut and R. Madhavan are back as the title characters, with Ranuat taking on an additional role as Tanu’s doppelgänger, an athlete named Kusum.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 8 min.

Bombay Velvet — which opened in twelve Chicago area theaters last weekend — carries over for a second week at the River East 21, MovieMax, South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, and Woodridge 18. The same five theaters also hold over Piku for a third week, while Gabbar is Back gets a fourth week at MovieMax.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include 365 Days (Telugu), Lailaa O Lailaa (Malayalam), Demonte Colony (Tamil), Mosagallaku Mosagadu (Telugu), 36 Vayadhinile (Tamil), Chirakodinja Kinavukal (Malayalam), and Lion (Telugu).

Opening April 1: Game

With the Cricket World Cup winding down, India turns its attention back to the movies. Game — the first Hindi film to open in the Chicago area since February 25 — stars Abhishek Bachchan as one of four suspected murderers summoned to an island to determine the identity of the real killer. The strong cast also includes Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Kangana Ranaut and Jimmy Shergill.

Game opens on Friday, April 1, 2011, at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Tanu Weds Manu — the Bollywood romantic comedy that opened back on February 25 — continues its run at the Golf Glen 5.

Other Indian movies showing in the area this weekend include Christian Brothers (Malayalam) and Shakti (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Shakti.

In Theaters March 4, 2011

The yearly Bollywood drought is underway. The only new Hindi movie scheduled for release in the whole month of March, Yeh Faasley, opens this Friday, but not in the Chicago area. Expect a flood of new films once the Cricket World Cup ends in early April.

Since there won’t be much news to report, I’m tabling my weekly theater updates in March unless a Hindi movie is showing at more than one Chicago area theater. I’ll also post if a specialty theater like the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles shows any classic Bollywood movies. Throughout the month, I’ll post DVD reviews of some recent releases and older favorites.

As of Friday, March 4, Tanu Weds Manu will be the only Hindi movie showing in the Chicago area. It gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington.

7 Khoon Maaf ends its theatrical run on Thursday. The black comedy earned $253,274 during its first two weeks in U.S. theaters.

Other Indian movies showing around Chicago this weekend include Kudirithe Kappu Coffee (Telugu), Life Before Wedding (Telugu), Mangala (Telugu) and Singampuli (Tamil) at the Golf Glen 5 and Aha Naa Pellanta (Telugu) at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu (2011)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Consider the Saltine cracker: a food so bland and inoffensive it’s one of the few things you can keep down when you have the stomach flu. It’s salted, but not enough to make it a go-to snack when you’re craving something salty. In fact, you kind of forget about that box of Saltines, relegating it to the back of the cupboard until the next time you either come down with the flu or run out of anything else to eat.

Tanu Weds Manu is the Saltine cracker of movies.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Tanu Weds Manu. The costumes are pretty, the music is peppy, and the main characters are basically nice people. But there’s nothing to Tanu Weds Manu. Movies need conflict and urgency to maintain interest, and Tanu Weds Manu is devoid of both.

Since the title gives away the movie’s ending, I don’t feel I’m spoiling anything with this summary of the film.

Manu (R. Madhavan): Hi, Tanu. Our parents want us to get married. You’re pretty, so I’m game.
Tanu (Kangana Ranaut): I don’t want to marry you.
Manu: Okay. I’ll leave.
Tanu: Wait. You seem like a nice enough guy, but I want to marry someone else.
Manu: Okay. I’ll leave.
Tanu: Wait. I changed my mind. I want to marry you.
Other Guy (Jimmy Shergill): Hey, what about me?
Tanu & Manu: Sorry, but the title says we have to get married.
Other Guy: Okay. I’ll leave.

There you have it. Tanu’s a bit of a bad girl in that she drinks and smokes, but she’s otherwise uncontroversial. Manu is a terminally nice doctor and a bit of a pushover. There’s no real chemistry between them, so their romance feels like titular destiny more than anything else. Shergill’s villain, Raja, gets into fights, but he’s basically non-threatening. Everyone else in the film is forgettable.

Watching Tanu Weds Manu, I was reminded of my mother-in-law’s stance on the children’s book series Junie B. Jones. My mother-in-law, Joan (whom I love), refuses to read Junie B. Jones books to my 7-year-old niece because Junie B. uses incorrect grammar and sometimes gets sassy with adults, as if merely exposing my niece to these concepts would trigger some kind of pre-teen linguistic rebellion.

I imagine Joan’s ideal kids’ book to be one in which the child protagonist cleans her room and finishes her homework with enough time to play a game of Yahtzee with her adoring grandmother before the girl’s bedtime at 6 p.m. There’s nothing offensive about such a story, but who’d want to read it? Same goes for Tanu Weds Manu.

Links

Opening February 25: Tanu Weds Manu

The Hindi romantic comedy Tanu Weds Manu is set to open in two Chicago area theaters on February 25, 2011. R. Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut play the mismatched lead couple.

Tanu Weds Manu opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. The film’s website has a national theater list. The movie has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 49 min.

Despite meager opening weekend earnings of $164,153 from just 65 U.S. theaters, 7 Khoon Maaf expands its reach as it enters its second week in theaters. The excellent black comedy carries over at the Golf Glen 5 and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville, debuting on Friday at the South Barrington 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Patiala House gets a third week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30.

These may be the only Hindi movies showing around Chicago for a while, so catch them while you can. The Cricket World Cup is underway, meaning that Indian production houses have dramatically cut back on releases until the tournament ends on April 2. Bollywood Hungama lists just three Hindi films with confirmed release dates in the whole month of March. (Update: 24 hours later, Bollywood Hungama changed their list to just one film with a release date in March. It’s gonna be a slow month.)

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include the Telugu movies Gaganam, Katha Screenplay Darsakatvam Appalaraju, Kudirithe Kappu Coffee, Life Before Wedding and Prema Kavali and the Bengali movie Gorosthanay Sabdhaan at the Golf Glen 5.