Friday, May 22, 2015



While returning, even if we take the same path, chances are that the things will be different around. A lot is different in Tanu weds Manu Returns. The characters have grown, relationships have changed and new equations have emerged. TWMR is again a journey that the Writer Himanshu Sharma and Director Aanand Rai decide to take you on and succeed in giving you a wonderful experience.

The film starts where TWM ended. Tanu and Manu getting married. Four years later, they can’t stand each other. Tanu leaves for Kanpur and Manu reaches Delhi. Tanu revisits her past while Manu sees his future in Kusum Sangwan aka Datto from Jajjhar who is studying in DU and aspires to make it as a National level athelete. Love blossoms between Manu and Kusum till Tanu realizes that Manu is and will remain her love. Will Manu realize whether his future lies with Tanu or Kusum, forms the rest of the story.

Tanu and Kusum are as different as chalk and cheese. So much so that you forget they are being played by the same actress. The credit goes to Kangana Ranaut who has again given a clap-worthy performance. Her mannerisms as Tanu and as Kusum are so distinct that you can’t help but appreciate the detailing that has gone behind creating these characters. Watch out for the freckles on Kusum’s nose and mole on Tanu’s neck. That is what we call detailing. Madhavan as the forty year old Manu is as loveable as the first part. You feel for him. He manages to evoke sympathy for his character even though he is the one who is marrying again.

Writer Himanshu Sharma has created a believable world, even though the story this time is slightly in the unbelievable zone. In one of the scenes, Tanuja Trivedi is compared to Batman whose legends do the rounds but is never seen. Story-wise, TWM was more real than TWMR. But what goes really in the favour of TWMR is that it’s crisp. After a long time, I have watched a film where I looked at my watch when the intermission slate came and I said – its interval already? Funny, witty, one-liners are again the strong points of TWMR. The whole hall was in splits when Pappiji asks Manu – Aap koi salman khan ho rakhe ho jo commitment nahi chhod sakte?

Supporting cast is bang on. All characters reprise their roles from TWM, except may be for Manu’s mother. She looked different. The character of Manu’s father played by KK Raina is quite different from TWMR and it does make you cringe. The new character added, that of Chintu, played by Mohammed Jeeshaan Ayub, is nice but also seems unnecessary at few places. The Jassi-Payal story is a nice sub-plot while the sub-plot where Pappiji tries to woo Jassi’s cousin Komal is funny as well as it takes the story ahead. Eijaz Khan and Swara Bhaskar are first rate as ever and Deepak Dobriyal is crazier than the first part. Watch out for the scene where he suspects that Manu is thinking about Kusum. Rajesh Sharma as Kusum’s brother shines in the scene where he blasts people of his jaat community.

Finally, the person who deserves all the accolades, the captain of the ship, the director Aanand Rai. Frankly speaking, I hadn’t like Raanjhana. For me it was glorified story of a stalker. But with TWMR, Aanand Rai delivers just the right notes. Each and every close-up, each and every camera movement means something. It conveys what the characters are going through and makes you feel for them. So when Manu’s father talks about how marriages last, or when Payal talks about how she got pregnant, or when Manu mistakenly calls Kusum as Tanu, or when Tanu tells her father – abhi aur jaleel honaa hai, your heart goes out for them.

For me, the music was not as good as TWM. I missed the soulful Piya na rahe manbasiya, or Kitni dafe dil ne kahaa and the evergreen Rangrez mere. This time we have Ghani Bawari and Banno tera swagger and Mat jaa re. But they fail to leave mark as much as their predecessors.

But all said and done, with all its little flaws included, TWMR is a film worth watching, not just once but at least twice. Second time, to experience the magic of nuances that you might have missed the first time. Tanu and Kusum are two different faces of modern woman – one is a rebel, a bohemian who is not answerable to anybody, while the other is a self made woman who is proud of the position she has earned for herself. To choose between the two is indeed a difficult choice. No wonder, Manu finds himself torn between the two. You will too.

Rating:        4 stars out of 5. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Invisible Torture


VB: You will play an invisible man.
EH: But I am a hero. I need to be seen.
VB: We will establish that you can be seen in sunlight and neon light. So you will be seen a lot.
EH: But what will be the scientific explanation?
VB: We will have a dialogue that sometimes science has no explanation and that it’s a miracle. We will even have a Krishna idol with you. You will also get to recite a Geeta shlok.
EH: What’s the story?
VB: Something like hollow man. Just that, the heroine will love you and not the supporting actor. Also, you will not be negative.
EH: But Kevin Bacon was invisible only when he was without clothes. I have stopped removing my shirt.
VB: Don’t worry. We will establish that in the accident, your clothes have become part of your skin.
EH: Will the audience buy it?
VB: This is Bollywood.
EH: So I will play a scientist.
VB: That’s not relatable. You will be a cop.
EH: Will I be a superhero?
VB: We will show that in part 2. Mr X Returns. In this film, you will get the heroine and start living an invisible life with her.
EH: But my clothes have become part of my skin. How will I… (censored)

That’s all you need to know about Mr X. Invisible hero is something kids are fond of. Remember Mr India. But following the tradition of Vishesh Films, this is U/A certificate film. But that doesn’t stop the parents of India to take their 7-8 year olds to watch this film. Even the cinema-hall authorities allow this.

The film, written by Shagufta Rafique and directed by Vikram Bhatt, defies all logic. It neither starts on a promising note, nor takes off anywhere worth mentioning.

Raghuram (Emran Hashmi) is a cop from Anti Terrorist Department, who is about to marry his colleague Amyra Dastur. But he is made to assassin the chief minister of the state and then bumped off in an explosion. He survives the explosion and a laboratory worker (Shruti Ulfat) gives him an untested drug to rid his body of the radiation. He becomes invisible and takes revenge.

When Raghuram becomes invisible, his only motto is to take revenge. He never tries to be a Mr India to fight against corruption or smuggling or save his country. Even when he ridicules the law system of our country, you wonder what has prompted this. Because all said and done, he was wronged by a senior cop who had his own vested interest in the whole conspiracy.

Emran Hashmi manages to maintain exactly the same frown throughout the film which is commendable. Amyra Dastur is asked to breathe heavily so that it seems that she is acting. Dubbing artiste is asked to take care of the rest. Arunoday Singh as the main villain is earnest while Tanmay Bhatt as Popo plays the plump sidekick routine lazily. The actor who plays the cop Tiwari manages to evoke a few laughs. Rest of the cast is forgettable.

I really wonder why the film is called Mr X. Everyone knows who he is, what he wants. Moreover, he is visible in more than three-fourth of the film. So where’s the intrigue? Where’s the fun of watching a film about an invisible man where you watch the screen wondering where he will come from?

Mr X could have been an interesting if it had a different cast, different story, different director, in short, if only it had been a different film. This one is just torture.

Rating: 1.5/5