Home » ETimes Decoded: How Payal and Tanuja’s friendship in Tanu Weds Manu was a welcome break from the sugar-coated, caricatured portrayals on screen | Hindi Movie News

ETimes Decoded: How Payal and Tanuja’s friendship in Tanu Weds Manu was a welcome break from the sugar-coated, caricatured portrayals on screen | Hindi Movie News

by Joe Bourn
Often in Bollywood, friendships depicted on screen are linear and one-dimensional – ranging from Dosti (1964), to Zanjeer (1975) to Sholay (1975). In recent decades, however, some films such as Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Rang De Basadi (2006) and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) managed to get it very right in the bromance department. However, apart from a Queen (2013), Parched (2015) or Angry Indian Goddesses (2015) sprinkled throughout, female friendships in mainstream Bollywood have largely been limited to the two leading ladies falling for the same man (think Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Mujhse Dosti Karoge!) – and while one catches him, the other is either still looking for him decades later, or fast-forwards to find someone new, just before the end credits roll, signaling a ‘ Happy Ending’ for one and all.

Here is a movie like Tanu Weds Manu(2011), directed by Aanand L.

Rai, comes as a breath of fresh air. While as a whole, the romantic drama starring R. Madhavan and Kangana Ranaut in lead roles is essentially a love story between crazyTanuja Trivedi (Tanu) and the humble, reserved Manoj K. Sharma (Manu), also brought forth a realistic, fresh bond between Tanu and Payal (played by Swara Bhasker). Of course, there was the inimitable Pappi Bhaiya (Deepak Dobriyal), Manu’s nerdy yet lovable friend and confidant who lights up the screen with his impeccable comic timing, but we’ll save him for another day…
In one of the scenes, Payal is seen preparing her best friend for her engagement to break up businessman Raja Awasthi (Jimmy Sheirgill), whom the rebellious Tanu has chosen over the quiet, unassuming doctor Manu, based in London, who in turn is deeply in love with her. Clearly enraged at the way Tanu is living her life, the newlywed Payal nevertheless cuts off her honeymoon and returns for her friend’s big day, even as she criticizes her saying:Tu na bhatakti aatma hai, tujhe kabhi shaanti nahi milegi“. (you are an unfortunate soul, you will never get salvation)
A far cry from the caricatured, crazy, almost whimsical friendships we see on screen, Payal and Tanu’s relationship is a reality show we all need in our lives. While she loves her friend Payal, at no point does she put up with her outbursts and a “rebel without a cause”. Constantly reminding Tanu that his college life and antics are over, Payal is unfiltered, often sassy, ​​but the perfect foil to the otherwise confused and messy Tanu.
Although there is no story to Payal and Tanu’s friendship and they are just known as college friends, writer Himanshu Sharma does a great job of painting them as realistically as possible – two small-town girls who were with each other, Sharing joy and sorrow (and an occasional cigarette), they are each other’s backbone, yet don’t hesitate to call each other out if need be. Their conversation is also free, colloquial and without pretension, often accompanied by a healthy dose of sarcasm, shared with close friends.

Although she never moved away from Tanu, despite her antics, Payal constantly tries to hold her in the mirror, knowing full well what a perfect man Manu is and fervently hoping that better sense prevails in her best friend.
Throughout the movie, Payal also brings up a relevant point about how you don’t have to be a rebel, just for the good and defying your parents for something they do for your good is well known and not called “cool”. When Tanu’s family finally comes around to her and Raja’s alliance, all thanks to Manu convincing them, Payal is the only one who realizes that even this is not enough to make Tanu happy, knowing deep down that she will now resent the fact that “she was deprived of the freedom to go against her parents.
As Payal sums it up perfectly by telling Tanu, “Madhubala nahi ho, jo puri duniya tumhare prem mein bhaagti rahe” (you are not Madhubala, that everyone will run madly in love with you), too often we need someone to pull us out of our self-induced futile slumber.
You can watch Tanu Weds Manu on a leading OTT channel
ETimes Decoded is our new, weekly column where we deconstruct films, characters or plots to reveal a new, often unexplored perspective.

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