It is always tricky to make a sequel of a highly successful film and director Aanand L Rai assures Tanu Weds Manu Returns is more than just a second part as it offers a fresh take on the two lead characters.
Rai is aware that the upcoming film is automatically burdened with having to prove itself worthy of the 2011 movie and he says he has tried his best to justify a continuation of the franchise with the Kangana Ranaut-R Madhavan starrer.
"Making a sequel is a different pressure. You have to negate all kinds of apprehensions people come up with when you are trying to make a sequel. You have to prove that it is not just for the sake of it. I have a reason to tell a story and to justify that is a big task. I didn't want to fall into the trap of something gimmicky," Aanand told PTI.
"I can assure that it is a family entertainer, which will engross you, engage you. It is quite quirky and unconventionally told but emotionally attached," he said.
In Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Kangana and Madhavan will reprise their roles from the original. The Queen actress will also portray the additional role of a Haryanvi athlete in the film.
Talking about the inclusion of Kangana's double-role in the film, the director said it was the requirement of the story.
"We took quite sometime to decide if we have to do it that way. We sat and spoke to Kangana. It was a challenge to have two characters played by the same person. The double role required a different approach," he said.
Also starring Jimmy Sheirgill, Deepak Dobriyal, Swara Bhaskar, Tanu Weds Manu Returns will hit theatres on May 22.
The film will focus on Tanu and Manu's life post their marriage and how their relationship has changed after tying the knot. More than just the tricky grounds of a marriage, Rai said the film is about the emotional journey of the two individuals.
"After the first film, I wanted to see what happens to the two characters. It is more than just a story about after- marriage. It is about two human beings. Fortunately or unfortunately they are husband and wife. In the last couple of years, I have not seen a love story of a husband and wife. So it is more than the fights, it is their life," Rai said.
The idea of making a sequel materialised after the success of "Tanu Weds Manu" but since he immediately did not want to continue working on the same story, he went ahead and made "Raanjhanaa" with Sonam Kapoor and Dhanush.
Besides that the director feared he would get typecast as a romantic filmmaker.
"After Tanu Weds Manu, we were thinking of working on a story. But as a director I wanted to go somewhere else. I wanted to test myself. The film had given me a tag of a romantic director. I wanted to take a trip somewhere and come back. So, I made 'Raanjhanaa'. It was a very interesting process to unlearn certain things. It helped me get the entire excitement back to the sequel," he said.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns is coming after a gap of four years after the release of the original film. But Rai does not believe in the theory of 'out of sight, out of mind' and said the interval was much required for the cast and the crew in order to come back fresh and rejuvenated.
"I knew if the audience likes the characters, they will not forget them and love the film. The gap has been a blessing in disguise. We all have had our professional journeys- me with Raanjhanaa, Kangana getting Queen and Mady taking his own kind of sabbatical. Also for the entire team those four years brought the required change to approach a sequel with the same characters in a different light," he said.