A love story for all ages
Manmarziyaan Story: Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) are in love and they can’t stay out of the bedroom. When they’re caught red handed by Rumi’s family, pressure builds up to get married. But Vicky has cold feet and keeps avoiding Rumi’s request to bring his parents over and ask her hand in marriage. Eventually, she gives up on him and agrees to an arranged marriage. That’s when Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan) enters the proverbial love triangle.
Manmarziyaan Review: The maturity with which Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan talks about love and relationships is refreshing. The seemingly conventional story of a love triangle, gets original with its treatment and portrayal of love. With characters constantly oscillating between confusion and complex emotions, Manmarziyaan presents a new and updated look at romance and relationships. It’s unlike any Anurag Kashyap film you’ve seen before. Despite its strengths, this romantic drama might be, at times, a little too mature for the average audience.
The film is set in Amritsar, where Rumi (Taapsee) and Vicky’s (Kaushal) sex-heavy romance creates a radical contrast to the small-town setting. He jumps from one roof to the other, to sneak into her bedroom. They’re horny as hell and totally into each other. But the apparent and obvious frivolity of their relationship, kicks up a surprise. Commitment issues, immaturity and the folly of exuberance, bring a reality check to their rip-roaring romance. When they decide to run away, she asks the pertinent question… ‘what will we do for a living?’ and when Vicky has no answer, the fairytale romance comes crashing down. Once Abhishek Bachchan’s Robbie enters the scene, as a prospective suitor backed by the local matchmaker, the story gets an interesting spin. You can never peg down, why Robbie is so interested in marrying Rumi, knowing fully well that she and Vicky are inseparable.
To say that Kanika Dhillon’s writing on Manmarziyaan is layered is stating the obvious. It’s not just good writing, this is an in-depth exploration of love and the mistakes people make in matters of the heart, before they finally settle down. To top that, Kashyap has adopted a restrained storytelling style where dialogue and emotions take centre stage. The climactic scene where Taapsee and Abhishek have a long exchange of dialogue is pure cinematic delight. Amit Trivedi’s music elevates the emotions in the film to a large degree. Most of the songs help flesh out the feelings of the characters. Songs like Dhyaanchand, Halla, Daryaa and Sacchi Mohabbat are the highlights of the film. The cinematography by Sylvester Fonseca is top notch as well. The second half of the film picks up the drama and the pace, owing to the taut editing by Aarti Bajaj.
The performances by Taapsee, Vicky and Abhishek are special, to say the least. Taapsee, overcomes a few initial hiccups, to sink her teeth into the central role. This is by far, the best performance of her career. Vicky, as the quintessential Punjabi munda, who does not really have a handle on life, is superb too. But it’s Abhishek’s performance that adds to the drama. He plays the good guy with masterful restraint. Manmarziyaan is as much his film, as it is Taapsee’s.
This new-age love story with Facebook friend requests and Tinder conversations, also has the charm and depth of an old-school love saga. The motif of twins, peppered right through the film is funny and random but if you dig deep, you will probably find out why. At times, the story might be a little too deep for millennials, but Manmarziyaan is one of the best romantic movies to come out of Bollywood in a long time.