Manmarziyaan Review - A Love Triangle that's contemporary and charming
Boy and girl meet on Tinder; it’s the first match for both of them. They meet in person, sparks fly and they fall in love. They fall for each other so badly that they end up deleting the dating app on each other’s phones as they feel that they do not require anyone else in their lives. Move on to a young man who is recently married to someone he has fallen for totally. What’s interesting is that he knows that she doesn’t love him and also that she has been in a relationship with someone else. When his friends ask him before the wedding as to why he is not bothered about the whole thing and why he’s not confronting her over the same, he says that after all it is the girl who has now agreed to marry him. So why can’t he a good alternative option in her life?
These are elements from Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan, a film that producer Aanand L.Rai and writer Kanika Dhillon have been eager to get made. After changing hands on the directorial front a couple of times (Sameer Sharma followed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari), in stepped Anurag Kashyap and it looked like an interesting yet strange combination. Of course the only reason for saying so being that there’s not been any similarity of sorts in the kind of films that Aanand L.Rai and Anurag Kashyap have been known for individually over the years. But all that seemed to be unimportant as they worked together first with Mukkabaaz and now they bring to us Manmarziyaan, a film that I felt could turn out to be Anurag’s most audience friendly film so far in his career. With the music (by Amit Trivedi) being reasonably well received and with a good amount of publicity the film has been heard of and spoken about a lot in the run up leading to the release. So now that the film has released what is the take away? How successful has Anurag been in coming up with a straightforward romantic tale for the first time ever? Let me come to that shortly.
By now I am sure everyone knows what Manmarziyaan is all about, however let me quickly dispense away with the basics. Rumi Bagga (Taapsee Pannu) is a smart and lively young woman who lives with her joint family in Amritsar. Her life revolves around her boyfriend, Vicky Sandhu (Vicky Kaushal), an aspiring DJ and someone who is not yet serious about his career and life. When their romance is discovered by Rumi’s family, there is pressure on her to get married. Despite their misgivings about Vicky, Rumi’s family elders agree to get them married off. But Vicky develops cold feet and is unable to come to terms with the whole concept of getting married. Eventually Rumi’s patience wears off and she agrees for an arranged wedding to anyone of the family’s choice. In comes Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), a suave banker from London and someone who falls for Rumi at first glance. What happens from thereon in the lives of Rumi, Vicky and Robbie is what the rest of the film is all about.
Manmarziyaan interestingly sees Anurag Kashyap work purely as a director for the first time and rely on Kanika Dhillon’s writing (he’s always been involved with the writing of all his previous films) and the re-write probably has been up to his satisfaction. The 3 principal characters, Rumi, Vicky and Robbie are all well fleshed out and they bring in their own characteristic depth to the plot. There are lots of interesting moments in the film, take for example Vicky opening up to Robbie and declaring his undying love for Rumi. No, this doesn’t happen in the form of an ugly confrontation as it would usually happen in most films; here we see the two men peacefully sitting in a plush hotel and talking over beer. Also Rumi and Vicky make no bones about their interest in each other which includes the desire for physical intimacy, something that is not hushed up ever. Sylvester Fonseca’s cinematography does great justice to the film, be it the indoors of the Amritsar homes or the outdoors of Kashmir, they come alive vividly on screen.
Amit Trivedi’s music is another highlight of the film; the songs pack a punch and stay true to the mood and tone of the narrative. The film totally belongs to the 3 main leads, none of the supporting cast members get much screen time. However Saurabh Sachdeva as Kakaji who runs a wedding bureau and Ashnoor Kaur who plays Rumi’s younger sister Kiran, deserve a mention. Vicky Kaushal seems to be on a roll now, he only seems to be getting better with each outing on the big screen and here he plays the flashy yet vulnerable Vicky with conviction. Taapsee Pannu continues to impress and her portrayal of Rumi is laced with a lot of charm and grace, bringing in a good balance to the 2 male lead characters. It’s great to see Abhishek Bachchan back on the big screen after a while, here he reminds us again of how he’s an actor with potential and can do well given the right character and director to guide him along.
Manmarziyaan certainly sees Anurag Kashyap embrace the conventional love triangle route, but he adds his take to the same and spices it up in his style to make it impactful.
Manmarziyaan is certainly Anurag Kashyap’s most audience friendly film so far; one that is leisurely paced but packed with wonderful performances from the 3 main leads, making it an interesting watch.