'Manmarziyaan' movie review: Worth a watch this weekend?
Why Anurag Kashyap should direct more romantic films.
There are love stories and then there are stories that leave a lingering taste behind - 'Manmarziyaan' falls in the latter category.
Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) are free-spirited lovers based in Amritsar. Their families have made peace with the fact that the couple can't live without each other and yet don't interfere when they see things falling apart.
Vicky is a little-known musician, who goes by the name DJ Sandz, and it is his routine to jump terraces in the neighbourhood to make love or 'fyaar' (as they say in the film) with Rumi. He isn't ready for any responsibility, so when Rumi's family wants to meet him, he just doesn't turn up. An angry Rumi agrees to marry anybody her family wants her to and Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), the banker from London, ends up at their doorstep.
Anurag Kashyap, who is known for his grim gangster films, proves that he can switch gears and handles this proverbial love triangle with great ease. Kanika Dhillon brings us a story that is raw and can resonate across generations. The beauty of the film is that each character in the lead is fleshed out luxuriously, without any haste, and the able actors take it to another level.
While they might seem unreasonable at times, it is not impossible to see why they behave the way they do. The conflict and confusion in the minds of the trio - Rumi and Vicky who love each other and yet can't be together to Robbie who knows about their relationship and yet wants to marry her - surfaces beautifully in the movie.
Vicky is loud, boisterous and shows off his moves as he grooves to his music, inspired by the likes of Yo! Yo! Honey Singh and Badshah. He is instantly likeable as so is his partner, Rumi, a raging tomboy and rebel without a cause. Abhishek delivers a nuanced, measured performance as Robbie and his obsession to marry a girl madly in love with someone else will keep you puzzled. There is no stopping Taapsee, Vicky Kaushal and the Abhishek 2.0 from here.
Amit Trivedi's folksy-Punjabi music is placed intricately in the film and although there are multiple songs, they don't obstruct the flow but rather work as glue.
Remember the random appearances of composer Pritam and his band in Anurag Basu's 2007 outing 'Life in a Metro'? 'Manmarziyaan' has twins that keep resurfacing, along with their dance moves and bleed into the narrative. It seems whimsical but their symbolism will make you marvel at this addition.
What I loved about the film was the unpredictability, in spite it being predictable. Wait with bated breath as the director delivers a well-scripted climax stuffed with lines/moments that will make you question why he hadn't made a romantic film yet.
Sylvester Fonseca's efforts as the cinematographer is top class and so is the editing by Aarti Bajaj, although few did complain about the long length leading to the intermission. In defence, good things take time, as they should.
'Manmarziyaan' delivers the angst, the duality of characters, and muddled minds of the tinder generation that many new-age films failed to bring to the fore at times. It is a fulfilling love story that is crafted with care and is a must watch.
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal
Directed by: Anurag Kashyap
Ratings: 3.5 stars/5