Manmarziyaan review: Anurag Kashyap’s distinctive take on love is a delightful watch

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MAYUR SANAP
Published Sep 13, 2018, 2:12 pm IST
Updated Sep 14, 2018, 5:17 pm IST
This film can be viewed as a beautiful character study about three fallible persons, but somehow compatible on a deeper level.
Manmarziyaan was premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
 Manmarziyaan was premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
Rating:

Director: Anurag Kashyap

Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, and Vicky Kaushal.

 

Anurag Kashyap, popularly known as a gritty filmmaker, has finally unleashed his lighter side with a seemingly light romantic film. As almost every Bollywood filmmaker fantasises of making that universally acceptable romantic drama, Kashyap’s latest ‘Manmarziyaan’ feels committed to making us believe that he has yielded to the same temptation. The trailer of ‘Manmarziyaan’ might be a reminiscent of certain Bollywood love stories we have previously seen but hold on, this Anurag Kashayp spin on GenNow love packs a lot of surprises.

‘Manmarziyaan’ portrays a more realistic version of the modern relationships free from idealised romance, forced conflicts or those typical ‘big gestures’ with which everything is solved. This film tells a story of three complex characters portrayed by Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal and Abhishek Bachchan. Here the story is not very unique. The treatment is. The way these twisted characters unfold is realistic. There is no fantasy involved so the audience won't get what they expected, but instead it is focused on the development of three characters and the ups and downs of their interwined relationship.

The story of ‘Manmarziyaan’ follows Rumi (Tapsee Pannu), a free-spirited young woman, who is in love with Vicky (Vicky Kaushal), a blue-haired DJ afraid to take bigger responsibilities in his life. When Rumi’s family finds out about their relationship, pressure builds up on them to get married. Meanwhile, Rumi plans to elope with Vicky but soon finds out that he is not ready to marry her. Eventually, she gives up on him and agrees to an arranged marriage. Enters Rajbir Bhatia aka Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), a London-settled banker who falls deeply in love with Rumi. A roller-coaster ride of emotions ensues forming rest of the story.

A still from the film. (Courtesy: YouTube/ErosNow)A still from the film. (Courtesy: YouTube/ErosNow)

'Manmarziyaan' especially feels different from Kashyap's earlier films because this is the first time he has helmed a film which is not written by him. The writing responsibilities have been skilfully handled by Kanika Dhillon, who seems to have taken inspiration from certain Bollywood films of the past- from Woh 7 Din, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Tanu Weds Manu to Shuddh Desi Romance. Some might even compare it with Anurag's own Dev.D. However, despite the resemblance, 'Manmarziyaan' is fresh and stands tall on its own. In many ways, it is actually a better film in term of its approach to characters and a distinct narrative style. The pace is slow and gentle, letting the storyline unfold around the characters. Sure there are no massive revelations but then that isn't what this film is about.

This film captures the raw emotions in modern day love, including the fights, the small betrayals and the reconciliations which bring texture to an otherwise simple romance. In that aspect, 'Manmarziyaan' is a character study about three fallible persons, but somehow compatible on a deeper level. And the excellent performances from the lead actors make these characters completely credible. 

Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu in the still from 'Manmarziyaan' trailer. (Courtesy: YouTube/ErosNow)Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu in the still from 'Manmarziyaan' trailer. (Courtesy: YouTube/ErosNow)

Taapsee Pannu is truly the powerhouse of the movie. She does a remarkable job in giving life to Rumi's character. Vicky Kaushal draws out the raw emotion in the film. His vulnerability is endearing and heartbreaking at once. The chemistry between Pannu and Kaushal is palpable. However, the most memorable passages of the film are when we see Pannu with Abhishek Bachchan. Even though Abhishek’s character is marginally original, it refuses to follow the standard from romantic cinema, which makes him very pleasant to watch. The music by Amit Trivedi is superlative. Anurag once again seamlessly blends it with the narrative and it actually becomes the fourth important character in the film.

At the end, Anurag Kashyap’s spin on modern love has a lot of heart and depth.  The film especially deserves a watch for trying to do something different to what we commonly see in romantic cinema. It’s a story well acted and well told. 

Watch Manmarziyaan trailer here:

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