Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Abhishek Bachchan
Composer: Amit Trivedi
The ever-so-confident Scarlett O’Hara pined after the nebulous and unattainable Ashley Wilkes thinking that it was the one true love of her life. But when the road to claim Ashley cleared, she realised her rock was Rhett Butler – the beau-turned-husband who steadied her every time she faltered. Thwarted by John Willoughby, the vivacious Jane Austen heroine, Marianne Dashwood comes to her senses and picks the boring but stable Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. Nandini (Aishwarya Rai) of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Maya (Padmini Kolhapure) of Woh Saat Din, Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) of Tanu Weds Manu have similar motivations when they distance themselves from their tempestuous relationships and embrace their placid marriage. Rumi, Anurag Kashyap’s heroine in Manmarziyaan, too arrives at the same conclusion but through an extremely tumultuous, winding and at times exasperating route.
If the mystic poet, Rumi’s words are all about harmony and serenity, then Rumi in Manmarziyaan, played by Taapsee Pannu, is jagged and discordant.
Manmarziyaan certainly doesn’t have the most original plot, but the film is elevated by impressive performances – Anurag Kashyap’s strength in creating moments infused with humour and everyday quirks and an edgy background score by Amit Trivedi. Vicky Kaushal is impressive as the ditsy Vicky whose swagger and bravado is only skin deep. He maintains a facade with his bleached mohawk and tacky t-shirts, but even the slightest criticism breaks him. He repeatedly flakes out on Rumi despite the long promises. The practical mind asks why Rumi keeps going back to him? Well, Vicky Kaushal’s performance convinces you that Vicky of Manmarziyaan is worth fighting for. Abhishek Bachchan has a quiet presence throughout. His Robbie is described as the Ramji type, a man who never raises his voice. After a two-year hiatus, Abhishek looks comfortable in a film that doesn’t have a definite hero.
It’s Rumi, around whom the film pivots, who’s hard to love. She is a bundle of contradictions. She is defiant, outspoken yet she keeps hurling herself on a self-destructive path without the slightest provocation. She shows affection towards her husband by frying his favourite pakodas for him. And why must a strong, modern woman be always portrayed as carelessly smoking, swearing, drinking or engaging in casual sex? Can a woman not be strong and rebellious without indulging in any of these activities?
Anurag Kashyap’s directorial is a tale of modern romance. Couples meet on Tinder, a wife professes her love by sending her husband a friend request on Facebook, there is no space for the concept of there’s-one-true-love, and love and sex are not bound by any rules. You make the rules as you go – that’s Manmarziyaan in a nutshell.
The Manmarziyaan review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.