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Friday, September 22, 2023

Manmarziyaan Review: A Youthful, Realistic & Resonant Love-Story

Manmarziyaan, from the trailer, seems like a mundane Bollywood romance with a bold, sexual twist.

But the film begs curiosity as it reunites two diverse filmmakers – director Anurag Kashyap, whose films never shy away grit and realism, while producer Aanand L Rai’s movies fuse realism with heart-warming love stories.

The combination of both Kashyap and Rai seems to be quite interesting.

Plus, the trio of Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal and Abhishek Bachchan is one camaraderie which is novel.

Filme Shilmy reviews this Anurag Kashyap romance and explores whether it lives up to expectations.

The movie focuses on Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) a free-spirited, vivacious young woman and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal), a young man waiting for his music break 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), a banker enters the proverbial love triangle.

To find out what happens next, you have to see the film!

What I love about Manmarziyaan is the fact that the movie does not promise to be a ‘different’ love story. It is not all talk and no substance.

It is a realistic and relatable love-story.

Moreover, it is so nice to see a Punjabi based story which avoids stereotypes and following traditional tropes.

Kanika Dhillon pens a love tale which truly establishes how the emotion of love is not complicated, but humans are.

We see this point proved through the characters of Rumi and Vicky, in particular.

The narrative is progressive. For instance, the family of Rumi are completely aware of her having a sexual relationship with Vicky.

But despite knowing this, they are not gung-ho and they deal with the reality with sensitivity.

If this storyline was presented in a traditional Bollywood way, we would see Rumi being beaten and abused for bringing shame to the family.

It is good that sex in the film is presented not solely as a physical need but a way of forming attachments hence the creation of ‘Fyaar’ – a concept which fuses love and lust together.

Really speaking the film calls out to the youth of today.

Anurag Kashyap is an ace-director. This no longer is an opinion and yet it has been proven with his work in Manmarziyaan.

Like the emblem of all his other films, this too encompasses the grit, realism and boldness – with hints of idiosyncrasy here and there.

However, unlike others, here it is moderated and thankfully, there are no overt profanities to show how carefree today’s youths are.

Every scene is executed with such craft and creativity.

As a result, these sequences truly prove the plight of today’s youngsters.

For instance, Robbie and Rumi use social media to extend friendship by sending requests on Facebook.

Seeing this cheers Rumi up, clearly showing how comfortable she is over cyber communication.

In my opinion, Manmarziyaan is Kashyap’s most ‘commercial’ film yet.

But despite this, he does not get carried away in glorifying love how it typically does in Bollywood.

Even though we can predict the ending, the viewer enjoys witnessing the lives of Vicky, Rumi and Robbie.

It is different to see Anurag Kashyap making love stories, but he does a great job in this film.

Usually, his films require patience but this one just keeps you glued to the screen.

A special mention to Amit Trivedi’s music here too.

The music might be situational, but it perfectly complements the storyline by giving the film a slight theatrical feel.

I also love how there is a gradual transition in the characters – which are portrayed excellently by the main cast.

Rumi is everything you imagine Taapsee Pannu to be – bold, fiery and feisty.

It is quite refreshing to see Taapsee do a romantic film after all the heavy social films she has done of recent.

What I love about Rumi’s character as it feminine power in an ordinary manner. She is a girl of today who smokes, drinks and is not bound by a guy.

Initially, one thinks that she would mimic Kangana Ranaut from Tanu Weds Manu, but Taapsee captures the essence of her character well.

During love scenes between Vicky and Abhishek, Taapsee adapts to each sequence with such ease. This is definitely another feather to add to her hat!

Vicky Kaushal’s Vicky bears some resemblance to Tommy Singh from Udta Punjab.

The character is a quirky ‘Gabru’ also an aspiring music artist and a commitment-phobe.

Once again, Kaushal displays his formidability as an actor with this role.

He is not overboard with exhibiting the quirky aspects to his character.

It’s almost like he lets his inhibitions go for the role.

Amidst the crazy and complicated characters, Abhishek Bachchan provides (almost) the voice of reason through his role as Robbie.

Abhishek proves that to deliver a good performance, an actor does not need to be flamboyant, brash or in-your-face.

He maturely displays the character and even during sequences without dialogues, his presence can be felt.

Collectively all three actors have done an excellent job in the film and they flawlessly display the ongoing maturity of their characters!

It is a given that the movie is a very well-made project. But what are the flaws? Well, there aren’t ‘flaws’ as per se, but I initially could not understand the complexity of Vicky and Rumi.

The first 30 minutes required me to actually comprehend how carefree the two characters are.

Fortunately, the second half is more enjoyable as the narrative takes a more sensitive turn.

On the whole, Manmarziyaan is a type of progressive love story that Bollywood requires.

It appeals to the youth, realistic and relatable. More than that, the film also takes us viewers on a journey through the three protagonists.

Anurag Kashyap steps slightly out of his comfort zone with this and he does a fabulous job.

Go and experience what ‘Fyaar’ is about with this real love story!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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