Dedicated to writer-poet Amrita Pritam, Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan is a hedonistic flamboyant romance which is well-described through Rumi’s poem: “Love is reckless; not reason. Reason seeks a profit. Love comes on strong, consuming herself, unabashed.” And ultimately, we now have an Anurag Kashyap romance, where he seeks exuberance through the character-driven plot. Even the female protagonist is named Rumi, who has nothing to do with the poet, but her reckless rage oscillates the romance. Rooted in local (Punjabi) flavour of Amritsar, Anurag Kashyap mounts the psyche of the characters, with a self-indulgent pace which explores the dark side in a light-hearted film (confusing as well as interesting, isn’t it?).
Rumi (Tapsee Pannu) is a free-spirited young woman indulged with Vicky Sandhu (Vicky Kaushal), a care-free DJ who develops a cold feet when it comes to marriage. Enter Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), a NRI banker with whom Rumi agrees upon an arranged marriage after giving up on Vicky’s commitment issues. Kanika Dhillon’s layered writing sprouts an intriguing conflict between the heart and the mind exploring the depths of commitment, relationship and maturity. Kanika Dhillon’s script is largely derived from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), but it’s the layers and the simmering which makes Manmarziyaan stand tall. There’s a duality in terms of Rumi’s choice between Vicky and Robbie, decorated by twinning of the psyche through twins, who are often seen during friction of thoughts – it’s unapologetically electric.
Like Dev D (2009), Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and Bombay Velvet (2015) to even Mukkabaaz (2018), Manmarziyaan has abundant musical narrative where each piece of orchestration evokes emotions elevating the romance. Amit Trivedi’s folk fusion soundtrack sensually propels the narrative accompanied by soulful lyrics by Shelle. Cinematographer Sylvester Fonseca gazes through the zestful frames, which create an alley for the character psyche – mostly shot indoors, it traps the viewers into an entanglement of ‘choice’. Manmarziyaan flows gradually, often predictable as it patiently unfolds while ending on a vulnerable note – it doesn’t disappoint. It’s an understanding between the characters which Anurag Kashyap remarkably comprehends with his versatility. Manmarziyaan is an oscillation between the duality, maturity and complexity of the relationships.
Tapsee Pannu is unapologetically terrific, though it takes sometime for her to reckon the character arc. Vicky Kaushal masters the skin of DJ Vicky Sandzz, and his vulnerability post-rejection transforms into a superlative performance. Abhishek Bachchan spices up the drama with his new-inning through a defining performance.
Quoting Rumi, “Passion makes the old medicine new. Passion lops off the bough of weariness. Passion is the elixir that renews: how can there be weariness when passion is present?” As the Kashmir segment seeks tranquility, Manmarziyaan’s conundrum sparkles in search of perfection leaving with a tinge of smile in an Anurag Kashyap film.
Language: Hindi, Punjabi
Release: 14 September, 2018
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