Manmarziyaan: A Modern Day Saga of Crazy Stupid Love

Having directed movies like Dev D and Mukkabaaz, it is pretty clear that when it comes to ‘crazy stupid love’, Anurag Kashyap hits the nail on the head, and it hurts!

After watching the trailer of ‘Manmarziyaan’, Kashyap fans must have thought – he has done it before, he can do it again. After all, if love isn’t rebellious, is it even true love ? Maybe, maybe not. Manmarziyaan – in the 3 hours of its screenplay, tries to jolt you with this question and does a fair attempt at finding the answer.

The first half of the film shows a typically impulsive millennial couple with raging hormones, coming across as a rebel without a cause. Small town lovebirds – Wanna-be DJ Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) and feisty Hockey-player Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) are madly in love and lust but when Rumi’s family catches them in the middle of the act, they have no option but to take a step ahead. While Rumi is clear as crystal, Vicky is commitment-phobic and this little gap between the two nauseatingly close lovers gives space to Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), who has an excellent experience in playing the perfect Husband Material – the name by which this film has released internationally.

The first half of the story builds the three characters so strong that you can feel for each one of them and know for a thing that they exist. Also, you get acquainted with a new term for the combination of love and lust – Fyaar. The dialogues are funny, gutsy and deep. The film flashes back to glimpses of Dev D with Vicky’s character resembling Abhay’s in an annoyingly loveable way.

However, the film loses its grip in the second half due to its slow pace, predictability and too much of background music – a classic sign of Kashyap films. Abhishek Bachchan does his job well as a man who thinks he knows what he wants but surprises himself when he is supposed to deal with the complexities that come along. He is an apt mix of calmness and intensity.

Taapsee as Rumi holds her ground and delivers an audacious performance as a badass Amritsar’s jatni who believes in following her heart and expressing her feelings in the rawest way possible. Kanika Dhillon’s writing shines especially in two scenes – the confrontational exchange of words in the jeep between Rumi and Vicky and the slow walking scene between Robbie and Rumi in the climactic scene.

It’s interesting to see some recurring moments on the screen that are clearly metaphoric like Taapsee running, looks less like an exercise and more like she is trying hard to run away from her internal fights. Also, the casual appearance of several pairs of twins is symbolic of the dilemma that each character is facing at every given point in the film.

Music by Amit Trivedi spills its charm with Grey Waala Shade, F for Fyaar and Darya being the highlights of the album. Shellee and Ammy Virk stand out for their eccentric lyrics in Grey Waala Shade and the tear inducing Darya. It’s refreshing to see Kaushal shake a leg for his girl on the streets of Amritsar and he officially proves to be one of the most versatile and sincerest actors of Hindi cinema right now.

Spoiler Alert: The way Dev D blew us away with a realistic modern day take on Bhansali’s Devdas, Manmarziyan is a decent attempt to do the same with Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Rating: ⅗ Shades


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