Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Abhishek Bachchan & Taapsee Pannu
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Release date: Friday September 14, 2018
Nikhil’s Rating: ***1/2
Manmarziyan which literally translates to The Heart’s wish, is the latest movie from Anurag Kashyap. Yes that’s right, Anurag Kashyap; a name that comes to mind when one thinks of Gangs of Wasepur Part 1 & 2 Raman Raghav 2.0, Bombay Velvet. His repertoire is endless.
With Manmarziyan he decides to reinvent himself and presents a rom-com. The triangle includes a bunch of really talented players: Vicky Kaushal, Abhishek Bachchan & Taapsee Pannu. Set in Amritsar, Punjab, It is a modern take on relationships. Manmarziyaan showcases what the young generation feels about love and the institution of marriage. Vicky Kaushal, last seen in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju plays Vicky. Taapsee Pannu plays Rumi who is madly in love with Vicky. Abhishek Bachchan plays Robbie who is essentially an NRI who’s flown down from Hindi Cinema’s most preferred location: London. What ensues is a love triangle. The newness does not lie in this fact. More of this ahead. Small town themes seem to be Anand L Rai’s (the Producer) forte.
As the audience delves deeper into the story, of which I won’t mention any more, one will start to notice the layers in the characters. Anurag Kashyap has probably made use of the modern day romance angle prevalent in today’s society and turned it up several notches. Kanika Dhillon, the writer shows a keen eye for observation of real-life situations and has mixed up a cocktail of passionate love, with the humour to guide the audience. Modern day relationships these days are filled with confusion and are messy as ever but the telling is what makes Manmarziyaan stand out from other Hindi Movies. Here, I might have given you the summary of the plot, but trust me, this is nothing. It is exactly what the trailer tells you.
Anurag Kashyap has made one of the boldest choices as a filmmaker to narrate this story. He excels in doing so. He tries to make a bold statement about his capacity as a filmmaker. I have to confess one thing though: This was the first Anurag Kashyap movies I have seen. Ardent followers of his Cinema will pounce on me. But, I have to say that I don’t have the appetite for the visceral, brutal violence that he usually has portrayed up until Manmarziyaan. For people who criticise the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) for not being liberal and progressive, this movie has been cleared with a U/A rating in India, which classifies a film to be suitable for ages 13+.
The dialogues by Kanika Dhillon are very witty and bring the house down. Vicky Kaushal is turning out to be the most versatile actor out of the Hindi film Industry. What he has achieved in this film is nothing short of brilliant. I had last watched him in Raazi. There he played the Army officer with restrain and subtlety. He has done a 180 in this one. It is unimaginable to watch him change so drastically with a gap of one feature film. It is truly something to watch out for. Taapsee Pannu as Rumi plays her charter with great depth. I had enjoyed her performance in Pink. Abhishek Bachchan plays Robbie with a sense of responsibility and an inherent honesty. He is probably one of the most underrated actors in the industry. He is the catalyst of this film.
Anurag Kashyap’s direction is fabulous. He has kept the narrative style fresh throughout the entire film. Kashyap has also managed to use the total of 12 soundtracks, yes 12 soundtracks does sound excessive, but the integration of these is masterfully done. Amit Trivedi’s soundtrack enhances the impact of this film. The essence of the “middle class” of Punjab is evident in the narrow lanes and cramped spaces throughout the movie.
Sylvester Fonseca’s camerawork is outstanding especially in the second half. The edit by Aarti Bajaj is sharp. It does get a little indulgent in the second half but is not boring because of the performances and witty dialogues
Fans of Anurag Kashyap will love the changed vision. Its a spirited and refreshing film that may stay with you if your appetite is for off-beat rom-coms with a different treatment.