Date: 14 September 2018
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Tapsee Pannu and Vickey Kaushal
First things first, Manmarziyaaṅ is unlike any Anurag Kashyap film you have watched so far.
There are no dark frames, dark thoughts or dark deeds in the entire narrative, no violence, no abuse and no cuss word either.
The premise is the bright and colorful Amritsar, so there is the Golden Temple naturally and also chunri sangit, salwar sweater romance on terrace, hockey stick references and tall glasses of lassi.
Some characteristics continue though. As always Kashyap film is non-judgmental. There are no good/ bad characters that do right/ wrong things and are strong /weak in different circumstances but they are accepted as they are.
The passion sustains too and as always is illogical and fearless. So every morning when Vickey/ Shyam Kaushal wakes up, he jumps over walls to meet his beloved Rumi/ Tapsee Pannu and does what he desires uncaring of being caught.
It is not just the passion, it is the expression. In an unusual moment in the film Rumi tells Robbie/ Abhishek Bachchan ‘Mujhe pyaar chaḍha hai’ before the couple make it to the bed, this is definitely a new line from a woman to a man.
All Kashyap films are unconventional and Manmarziyaaṅ is no exception.
Apparently a love story between DJ Vickey/ Vickey Kaushal and Rumi/ Tapsee Pannu, Robbie/ Abhishek Bachchan is the banker who arrives from UK and takes away the dulhaniya.
Manmarziyaan addresses multiple issues that range from moral/ social/ family/ gender to generation issues without getting preachy. Vickey suffers from commitment phobia and Rumi with red hair is a free spirit nobody can control. Robbie returns to roots and agrees to arrange marriage but the problems are far from over.
Sex is never a mystery in Kashyap films and the characters freely discuss virginity. Nor is religion fortunately as Robbie grabs a puff and a drink remaining respectful to the turban.
Relationships are always complex and writer Kanika ushers the happy and sad moments unobtrusively. Manmarziyaan deconstructs marriage/honeymoon, introduces us to new age parents/in-laws who know when to take a back seat.
We have been watching love stories from time immemorial so what’s different about Manmarziyaaṅ? Well, it is spunky, frothy, breaking stereotypes and presenting a new gaze which is liberating!
Tapsee Pannu and Vickey Kaushal are sparkling and share terrific chemistry while Abhishek Bachchan returns in a mature, refined performance as a dream husband.
Director Anurag Kashyap proves that he is as effective in bright, happy frames as in the dark alleys and what he chooses is his manmarziyaan.
I rate the thoroughly entertaining Manmarziyaaṅ with 3.5 stars.