Manmarziyaan is a modern-day Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). However, as soon as you identify the similarities you realize that it’s a story of anyone who has ever loved, or yearns to be loved.
Set in a small town in Amritsar, Punjab, the film begins with Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) leaping across rooftops to get to Rumi’s (Taapsee Pannu) room. They are visibly excited and enjoying a honeymoon phase of their relationship that is perfectly defined with the song Grey Waala Shade playing the background.
Vicky is a self-proclaimed DJ who’s afraid of commitment and refuses to take responsibilities of his actions. Rumi too is equally lost in life; she is constantly running from everything… quite literally.
They are undoubtedly madly in love, but by no means are “Romeo and Juliet.” The two are obnoxiously immature, and only do as their hearts desire, i.e. as per their manmarizyaan. This is where writer Kanika Dhillon and director Anurag Kashyap have beautifully portrayed a layered story about love.
To offer some method to the madness, enter Robbie – a calm and mature man who’s interested in marrying Rumi even though he’s aware of her on-going toxic relationship.
Hence, begins the roller-coaster ride of wild and messy affairs.
The film progresses primarily from Rumi’s point of view and her frustration/confusion with the indecisive Vicky. Though she is portrayed as a strong independent woman, she is unapologetically stubborn and borderline self-destructive. Rumi is not a lovable character to be sympathized with, but there is a point when she breaks down and you truly feel her pain. Kudos to Pannu for effortlessly playing such a complex character.
Other notable moments are when you see a subtle shift in the male leads’ characters as well. Their characters show growth within the narrative of the film, which is again where the Kashyap’s understanding of human nature is admirable.
The music of the film deserves a special shoutout – composed by Amit Trivedi and written by Shellee, all the songs are beautifully woven into the screenplay. Where dialogues don’t do justice, the music supports in conveying the deepest of emotions at various stages in the film.
While the performance of each character keeps you hooked, the slow pace in the second half and discussion over the same issue for the umpteenth time gets exhausting.
Rating: [3 / 5]
Manmarziyaan is not a typical romantic-drama with a simple beginning, middle and end. It’s a mature story about all the grey shades of love.