Manmarziyaan review: Absolute exhaustion of love

Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) and Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) are deeply in fyaar, as in love+lust, with no strings attached. One fine day, under family pressure, Rumi decides she wants marriage; Vicky gets cold feet. She figures enough is enough and moves on; yet not quite. Sex keeps pulling them back together over several similar cycles of kabhi haan, kabhi naa.

Then there is the virtuous NRI Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan). He falls in pyaar (not fyaar, mind you; he is the good, dependable husband material after all) at first sight with Rumi, knows that he doesn’t have a chance in hell yet decides to push his luck with her. Together the three characters leave you weary than engaged, even though the actors playing the lead roles give them their all.

  • Manmarziyaan
  • Director: Anurag Kashyap
  • Starring: Vicky Kaushal, Taapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan
  • Run time: 2 hours 26 minutes
  • Storyline: A love triangle set in Amritsar

Things are set up well. The music, choreography, the jumping along terraces, the earthy humour and funny touches — like a heroine who is addicted to watching mating games of animals on TV wild life shows. There is a song that talks of “ghise pite version ko maaro update” (updating the old-fashioned). May be age has caught up with yours truly; but yet another tale of young, commitment-phobic, confused and messy lovers is hard to stomach even though it may claim to come with the edgy and trippy signature of Anurag Kashyap. Ditto with the nth depiction of the “bold”, “free-spirited” woman in contemporary Bollywood — all cast in a similar mould, seeming typical now in their deliberately atypical ways.

Manmarziyaan revs up fast at the start but loses momentum just as quick and early. Even an interesting device like the dancing twins personifying the dichotomy in the heroine’s mind, becomes overused and gimmicky through the course of the film.

For a film that tries so hard to make fyaar a cool thing, it ends up being a round peg in a round hole.

Ironically, it’s then that Manmarziyaan is at its most persuasive; in the last, long, lovely conversation leading up to a conventional, didn’t we see it coming closure. The referencing of the uber-radical Amrita Pritam and her poem “Main tainu phir milangi” then seems superfluous. This is certainly not an updation of the already way ahead-of-its-times Sahir-Amrita-Imroze triangle. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam redux? Well, may be.

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