Love-triangles are a dime a dozen in Bollywood and are being made by our filmmakers since the beginning of Hindi cinema. For that matter, love triangles are common across all languages in Indian cinema because of the connect many of them have managed with the audience over the years.
This time though the attempt comes from the unlikliest of minds – Mr. Anurag Kashyap – who’s mostly known for serious, realistic, hard-hitting subjects. So does he succeed in his detour? Well, what’s impressive is that Kashyap brings forth his style of cinema in a love-triangle, and it works to an extent. However, while his style shines, what doesn’t is the characterization, which certainly leaves a lot to be desired.
So, Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) are madly in love and also can’t stop lusting after each other. However, Vicky is not only a commitment phobe, but also a man-child of the highest order. Rumi needs to get hitched because her folks learn about her relationship…the work quickly spreads across the small town…and then the usual small-town gossip fast-tracks her marriage plans. Since Vicky keeps procrastinating and even embarrassing her with his puerile antics, she decides to move on with Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan) partly out of not having a choice, and partly to spite Vicky. However, matters of the heart are seldom resolved this easily, and all three get entangled further in a web of love, lies, lust, longing, and loss.
Manmarziyaan is a bumpy ride at best and topsy-turvy at worst. The film is not without its merits. In fact, there are more than a few of them like the moments of obsessive love between Rumi and Vicky, Robbie’s patience and understanding for Rumi, and Robbie and Rumi’s budding innocent romance among others. Even the dichotomy displayed between Rumi-Vicky and Rumi-Robbie’s relationships are pretty well etched.
However, the issues lie in the motivations behind all three main protagonists, and how their ensuing actions. For one, Rumi’s confusion over the two guys in her life, which looks natural initially, delves into pandemonium and gets annoying after a point. Kashyap’s direction and Kanika Dhillon’s script makes Rumi seem like someone who just can’t make up her mind rather than having a genuine issue in settling her restless heart. On the other hand, Robbie is the least identifiable of the three as neither do his reasons for trusting Rumi at first nor does his reaction later and certainly not constant fluctuations of the heart form a connect. The only character that makes a modicum of sense and whose actions are justifiable is Vicky, whose loser attributes and juvenile attitude can be spotted in many aimless Romeos.
Thankfully, these three characters are played by three actors at the top of their game. Both Taapsee and Vicky are perfection personified in their roles while Abhishek marks a responding return to form, with his silent, resilient act reminiscent of some of his best work a la Guru, Yuva, and Dhoom. Alas, their fine performances are intermittently jarred by a soundtrack wherein the potentially catchy music is severely hampered by lyrics that no one other than those fluent in Punjabi would comprehend. It also doesn’t help that you don’t comprehend a third of the dialogues because of an overdose of Punjabi lingo.
The final word on Manmarziyaan is that it has its moments, but eventually, Kashyap’s unique style at handling a love-triangle can’t overcome the confusion in its substance.
Movified Rating: 2.5/5
Images Source: Phantom