“If it is right, it happens—the main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”– John Steinbeck
The beauty of Love is that despite all the glaring imperfections visible on the surface, the emotion is tenacious enough to vanquish all and arouse something ethereal within us. Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan is an exploration of the chaotic dynamics between three people whose hearts dominate their minds. Their unalloyed love is both a beautiful cliché and an all pervasive emotional roller coaster which grips you, moves you and in the end engulfs your heart and for some fleeting moments you almost feel exactly what the protagonists are going through in the climatic scene. That is the genius of Anurag Kashyap, as he takes the beaten-to-death concept of a love triangle and gives us something which feels like a fresh spring morning.
A filmmaker of the calibre of Kashyap uses trade troupes and symbolism to convey much more than what words can. You will keep seeing twins, 3 or 4 of them, appear at certain junctures of the story. The twins represent emotional dilemma in the mind of Rumi ( the absolutely brilliant Taapsee Pannu). For most of the movie she is one step behind her heart. Only towards the end does one of the twin girls seem to hide behind the other, signifying that finally Rumi seems to be at ease internally and knows where her heart will lead her to.
Based on the film’s writer Kanika Dhillon’s real life story, Manmarziyaan is a study in chaos, most of which is internal. While Vicky ( Vicky Kaushal) struggles to hold on to his love, Rumi is left fighting wars with her heart and her family while Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan) is the admirer whose love is the purest, yet he is restraint and allows love to find it’s own way. Vicky Kaushal is bodacious and screen stealing in his DJ Saand avatar. He seems to be graduating into a bankable and acclaimed star within a short span of time. The role requires him to be both confused and conflicted and Vicky adds his effervescent mannerisms to resemble any struggling musician/ DJ from Punjab.
Taapsee is the glue which keeps the movie firmly in the balance with her initial devil-may-care lover antics which quickly changes to a lost soul who cannot trust the very love which she thought will help her through all her travails. Her journey is reminiscent of Pooja ( Shabana Azmi) from Arth who also fights love to find her inner self amidst all the chaos. Manmarziyaan is a modern take on a love triangle where finally the girl is not the fragile object to be played around by immature lovers. Taapsee comes across as the feisty Punjaban, hair flailing and all, who isn’t afraid to dismiss her irresponsible lover even if she planned to elope with him in the first place.
But the character which will stay with you long after the movie is over is that of Abhishek Bachchan. He is measured, he is devoted and he is the ultimate lover, one who let’s go in order to win back what is destined to be his. Welcome back to the silver screen Junior Bachchan! Anurag Kashyap uses the gift of deep, piercing eyes which Abhishek is blessed with, to convey a multitude of emotions at the same time. His eyes search for love within Rumi and when the need arises, his eyes questions her about her loyalty. Abhishek gives layers to the character and captures the attention of the audience in scenes without many dialogues. Kashyap allows each character to grow and mature on screen. There is almost a minute and a half long scene of Rumi crying by a river all alone. It shows her breaking to the lowest low, yet mustering enough courage to lift herself up and give fate a chance as she starts to warm up to Robbie for the first time. Even the final scene between the protagonists is a simple walk where they rekindle their love through a series of funny references to previous discussions they had. Anurag is in his elements in this one and it is surprising that he took so much time to make his first romantic feature.
‘Darya’, the female version, has become my favourite song of the year and Amit Trivedi uses this song and others just at the right time. His songs are an extension of the script and serve to play on the emotional journey of each of the leads. The background music is perfectly in sync with the heart conundrums on screen and amplifies the feelings with the right words.
Manmarziyaan is easily one of the best movies of the year. It is a journey of three hearts entwined together while fighting to find the love which balances everything.