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Manmarziyaan (2018) Movie Review

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  • 6/10
    Critic's Rating - 6/10

Manmarziyaan by Anurag Kashyap

As the opening credits roll out with the  song ‘Grey Walaa Shade’, Anurag Kashyap introduces us straight into the world of Rumi (intense and terrific Tapsee Pannu) and Vicky (‘snakes hole mein hai’ fame Vicky Kaushal) not with an open disclaimer but one which is hidden in the lyrics of this amazingly crafted twisted musical number. Anurag Kashyap takes the route of heart of its three central protagonists – Rumi, Vicky and Robbie (played by Abhishek Bachchan) and creates a twisted tale of love and relationships. Hence, it would not be correct to compare this film with Kashyap’s any other work, where we see more of a realistic world with enough shades of grey. In other words, Manmarziyaan can be called Kashyap’s most Bollywood film ever.

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Manmarziyaan Plot

It is interesting to see the twins – Poonam and Priyanka Shah represent the two lovebirds for whom love holds no bar just like the film’s title – ‘Manmarziyaan‘. They dance and live to the tunes of their hearts without letting others overshadow them.

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As the film gradually progresses, one can notice the twins being played as a motif throughout the film of being inseparable and the ongoing crisis in Rumi and Vicky’s life with the damage they have brought with their fyaar. This is evident in the scene when Robbie (played by Abhishek Bachchan) gets drunk in the bar with the song ‘Halla’ playing in the background and the sobbing faces of the twins shows up showing the emotional crisis in their lives.

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Anurag Kashyap takes a different route this time around by going mainstream since his failed magnum opus ‘Bombay Velvet’ but again mainstream is twisted too here in true Anurag Kashyap style. But does all this twist and turn of heart works?

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Yes, partially. Manmarziyan works primarily because of the performances of its lead actors, Amit Trivedi’s music and a refreshing flavor to love in the age of Tinder, WhatsApp and social media. But amidst all this, we find the cinematic style of Anurag Kashyap but his personal touch and brilliance is missing here. What starts as a fun ride in the first half, derails in the second half and becomes an exhausting watch with several rounds of Fyaar, marriage and elopement.

Anurag Kashyap’s style

Anurag Kashyap’s style or technique works for the most part and holds the film together. Whether it is the portrayal of mutual favor between Rumi and Vicky or scenes where Rumi and Robbie get drunk on a terrace in true filmy style, exchange words while watching a documentary of mating animals or walk down the streets answering questions previously unanswered.

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The craft of the film is near to perfection in technical departments but if you take out the central performances and the music, there is hardly any soul left in the film. The music is another central character in the film which slowly gets weaved into the films narrative and speaks for itself just like any other character.

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Manmarziyaan feels like there are three characters playing around with their open heart but without any motive in sight. You think of their decisions but do not know their motives or where their heart is trying to lead. With such uncertainty, the film goes off the track and tests your patience in its 157 minutes long running time.

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Watch Manmarziyaan if you want to see the mainstream side of Anurag Kashyap, who is always here to experiment. With this film he has atleast given us an entertaining ride if not completely satisfying. Manmarziyaan deserves a one time watch atleast for the craft at display.

About the author

Umang K Nemani

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