I was looking forward to Manmarziyaan; you can probably tell from the featured Preview. This is director Anurag Kashyap’s second film of the year, the first being the fabulous Mukkabaaz. Kashyap’s films are generally a treasure – the guy knows what he is doing and he does it well. He excels in the crime genre (Gangs of Wasseypur etc.) but lately his stories come threaded with a romantic angle. Manmarziyaan is of the latter genre.
Manmarziyaan is literally “my wish” – “Man” = mind, “Marzi” = wish. In this case it is the wish of impetuous, high-strung and willful Rumi Bagga (Pannu). Rumi lives with her aunt and uncle and is in love with local good-for-nothing Vicky Sandhu (Kaushal). When the family discover him ensconced in her room one morning, she is threatened with marriage to good husband material Robbie Bhatia (Bachchan) . . .
The story wasn’t hard to piece together from the teaser, but the way this film teetered and tottered I wasn’t quite sure that this was going to end the way I thought it was. Plus no guarantees with Kashyap; he often doesn’t go the crowd-pleasing route. I will say that the first half of Manmarziyaan is super tight – just no-getting-off-your-seat engrossing. In the second the film flags a bit, because we get to dealing with the the knobby, crumbly bits of life. Kashyap also takes a chance with this romance by painting his characters in shades of grey – there is no purely “good” character here except Robbie. I blame that characterization for the lack of feel-good fuzziness to the film’s ending. Or maybe that’s just me – my husband loved the film in it’s entirety.
Manmarziyaan is a must-see also because of its stellar cast. Vicky Kaushik is fabulous just as expected – you have seen Masaan, haven’t you? But Taapsee is a revelation; she is really proving her mettle here. Abhishek Bachchan, not necessarily the best of actors, is just right as brooding, taciturn Robbie – his character reminded me of Ajay Devgan’s in the lovely “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”. Even the supporting cast is just so spot-on, from Robbie’s mom to Rumi’s cousin sister.
In Manmarziyaan I also see some of the quirks of “Dev D”, with the appearance of twins in random frames. The music is also kinda typical of Kashyap films – stems from the locale and genre of the film. My favorite was Darya – both film and uncut versions.
Manmarziyaan is now my second favorite film of the year 🙂 – do go see!
Kidwise: The movie has plenty of make-out scenes, although it is pretty cleanly done. The storyline and content of Manmarziyaan will probably only interest ages 15 and above.