Whether it's Dev D, Gangs Of Wasseypur 1and 2 or Raman Raghav, there is rarely an Anurag Kashyap film that you have stepped out of the theatre feeling what you are most likely to feel after watching Manmarziyaan.
It is not easy to say a love story in Bollywood and keep it fresh, given the number and variety of love stories we churn out every year. Manmarziyaan does not claim to be a story that you have not heard before, but it is the treatment of the film that does the magic.
The story is pretty straightforward and is almost everything that you have seen in the trailer. Two wild children Rumi and Vicky are a high on hormones couple. Vicky loves Rumi passionately enought to create a ruckus when her marriage is fixed but not brave enough to take the responsibility. He is ok about running away but does not know what is to happen after that. He is lazy, a little bit of a coward and inherently flawed. In fact all the characters in the film are inherently flawed but so real that you can't help but be a part of this journey. The star of the film is definitely Tapsee Pannu who not only my has the most amount of screen presence, but also the meatiest of the roles that she does perfect justice to. She is very much a wild child bullet riding sardarni from Amritsar but as far from being a stereotype as possible. Her character is not meant to lovable and she is not, but you can't help but see the story from her angle and be a part of all her wrong decisions without having the heart to judge her.
The third angle of this messy romance is Robbie played by Abhishek Bachchan who is making quite the comeback with his film. His is perhaps the trickiest roles as it is easy to consider his stable and level headed personality as boring in comparison to the colourful and vivacious Rumi and Vicky. But again, Anurag Kashyap makes sure that doesn't happen and makes his character much more desirable than we expect the third angle in a triangle to be. Performance wise he is probably a tone more dramatic than the amazingly real Tapsee and Vicky, but it is not something that is too much of a hiccup.
Talking about the elephant in the room, yes this perhaps the most un-Anurag Kashyap film of Anurag Kashyap. There are no guns being fired, abuses being hurled or uncomfortable sex being had. In fact, he has cautiously avoided all the tropes like dark lighting and unconventional camera angles that we commonly associate with Anurag Kashyap. It is probably his way of saying that he is anything but a stereotype and he can make a love story as convincingly he can make a Gangs of Wasseypur and applause must be reserved for that. But even though the stereotypes are not there, the Anurag Kashyap style is very much there. One of the most cinematic part of the film is the frequent appearance of two twin sisters who just dance in the background. This simple manages to convey so much with so little, which is a classic Anurag Kashyap. That and the attention to details are the only thing that reminds you that it is an Anurag Kashyap film
Talking about this film would be incomplete without talking about Amit Trivedi's hauntingly beautiful music. It's not just the melody or the lyrics, but the music itself is a character in itself.
In conclusion, Manmarziyaan might remind you of a little bit of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or Tanu weds Manu in bits, but is perhaps the most real yet cinematic take on modern messy romances that Bollywood has ever come up with. Definitely a must watch.