Manmarziyaan, at first glance seems to be most unlike Anurag Kashyap and that’s understandable.
It starts with a song. In fact, there is music waiting for us at every turn and twist of the plot. There are no blood-thirsty gangs of men trying to mark their territory. No desi katta, bullets or cuss words exhaled out.
However, Anurag’s obsession with flawed characters and their maverick motivations continues. Only the fight this time is internal.
To put it in very Imtiaz Ali-esque terms, the conflict is with one’s own heart and the various directions one gets pulled in when you completely surrender to its machinations.
Everyone in Amritsar knows about Sandhu da puttar Vicky (Vicky Kaushal), an aspiring DJ who wants to be the next Badshaah and Sukkhi.
His pyaar and “fyaar” for Rumi is the talk of the town. However, when it’s time for shaadi ki baat with gharwaale, DJ Sans is tongue-tied.
Rumi (Taapsee Pannu), on the contrary, goes full-throttle and their crazy, unstoppable chemistry gives us a delightful tapestry of emotions that writer Kanika Dhillon masterfully etches out.
The screenplay pulsates and throbs, swirls and scintillates with the lovers. But then banker Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), returning from London, comes into the picture. He is painfully aware of Vicky’s obsession but is also smitten by Rumi enough to fling his heart into the fray.
Taapsee, Vicky and Abhishek are irrepressible in their roles. Taapsee, in particular, given the range she is allowed to traverse, is goddamn hard to look away from!
She owns Manmarziyaan. Vicky is delightfully unhinged and together they bring out the vulnerabilities and passion that love entails. Abhishek is beautifully understated. His is a more straight role , a “Ram ji type” as Rumi describes him, but he imbues it with sensitivity and sincerity.
The only downside of a heady, whirlwind romance is the plateau that it is destined to hit.
One would have expected the terrific team of Anurag and Kanika Dhillon to steer clear of the curse of the second half.
However, soon everything fizzles out in what appears to be a rush to tie up the loose ends.
It just isn’t convincing enough how Rumi has a change of heart or how Vicky sees reason. Simply put, man nahi mana.
However, Manmarziyaan tides over these bumps and charts a course straight for our hearts thanks to its infectious spirit.>