Coming like a breath of fresh air from Anurag Kashyap, this sensitive and psychological take on love packs in more than it seems. However, youngsters will be let down
So what if the man decided to let go of his comfort zone of crime this time? Its still Anurag Kashyap, and man he proves with Manmarziyaan that he is indeed a genius filmmaker, no matter what genre he gets into. Its still the same man who refuses to make films just for entertainment. If you can read between the lines, there’s so much for you in this that’s never too evident or visible.
In the city of Amritsar, a sports goods shop manager Rumi (Taapsee Pannu) and a happy go lucky DJ Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) are madly in love. Literally. Their day begins with Vicky jumping off the terraces to dive straight into Rumi’s bedroom, as they can’t remain away from each other. They are horny as hell and completely into each other. Literally. One fine morning after getting caught red handed by Rumi’s grandfather, it is decided that Rumi be married off to someone else. Rumi tries to convince her family for Vicky to which they agree. Give in a few siyappas and come in Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan), a London return banker who comes up as the potential groom for Rumi.
Kanika Dhillon’s story is fresh, new, unique, distinct, contemporary, relatable. With the setting established to differentiate between ‘pyaar‘ and ‘fyaar‘ and in no intentions to pass judgement about any of them, the story wins you over.
The film with its swift pace packs in too much that at the time of interval, you feel that you’ve seen an entire film. The characters are introduced quickly, situations are thrown in, conflicts arise, action rises and falls, supporting cast contributes, the plot moves- all just 20 mins into the film. Imagine what fine detailing has been brought in the writing.
The youth of today, responsibility, moving beyond physical intimacy, family and its values, to stand for what’s right, valuing the chances you get, maturity in relationship, marriage as a commitment, are just few things that the film talks about. And nothing comes across as burden.
With subtle dialogues popping in just at the right situations say things that make you think about life and its complexities. Mujhe pata hai ki tumhari peeth pe right side pe til hai, lekin ye nahi pata ki tumhe barish mein pakode pasand hain ya jalebi– makes you uncomfortable at the times you live in. Dhillon, a job supremely nailed.
Although a love story, the films contains the signature of Kashyap and his thought process written all across. The images and graffiti on the walls and on the interiors of Vicky’s studio or even the T shirts worn by characters convey the mood in symbols.
Robbie’s declaration on what kind of wife does he want for himself, or Rumi asking Robbie to give a kick to her bike, or even Vicky reversing his car to the point where in the climax you see the characters indulge in a conversation while walking- is what Anurag Kashyap blows your mind with. You can’t stop appreciating him and Dhillon for weaving these moments in the screenplay making you see a lot more than the actual happenings on screen.
Still despite all of this, the film remains for the classes and will turn the youngsters off to a great deal. The film stands at 157 mins- too long for the multiplex audience of today, involves love at a psychological level which needs to be felt rather than enjoyed on screen, and stretched towards the climax with too much of dialogues where it might seem repetitive- are the causes why millennial won’t be able to relate to this one.
Taapsee Pannu shines effortlessly in her role. Rumi’s confusion, her desperation, her maturity, naivety, risks that she takes, her guilt, her unashamed behavior- is all what is etched all over Pannu. She carries the film strongly on her shoulders, living every inch of her character. She proves with finesse what a fine actor she is.
Vicky Kaushal. Just look at his filmography of 2018 alone. Raazi, Love Per Square Foot, Lust Stories, Sanju, and now this one. As diverse as it can get. He’s so good that you can’t take your eyes off him. Even during the parts where he calls for your aversion towards him, he’s so believable that you end up falling for him. He makes his character so relatable that you even start seeing people around you similar to him. Take a bow Kaushal.
But, it is films and directors like these that show you what Abhishek is capable of. He comes across as a winner. He is so charming that even if given a chance, you wouldn’t want any other actor to replace him in this one. He shuts all his trolls and critics in just one go. A mind blowing act.
The supporting cast too in their brief roles have made a long lasting impact.
Kashyap, he never gets wrong with his technicalities.
Music and background score by Amit Trivedi is fantastic. The film contains many songs, and mind you the songs here need to be watched and not listened only. They add concrete substance to the plot and serve the purpose of songs very aptly. Also, the lyrics by Shellee are just right in sync with the story and screenplay. What fine blend of story, screenplay, music, and lyrics !
Cinematography by Sylvester Fonseca make the film rise many folds. The lighting and the aura created make you involved and engrossed with the story all throughout. Notice- the film consists of many color palettes, all signifying different elements.
Editing by Aarti Bajaj is good, could have been better in the second half. While the intentions remain sound to keep the film true, it also dampens the spirit overall.
Production design and costumes by Meghna Gandhi and Prashant Swant respectively is wonderful and contribute a lot in making the film what it is.
Love stories aren’t rare in Bollywood. What makes it different is its treatment and angle. Coming from a maker like Kashyap, the love here isn’t superficial as its shown to be. It acts on your mind, and rightly it actually should. Think of it after you’ve watched it- showing the complexities of mind is the most complex thing. And Kashyap undoubtedly wins.