Yes, Manmarziyan is a typical love story. Yes it is a lot like Hum dil de chuke sanam set today. But it is so much more than that. This classic love saga is in Anurag Kashyap’s world of cinema set up in 2018 – so its not a surprise that it has a bunch of confused but hopelessly in love people trying to navigate through life.
So like every other film set in Kashyap’s world, this too is a world which is multi-dimensional so everyone has a good and not-so-good side and you see each of them in a different light through the film. I have to mention how fresh the palette of the film looks – this Kashyap film is a lot brighter than his regular gritty dramas and aptly so. You see a crazy loverboy Vicky who becomes vulnerable and lets go of Rumi only to regret it later, Robbie who is extremely aware and believes in fair play when it comes to Rumi despite knowing well about Vicky – before and after the marriage, Rumi who is the soul of this film – a girl caught between getting what she thinks she wants with Vicky and what she needs with Robbie, unable to give up on either.
Vicky is the quintessential lover who jumps over balconies to meet Rumi. He’s the classic bad boy our mothers warned us about – wears flashy clothes, has tattoos and crazy haircut. He’s a child, not even a man child, just a child who cannot think of anything more than the next few hours. He goes beats up the guy who bought a rishta for Rumi yelling out ‘Aashiqo ki jaan loge kya!’ But he’s also the one who gives up on Rumi only to realize he can’t. He tries all tricks to move on but just can’t – he’s a true blue aashiq. He does the silliest things – stands outside Rumi’s house a day before her wedding, cleans himself up and attempts to confront Robbie.
Rumi puts it really well when she says, ‘Tu banda na bada sahi hai, par zimmedari ke naam pe hag deta hai’. Vicky’s love is all passion, just with no commitments – mostly the kind we’ve been told love is.
Rumi is a true sherni, fierce, clear and unapologetic about her choices and willing to fight for them all the way. She’s ambitious, aware and absolutely magnetic. She chooses Fyaar over Pyaar, and she doesn’t shy away from it. She’s also consciously manipulating her family talking about her parents’ when she pleases but at the same time holds her grandfather with the utmost respect – she’s not the Sita type, she is a little the dayaan type. She’s confused, and its all complicated but she never masks it – she expresses and owns her confusion. Such is her strength. Rumi was so refreshing to watch – she’s not a typical hindi film heroine, her choice of profession is being a Hockey player, she rides a scooter around the city, her hair is not flying away flawlessly (not to mention the amazing natural curls, sits at the counter of their family shop. Rumi is just a modern Indian girl – she’s a mix of so many people I know and so much of what I want to be myself.
Rumi describes Vicky & her love as the kind which is never enough. But for me Rumi’s love is that, the more you get – the more you want.
Robbie is the classic arrange marriage guy who’s husband material from the word go. Robbie is the obedient guy, your parents want you to marry. He wears a turban out of respect for his parents, he agrees to meet girls for marriage but clearly states his expectations from a partner. Rumi calls him Ram type because he’s exactly opposite of Vicky, he believes in commitment, old school love but doesn’t force his views on anyone, he loves Rumi for who she is. He gives her time to settle in, move on from Vicky without actually mentioning anything. All the times Rumi would go on her runs during their honeymoon, he said nothing. His silences spoke louder than both Rumi & Vicky’s words and actions. And so when he did burst, he truly had given up. But even then, he wasn’t bitter about Rumi.
Robbie’s love is tolerant, just like him.
This is a film where you’re rooting for each of the characters, for everyone is correct in their own right. What Kashyap does to this stereotypical romance is magical, he brings the narrative alive by the simplifying the complexity of its characters. This is a film that personifies many a millennial love stories, which are simple yet complex, where nothing is right of wrong, black or white. Love today is grey.
Another part of this film I absolutely love is its songs. All of them brilliant – fresh, meaningful (that’s difficult to find nowadays) and quite addictive.
For me the essence of this film is perfectly captured by this song:
Kala na safed hai,Kala na safed hai
Ishqe da rang yara, Grey walaa shade… ho…
Don’t think there is a better way to say it than this. Every character in this film is grey, not the evil black who would kill to get their love, not the pure white who will let go. Just many many shades of grey.
Zamana hai badla, Mohabbat bhi badli
Ghise pitey version nu, Maaro update… ho…
Of course aaj ke zamane ka love is about selfies, big gestures, social media PDA. But their love is not just that – its all this and more. Literally an updated version of old school love. So yes sex is normal, Rumi & Robbie share a great conversation over drinks on their own terrace, Vicky & Rumi are making out all over town, quite literally.
Ishq nazariya nazariya, Badle ne romance de tevar
Ishq nazariya nazariya, Kehnde ne ainu mutual favour
Ishq nazariya nazariya, Ishq nazariya
Love is only a change of perspective. How beautiful is this thought! Yes its romance, but is it just not a mutual favour? A favour two people do for each other when in love – like when Rumi attempts cooking Robbie’s favourite pakode, when Robbie attempts to strike a conversation about wild life, to get Rumi’s attention; when Vicky dances around Rumi all through the city to get her to smile
Ghaltiyan je ho vi jaan kadi, Sorry’aan bolan di lodh nahin
Sohna hove pyaar tabhi, Ubhrengey rang sabhi
Sohna hove pyaar tabhi..
Oh yes. Love is not about not making mistakes. Its about being able to look past them. All three of them give each other more than one chance despite knowing of the terrible things they’ve done to them. That’s love.
Ae Logic Na Samajh Paandi, Tassali Na Aenu Aandi
Tassali Na… Aenu Aandi
Ae Gash Khaandi Ghazab Dhaandi
Seyappe Nitt Nave Paandi
Seyappe Nitt Nave Paandi
Love understands no logic, it doesn’t understand giving up. All it wants is to newer experiences, newer troubles, newer surprises. All three characters never once compromise on what they want – they believe in going all the way for what their heart desires on that particular day.
Khurdra Sa Craze Hai Khurdra Sa Craze Hai
Isaqey Da Mood Yaraa Thodha Angrez Ho
Love is crazy, love is not easy, love is moody. Love makes you do foolish silly things. Love makes Vicky & Rumi elope, Love makes Robbie still have Rumi all over his mind when he’s meeting another prospect for marriage, Love makes Rumi run back home just to catch a glimpse of Robbie
Kushtiyaan Meethiyaan Ho Jaayen Jabhi
Tasty Sa Flavour Aa Jaaye Jabhi
Love is truly delightful when its not all flossy, all facets and colors truly come alive when there are disagreements. Their love is more salty than sweet.
Tassali Na Aenu Aandi, Ubhrengey Rang Sabhi
Sohna Hovey Pyaar Tabhi, Ubhrengey Rang Sabhi…
Despite love bringing alive all the colors in people, love at the end itself is actually grey. Not a rainbow, not red hot passionate, not a bright happy yellow, not the flashy pink. Its just a mix of all this – just shades of Grey. Just like Rumi, Vicky & Robbie
Grey Walaa Shade, Grey Walaa Shade…