Written by Manisha Lakhe on September 13, 2018
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam Version 2.0
Her hair is dyed red and his is blue and they are kindling and fire. Physical and irresistible. Her family would like them to get married but he doesn’t show up. Every single time. She’s as fiery as her hair, and she gets married to another, an exact opposite of her lover. A twisted Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, perhaps, but what a mush, fun ride. Who’d have thunk Anurag Wasseypur Kashyap could be exquisitely drippy in love?!
Manmarziyan sounds like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, but the heroine is not Aishwarya Rai, singing, ‘Nimbuda, nimbuda!’ She’s riding a motorbike with her lover all over Amritsar.
Manmarziyan has the bride wear running shoes, but she’s no Julia Roberts of The Runaway Bride who doesn’t know what kind of eggs she likes best. This heroine is wilful and wants extra Chole with her Aloo Kulcha.
Manmarziyan smacks of Laila-Majnu (Romeo Juliet) and you see the hero proclaim that he cannot live without the heroine, standing stubbornly under her window as she gets ready to get married to another. But he’s not the kind who’ll tear his Jim Morrison Tee singing ‘Come on baby light my fire’. He removes his tee and wears one which has a middle finger plastered on.
Anurag Kashyap seduces you with this wilful and hotheaded version of every love story you have seen and makes you yearn for all the wrong loves in your own dreary nine to five lives that you could have had. Thanks to the writing by Kanika Dhillon, Bollywood love now reek of sweaty, loud, lusty sex that is unafraid. And I’m glad to hear the heroine say, ‘Honeymoon is going all right I suppose, but he had to run out and get condoms…’ to her nosey aunt.
The surprise element in the love triangle (told ya, it was a Bollywood Dil De Chuke Sanam Ver.2.0) is the good guy – a banker, no less – who shows up from London for an arranged marriage and promptly falls in love with a hockey-stick wielding heroine with red hair. Since it is Anurag Kashyap helming the project you’d think he probably is the son from Wasseypur you never saw again. And your heart questions your decision of liking him when he stalks her on FaceBook. But you sigh into your seat when he turns out to be awesome when he asks her what side of the bed she prefers. One can imagine women in the theater elbowing their men off the seats after that scene. Yes, the definition of mush has changed.
The cast is mindblowing. Perfect whether it is the heroine’s Grandpa or her sister. Whether it is twins popping and breaking in the city or twins drinking Kahwa observing the honeymoon goings on role of the traditional Greek Chorus or it is the gold toothed Kakaji the marriage bureau chap (wonderful name of the company: Wah Vyaah). But all credit goes to the main lead: Tapsee Pannu who plays the red-headed, wilful heroine, Vicky Kaushal who plays the cockatoo headed, DJ loverboy who can’t keep his hands off her, and the super sharp, ‘Mukhtaar Singh Ka Naam Suna Hai?’ banker played by Abhishek Bachchan. That dialog had even the most cynical person like yours truly choke into the popcorn. Brilliantly written again by Kanika Dhillon.
The first half takes a while to sink into your bloodstream, but not if you have loved all the wrong ones. The second half plays with your heart and you can actually imagine Anurag Kashyap grinning over steak and kidney pie watching you turn into mush. It’s a predictable tale written on your heart with a whip. Go watch it!
(this review appears on www.nowrunning.com)