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Manmarzian - Old Wine in New Bottle

Saturday September 15, 2018 5:57 PM, Syed Ali Mujtaba,

Manmarziyan moview review

The film ‘Manmarzian’ is a love triangle that’s an age-old formula of the Bollywood. Rajkapur attempted this in ‘Sangam’ in 1965; Anurag Kashyap is doing the same in 2018, having over 1000 movies as his inspirational syllabi.

In his film Rajkapur tried to portray decency, morality, dignity, elegance and style in the same kind of one girl two boys love story. Kashyap addresses this human triangle through the prism of vulgarity, voyeurism and indecency. He tries to pass it off as modern day expression of human relationship in the Indian society.

What actually he is tried to do in this film is to bring western standards of human relationship and tried to fit into the Indian social system. He has tried to integrate his liberated ideas into the Sikh community social and cultural structure. Why he had chosen the Sikh community to be the play field of his voyeurism and why not he took this liberty with the Brahmin or Rajput community is something he alone can answer.

In this film Kashyap has attempted to liberate the society from its moral values. He has made a direct sault on the institution of marriage and made it a caricature, robbing it off from religious and moral social values. Perhaps the director has little understanding of Indian society and its mores, norms and values. He has terribly failed to play out such complex relationship and his landing in the end is just worth a laugh.

Apparently Kashyap has supposedly borrowed such ideas from Sigmund Freud and further his inspirations has come from Frankfurt School of thought. However, decoding Kashyap’s mind it appears he is a poor copycat of many such western ideas. He has no grasp on the theories of such relationship propounded by the thinkers in the world. At best he can be dubbed as an arranger of cinematic expression taking bits and pieces from here and there from world cinema. The conceptual plagiarism is at galore in his film Manmarzian.

Kashyap has tried to enter into director Imtiaz Ali territory tells the complex story of male female attraction that’s called love. He took cues from Ali’s “Love Aajkal” and "Harry met Sajal” and attempted in his own style portraying such intense human relationship. However, instead of pulling out a spectacular human drama he has come a cropper.

There is little appreciation of the film in terms of its cinematic arrangements. It falls short on entertainment and musical quotient. Performance wise Taapsee Pannu who has worked in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam films has made a big impact in this film. The entire film revolves around her, and has lived up to her character. Vicky Kaushal is the best find of Bollywood and has raised eyebrows for being noticed through this film.

Abhishek Bachchan who made his debut in 2000, opposite Kareena Kapoor, in the J. P. Dutta-directed war drama Refugee, looks to be a mature actor against flamboyant Taapsee Pannu. If at all the film has to be appreciated, it has to be for its very earthy dialogues in Punjabi and screen plays depicting Sikh culture and society. The cinematography is another high point of the film.

But over all ‘Manmarzian’ borders between “Chaat” and intense human relationship. Three quarter of the 2 hr and 57 min movie is ‘Chaat’ and only one quarter has elements of human drama. This story could have been cut into half time duration to keep up the narration and its cinematic impact. At best this movie is Friday release and Monday exit product. It will be surprise if it passes the seven days cycle.

[Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at]

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