By Fatima Husain
One girl, two boys and a complicated love story – interposed with plentiful twists, turns and colourful scores playing in the background.
Celebrated Indian director - Anurag Kashyap’s latest flick Husband Material (Manmarziyaan) is certainly a riot of emotions, spiced up with peppy Bollywood numbers and lavish well-synchronised dances for the audience to enjoy.
Set in modern-day Punjab (India), Husband Material shows the struggles of a contemporary spirited Indian girl, Rumi (Taapsee Pannu). Rumi is an athlete who goes against the norms of the society (and her traditional family) by falling in love with a carefree, sexy, badass boy Vicky (Vicky Kaushal). Vicky on the other hand, is a no-commitment person and DJs off ripped music for a living.
© Eros Now | YouTube
As predicted, Rumi, pressures Vicky to tie the knot. When her efforts go in vain she gives into societal pressure for the honour of her family and half-heartedly agrees to marry a calm and composed Robbie (Abhishek Bachchan). Robbie, who has returned from London for a holiday is a banker by profession. He too has succumbed to his family’s pressure of an arranged marriage. But somehow his heart settles on Rumi albeit all the prospective brides he is shown by the ‘matchmaker’.
Rumi, on the other hand, tries her best to serve as the obedient wife (or so) but is torn between the two men in her life – her (unbelievably) empathetic husband and her unsettled love – both of whom are poles apart in nature, lifestyle and conduct.
Husband Material is punctuated throughout with a colourful medley of Hindi/Punjabi songs – such as Dhayaanchand, which will either have you grooving or rustic Punjabi ballads like Daryaa, which will leave you mesmerized and swaying to their relaxed tunes.
However, be prepared to encounter sudden bursts of song and dance throughout the film – some of which serve as mere punctuations for the story to move forward.
Taapsee Pannu – the sparkling actor she is – justifies the role of daring Rumi – but goes ‘overboard’ in some scenes. Vicky Kaushal has yet again defined himself as a versatile actor. Abhishek Bachchan, proved befitting for the character of seemingly mature Robbie – one of the very few he has managed to score, in my opinion.
The vibrant Indian backdrop, authentic alleys, accurate characters, raw dialogues and fluid camera work are synonymous with Kashyap’s style – as reflected in his previous works such as Dev D and Gangs of Wasseypur.
Husband Material heavily echoes of a typical Bollywood saga – the typical Bollywood romance blended with the complications of societal and family obstacles.
The cast and crew of Husband Material at TIFF:
© TIFF Talks | YouTube
Nonetheless, Husband Material is a pure feast to the eyes with daring scenes and dialogues unimaginable up until a few years in Hindi cinema.
*Note: Husband Material (Manmarziyaan) was originally screened at TIFF ’18