The many lilts of Manmarziyaan
The writer talks about the sounds of Manmarziyaan, and how they forebode crucial developments
In Marmaziyaan, Rumi (Taapsee) says, "I don't know where love ends and where marriage starts”. It is a throwaway line but somehow it resonates and acts as a fitting summary of what the film tries to convey. The film’s dialogues aren’t simply used to move the story forward; they also do a lot to add depth to its characters. In the case of this line, it adds vulnerability to Rumi's otherwise confident persona.
Dialogues aside, the beauty of Manmarziyaan, like it does usually in Anurag's films, unravels in its music — specifically in four interludes:
1. The dhol in Dhayaan Chand
The loud, brash, unbridled young love that throbs to the beats of the dhol encapsulates the relationship between Rumi and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal). It brims with energy as the world around them struggles to keep pace with them.
2. The flute in Daryaa
Decisions are taken. Choices are made. The world you chose for yourself is not at arm's length anymore. You realise, once the flute interlude kicks in, that your world is hurtling towards you and you can’t but embrace it. Rumi, Vicky and Robbie (Abishek Bachchan) all embrace, only not in equal measure.
3. The esraj in Chonch Ladhiyaan
Rumi runs. She runs before and after marriage. But does she run towards or away from love? As she dances to life's tunes one step at a time, the esraj kicks in and she realises she doesn't have the energy for it anymore. She stops running. Sometimes, you just need a break from the dance.
4. The shehnai in Hallaa
Love is intoxicating. But as with all intoxicants, too much of it begins affecting your senses, abilities, and perception. As the shehnai lilts in the background, Robbie realises he is suffocated, and can't take it anymore.
The entire film is about stories that ‘should’ exist inside the four walls of a house. Yet, its beauty lies in how all the important moments of the film happen in the open: In the dingy lanes of Rumi's house (they probably are home to many more stories), a terrace, an open top jeep... There are also the much vaunted twin girls who inhabit the screen at crucial plot points. Their arrival, each time, coincides with Rumi's decisions. You could say the twins are embodiments of love and marriage. In Rumi's life, both love and marriage are triumphant and disastrous, and the twins maybe are asking Rumi, much like Rudyard Kipling, if she is treating both imposters the same.
To the free-spirited Rumi (and in turn, to us), whose choices affect everyone around her, what the film actually wants to ask is: “What is freedom to you — in love, in marriage and in life?”