When Anurag Kashyap announced that he is going to dive deep into the romance genre many people were skeptical if the director could do full justice to it. When he announced that his project Manmarziyaan would be a remake of Sooraj Barjatiya’s cult classic Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon (MPKDH), the doubts deepened.
To be fair, Anurag does manage to get the casting almost right. In that, he has at least one of the cast members of the original trio from MPKDH in Manmarziyaan. Abhishek Bachchan, who played one of the Prems in the original, is a part of a cast that consists of Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu in fine form, despite a shaky premise.
In case you haven’t seen the original, here’s the basic storyline. A girl is forced to hang out with a boy, who is on drugs, because he is rich and her parents want her to marry him. Girl and boy fall in love. Turns out junkie boy was poor all along. His boss, with the same name, comes in the scene. Girl’s parents force her to marry boss man now. There’s a CGI parrot and dog, for some reason. Girl and junkie boy get married.
Basically, your average, Bollywood love story. While Kashyap manages to adapt the timeless story for 2018, the soul of the movie is lost. Here, Vicky Kaushal takes on the role of junkie boy Prem/Hrithik Roshan, and Taapsee Pannu plays Sanjana/Kareena Kapoor. Abhishek Bachchan reprises his role as boss man Prem from the original, this time he is even low on energy and he mostly whispers his dialogues in a spa voice.
Taapsee manages to recreate the effervescent charm of Sanjana, this time as Rumi, but her chemistry with her co-stars is all off. Vicky Kaushal, as junkie Prem, gets the look right, but lacks the enthusiasm of the sugar snorting Hrithik Roshan.
The movie, despite its fallings, is fairly watchable once you forget that you’re watching a half-baked remake. The music is good and the movie scores points for being visually stunning.
In conclusion, if you’re planning to go and watch Manmarziyaan in theatres this weekend, might as well sit at home and stream Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon. The latter, at least, has CGI animals and Pankaj Kapoor.
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