BY RENU MEHTA, TORONTO: Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan (Husband Material) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) at the prestigious Roy Thomson Hall on September 11. The film attended by Kashyap also had the main stars in attendance including Abhishek Bachchan, Tapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal.
Exploring the vibrant culture of Amritsar, the film tells the story of a vivacious girl Rumi Bagga (Tapsee Pannu) who is madly, crazily in love with Vicky Sandhu (Vicky Kaushal) and openly flaunts her relationship to the detriment of her relatives. When Vicky does not come through for marriage, she marries Robbie Bhatia (Abhishek Bachchan) in an arranged marriage who comes to his hometown to find a companion. The latter falls hopelessly in love with his wife while she is struggling to find true meaning of love and learning to adapt to a new life. As her past resurfaces and threatens to disrupt her present, she is forced to wonder what her heart really wants.
“This is the first time I have made a romantic film and I wanted to get into that space,” saiKashyap in Toronto. “The film is about things that you deal with, the things we grown up with. I’ve been in love growing up and suddenly you read something and you say oh my God I need to know who these people are and what they are doing and I need to know them more. Following this process, putting it together is what has been so exciting.”
Kashyap, who has brought diverse and controversial films to the festival every year like That Girl in the Yellow Boots, Dev-D and Gangs of Wasseypur says he loves coming to Toronto.
“For me, depends on what script is ready and I will jump in. My writer is there. I found one great collaborator who is Kanika Dhillon. I really work very well with her. In terms of writing we are like Robi and Vicky (the characters in the film), although Kanika already has a Robbie in her life (laughs). Writing wise we do very well together and she doesn’t have any options now.”
On whether the film was ahead of its time like Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna in 2006 that explored the concept of adultery and illicit relationships, Kashyap said that Indian cinema is behind the times.
“I think our cinema is behind the times. Love is happening in every town, every city in India. Cinema needs to catch up.”
This year, TIFF took place from September 6 -16 to packed audiences with screenings at several theatres including the prestigious Roy Thomson Hall and Princess of Wales theatre as well as Scotiabank, Elgin Theatre and the Winter Garden theatres.