TIFF 2018 Review: “Husband Material” (2018) ★★★★★


There’s an inexplicable magnetism and magic in Indian Cinema which I personally prefer calling, instead of Bollywood. Because this beautiful country, its culture, or even its ability in storytelling is much bigger than the industry that stamps movies left and right.

“Husband Material” is absolutely charming, if not a cute, romantic comedy with lots of music and non-stop dance. However, what this movie offers is something rarely seen in Bollywood movies; it breaks barriers and offers such charismatic characters you will find it difficult to not fall for them.

It follows a free-spirited girl named Rumi who is in a complicated relationship with Vicky, a young man who is equally deeply and madly in love with Rumi. When they were caught together in a room, Rumi’s aunt tells her that either Vicky marries her or they will proceed with arranged marriage for her. Rumi comes to Vicky and tells him about the promise she gave to her relatives in case Vicky doesn’t marry her. So, even though Vicky insists on his feeling and willingness to tie the knot, he disappears the next day.

Even though that disappearance did not last long, Robbie, a young Indian man comes from London to pick a wife for himself. Out of five options, he chooses the most rebellious one which, as you can imagine, was Rumi. But nothing appears so easy, as Robbie truly and genuinely falls for Rumi and is willing to cherish her and give everything that Vicky could not. The only problem is, Rumi is still in love with Vicky and is willing to sacrifice the only chance that might give her a stable future over her uncertain present.

“Husband Material” is a true treasure of Indian cinema that I am sure will turn into a big success within and outside of India. As for the performances, Abhishek Bachchan as Robbie is like a prince charming with a missing title. Vicky Kaushal as Vicky is a guy any girl can go crazy for. In fact, as a young madman, he is willing to do everything for the love of his life and you can see in him that childish uncertainty, thanks to Kaushal’s brilliant performance.

But of course, the true gift of this film was the newcomer Taapsee Pannu, whose portrayal of the rebellious and hotheaded Rumi could not be any better. Through her performance, there will be no question about why two men are going after Rumi, as the young talent does her best to showcase the power of Rumi over two men, but in the meantime how vulnerable she can be when it comes to love.

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