Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and half stars)
Star Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhary, Om Puri, Art Malik
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
What’s Good: The stunning visuals and horse riding long shots are excellent. Editing too is top notch.
What’s Bad: As a piece of content, Mirzya has little to offer. It is poetic but fails to connect with the viewers at many levels.
Loo Break: Yes! When Daler Mehendi’s vocals are tearing your ears apart.
Watch or Not?: Mirzya is a film for a niche audience. People who enjoy poetry in motion, this film is exactly that. For those who prefer frothy love stories, this intense affair may bore you out.
Based on the Punjabi folk legend, the love story of star crossed lovers Mirza Sahiban, this film is divided into two eras.
One where, through horse-back riding and shooting arrows, Mirza tries to win Sahiban by competing with her brothers.
In contemporary times, Suchi/Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) and Monish (Harshvrdhan Kapoor) are childhood friends until a gruesome crime tears them apart. Years later, Suchi returns to India for her engagement to a royal prince, Karan (Anuj Choudhary), only to fall in love and rekindle her friendship with the stable boy, Adil who is actually Monish.
With the class difference and the horrific past, can Suchi and Monish’s love survive? What is the legend of Mirza-Sahiban all about?
Mirzya Review: Script Analysis
There had been a lot of expectations from Mirzya considering, the screenplay has been written by Gulzar. The man is known to write even silences that convey way more than words. Re-telling the Romeo-Juliet’s Indian version, the film communicates more in the verses narrated and songs than in casual dialogue.
The lyrical narrative of the film is difficult for everyone to fathom. Also while the folk tale makes sense, its modern day take seems too archaic. Not all love stories that are meant to be legends need to have tragic climaxes. It would have been wiser if Mehra would have seeked a contemporary ending to a contemporary tale.
The narrative is pretty much broadway musical or ballet recital style where we see colorful Rajasthani groups singing about what’s about to happen next.
For a story that is anchored to the two lovers Suchitra and Monish, there is hardly any dialogue to give them a strong footing as characters. For the bygone era it is easily palatable but the new age love angle contrived at many junctures.
There is a level of disappointment in the script since we rarely feel the passion that Suchi and Monish are supposed to have. It is at this point one realizes that with a similar tragic love story, the reason Marathi movie Sairaat won over everyone was its sparky dialogue which Mirzya lacks.
The first half hardly establishes anything as it moves on a very slow speed, in spite of having breathtaking visuals, one particularly feels this because there is slow growth on the story side.
Mirzya Review: Star Performance
This is supposed to be Harshvardhan Kapoor’s big Bollywood debut. Unfortunately, he does not get much to show off his acting chops. Although with that haggard look of the stable boy, he surely does impress. His horse-riding portions prove he has put in ample of hardwork. This Kapoor lad is definitely here to stay.
Saiyami Kher looks luminous in the film. The challenge for both debutantes in the film is to emote without much dialogues and this is where Kher is not really her best.
Anuj Chaudhary who plays Saiyami’s fiance does an extremely impressive job. Not only is his royal demeanor highly likable, his sudden transition into a grey shade character is marvelous.
Amongst the supporting cast, Art Malik does a great job.
Om Puri has a cameo which does not contribute much.
Mirzya Review: Direction, Music
The direction and cinematography department is where the film truly excels. Mehra proves to be a true story-teller and his inspiration from Greek tragedy, (a peculiar form of theatre) is quite evident. With Gulzar’s magnificent words at his hands, Mehra’s Mirzya falls short of becoming a masterpiece thanks to its non-commercial music and a strong plot.
The cinematography comprising of Ladakh’s beautiful landscapes to the colorful Rajasthani folk flavor and also, Udaipur’s plush palaces is absolutely stunning.
VFX is another department where this film is pulled down. In the scenes comprising of fireballs being hit by arrows and also a leopard attack, the visual effects of poor quality lose the impact.
Also, the languid pace of the film is surely going to be a test of everyone’s patience.
Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Daler Mehendi’s music does not always hit the right notes. Chakora is weirdly trippy and the video is too confusing. On the other hand, Daler Mehendi’s screeching vocals in a rather sad scene are a complete mood-killer.
All in all, Mehra’s Mirzya goes overboard with its experimental nature and cannot appeal to all.
Mirzya Review: The Last Word
Mirzya is a dramatic, poetic and visually aesthetic yet fails to blow you away. A 2.5/5 for this!
Mirzya releases on 07th Oct, 2016.
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