Mirzya is nothing more than a glamorous art film in slo-mo
By Bhakti Mehta
Cast - Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Art Malik, Om Puri, Anuj Chaudhry
Director - Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra
Rating - 2/5
What the film is about -
The crux of Mirzya is based on two love stories that are shown simultaneously in the movie. One shows the budding bond between the folk lore lovers Mirza and Sahiba while the other is a contemporary version running on similar lines. The modern tale sees Mohnish (Harshvardhan Kapoor) and Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) be the picture perfect childhood sweethearts before a tragedy takes place in their lives, forcing them to be separated. Years later when the two do see each other, everything has changed. Suchitra is engaged to be married to a royal prince while Mohnish who has changed his name to Adil is a stable boy at the royal ranch. The story flows in how the two reconnect and discover their love along with the silent romance of the actual Mirza and Sahiba. How these two couples face the obstacles to be together but fall prey to the fate that awaits them, is what the film is all about.
What we think -
When the trailer of Mirzya had finally come out a few months back, people were excited. Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra showed his power in his last film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and the audience expected another masterpiece. But sadly the fates wouldn't have it. Mehra follows his one fab (Rang De Basanti) followed by one drab (Delhi 6) movie theme with his fourth directorial too. Mirzya seemed to have so much potential, not only due to the director, but also as another lot of starkids, Anil Kapoor's son Harshvardhan and Tanvi Azmi's niece Saiyami Kher made their debut. However, twenty minutes in the film and all your conviction just vanishes away.
The film follows the romances of two star-crossed lovers in two different eras. One is in the reality of 2016 and the other is in a fantasy world. The intent behind this was to show that whatever the time, place or era it may be, the meaning and madness of love remains the same. Sadly here, the only ones who will go mad are the viewers. From certain shots it seems that Mehra was trying his hands with an art film but was forced to add the commercial elements to gain the box-office moolah. There was no evident connection between both the parallel stories. Also, all of us have seen the done-to-death storyline of two people from a different class levels, falling in love and fighting all odds only to face tragedy. It has been shown umpteen number of times before and the filmmaker has done nothing more than try to bring us the same dal-chaawal in the packaging of a biryani, which is also boring. And it is quite annoying to see this repetitive ending in all these romances. Shouldn't 2016 be a testament to how times and mindsets have changed? Unfortunately, Mehra turned out to be one of those directors who wanted to stick to the formula and not experiment, which is shocking seeing his filmography.
Harshvardhan and Saiyami have been working on this debut project of theirs for two years now and while it definitely was not a waste, we have to say that better choices could have been made. The two do manage to bring across their potential in the first film itself by playing their respective parallel characters quite well. Harsh is definitely his father's son where the good looks and the acting is concerned while Saiyami plays the cutesy girl avatar of Suchi and the tormented one of Sahiba with style. But we failed to see any sizzling chemistry between the youngsters. Even though they were strong in their individual characters, whatever era it may be, together they couldn't touch the emotions of the audience. The silent pleas, sidelong glances and wistful expressions in lieu of actual dialogues just didn't cut it for us.
The supporting actors in the film have made their presence felt strongly. Veteran actor Art Malik made one of his rare Bollywood appearances but had us wondering why he was playing the creepy father throughout the movie. Anuj Chaudhry who plays Suchitra's royal fiancee has portrayed his egotistical character well enough. Om Puri was a barely significant in the film but the actress Anjali Patil who played his daughter gave a glimpse of power in her short role.
The shooting of the film, aesthetically speaking, is nothing less than brilliant. Rakyesh has taken the cinematography to the next level with the fine shots and gorgeous locations. But his excellence ends there itself. While we understand the significance of a slow motion scene, the sheer abundance of it in Mirzya at unnecessary places made the movie seem like Mehra's typical 4 hour drama rather than the 2 hour 10 minute one it actually is. There are a lot of emotional scenes in the film, but whether it is a happy one or a tragedy, the only feeling we get is irritation on how the long movie seems to go on. The film lacks the substance of content which neither Mehra nor a scholar like Gulzar, who returned to screenplay writing after a long time, could give. Even the music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is not noteworthy enough. The songs seem situational and are full of lyrical melodies along with colour, but it just doesn't connect with you as a viewer.
Our Verdict -
If you are interested in folklore and want to know about the pains and pleasures of love, then pick up a Shakespeare novel because there is nothing much to see in Mirzya except a relatively strong debut performance by both Harsh and Saiyami along with some killer locations. But all in all, Rakyesh Omprakash brought the bar way down after his epic last film. Sigh!
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