Film Review: Mirzya
Date: October 07 2016
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhry, Om Puri, Art Malik, K. K. Raina, Anjali Patil
Rating: 3.5 stars
You can say this is one more legendary romance the kind of stuff Shirin Farhad, Heer Ranjha or Romeo Juliet were made of and yet Mirzya is not like any of them. What makes it different is the story telling, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra packages two different stories from two different eras in one film.
The first is a folklore narrated to us by our forefathers and read about in story books, the saga of Mirza Sahibaan. The second, a contemporary tale of separated childhood friends Munish and Suchitra rediscovering each other in a metropolis.
The first story painted in duo tones is abstract and intriguing. The characters stand tall and erect amidst Blue Mountains, grey clouds and white sand as arrows fly, horses ride and there is deathly silence! The second story burns in golden sand as dusky women sing and dance around orange flames. There are sprawling mansions, luxurious cars, racing bikes, piercing bullets and brewing tension.
And both these stories move simultaneously, it is almost as if director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra walks you through veils and travels you into different eras to tell you different stories and does it seamlessly.
What doesn’t work about the film is the stale premise and predictable story. The content is complex and the end open to interpretations. What works is the novel narrative, the imaginative structure, the stunning visuals, the scale, the form, the breathtaking photography, sensual choreography and original music. Every song is poetry and every poem connotes pathos…
Except for Om Puri, KK Raina and Art Malik all the actors are debutantes and all performances praiseworthy. It is difficult to believe that this is Anjali Patil, Anuj Choudhary’s debut film. Leading lady Saiyami Kher is equally at ease with Sahibaan and Suchitra, looks majestic in both the roles and stands tall with an erect torso.
Hero Harshvardhan Kapoor does justice to both Mirzya and Munish though we would have preferred to see him clean shaven in one role atleast. Unlike other star sons who make sure to sing/ dance/ emote/orate and fight in their debut film, Harsh flies arrows, rides horses and emotes with his eyes!
There are three reasons why you must watch Mirzya. The first, music: Composers Shankar Ehsaan Loy combined with lyricist Gulzar present an immortal score. Second, it marks the return of Gulzar as a screenplay writer after Hututu(1990) which is 16 long years. Third, the most important, this is filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s leap as a visionary. Mehra deliberately does not hand hold his audience and takes it for granted that they share his creative space.
Some films touch your heart, some, stimulate your mind. Mirzya falls in the latter. After all, every film does not have to tell a riveting story, some have to be watched for the craft and Mirzya is a cinematic experience.
Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya
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