Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuh Choudhary, Om Puri, Art Malik
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Rohit Khattar
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya is an old wine packed in a new bottle, which does make you trippy but doesn’t keep you on that high for too long.
Inspired by the popular tragic Punjabi folklore – Mirza Sahiban, the movie oscillates between a dreamy fantasy land and the real world along with pulsating, high-energy, vibrant music for company.
The direction, cinematography, CGI, and the lyrical narratives are all in sync as the film begins to tell us the story of Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) and Monish (Harshvardhan Kapoor) — childhood lovers who get tragically separated when Monish ends up killing a school teacher who hits his beloved Suchi.
Running in a parallel manner, slow-motion montages from Mehra’s surreal world unfold the story of Mirza Sahiban. It is an interesting cinematic juxtaposition that initially does seem pleasing. However, as the story moves forward the slo-mo shots become slower and the technique is used so extensively that it loses its charm, failing to even appeal to the art-house cinema audiences.
What keeps the plot alive is the music, which actually manages to create more drama than the screenplay. Coming back to the plot, the two love birds are now all grown up and obviously are destined to meet. So, after years they meet again in a different setting. Suchitra now has a new lover – prince Karan (Anuj Choudhary) and she is all set to become his princess. On the other hand, Monish is now a rugged stable boy – Aadil.
Clearly, after years of separation, Suchi can’t immediately recognize her Monish but after a few equestrian sessions, she does, and love rekindles instantly. Yet she continues with the charade of a would-be princess, gets engaged and simultaneously has clandestine meetings with her childhood lover. It’s at this point when the story actually loses its grips and falls all over the place, leaving the viewers a little bewildered with the turn of events. And yes, in between, the inter-cuts that transport you to the dreamlike world (which remind you of Narnia) continue.
Finally, amid all the stunning visuals, the earthy tempo which beautifully integrates the nuances of folk music, the core of the film i.e. the story, remains on a very superficial level and fails to connect with the audiences. The story, which is written by a master like Gulzar, who is known to bring out the deepest human emotions through his writings, surprisingly doesn’t build on the conflict of the lovers whose life has now changed drastically. Rather, the hastiness to bring them together results in a very haphazard romance that lacks chemistry and passion.
Though, newcomers Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher are easy on the eye and do their bit earnestly, there are hardly any dialogues given to them which could have helped establish their relationship better. The film depends on the lyrics and the sutradhar to build the emotions of love and longing, giving the actors a limited platform to perform. Despite this, the duo shines through. Saiyami is not only pretty but confident onscreen and the Kapoor lad does show us that acting runs in his blood.
Rakeysh Mehra has focused so much on making the film into a visual treat that he forgot to emphasize on the essence of the legendary Mirza Sahiban tale that made it meaningful in the first place – love, passion and tragedy.