October is upon us & it's time for the Puja holidays which is eagerly looked forward to by students & employees alike. This year, it so happened that the auspicious days fell on the first few working days which invariably meant a long weekend. Hoping to cash in on the extended holidays is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's "Mirzya" that had the tinsel town gushing over the making of the movie & the performances of the lead pair. Well it wasn't surprising after all you wouldn't possibly expect them to say anything negative about Harshvardhan Kapoor, son of Anil Kapoor who was making his debut in a movie which was being crafted by some of the best technicians. There is no doubt that the frames shown in the trailer was awe-inspiring & with Gulzar having written the script; the expectations of it being a classic was nigh high. So did it deliver what it promised???
The film opens with a warrior winning an archery competition with the prize being the hand of the princess. However, it didnt seem to impress the other members of the clan & they make it amply clear with their hostile demeanor. The warrior wasn't disturbed by the events that unfolded & elopes with the princess in the dark much to the chagrin of the others who follows in pursuit. In an alternate time period, which happens to be the present day; Munish & Suchi are inseparable friends who always looked out for each other. But when Suchi gets reprimanded at school when she tried to cover up for Munshi who had forgotten his assignment, little did they realize that the subsequent events that unfolded would change their lives forever.
Rakeysh Omprakash is a director who needs no introduction especially with movies like "Rang De Basanti" & "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" to his credit. In "Mirzya", he has been honoured with the services of renowned lyricist Gulzar who has penned the script with the legendary tale of Mirza Sahiban being the basic idea behind the thread. The highlight of the movie is undoubtedly the magnificent visuals by the Polish cinematographer, Pawel Dyllus who has captured the Leh-Ladakh landscape & the Rajashthani deserts in such a manner that it will leave us spell bound. Equally impressive was the soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy which blends with the mood of the movie & elevates the experience especially in the warrior sequences. But there is a limit as to how much technical brilliance can help if it doesnt have a tale that connects with the audience & that's exactly the problem here. The format which is followed is pretty much similar to "Rang De Basanti", where we have two similar stories running parallel to each other in different time periods. While in "RDB", we root for the protagonists, over here we are more bothered as to when we can relieve ourselves from the boredom gifted by the movie.
Harshvardhan Kapoor looked awesome as the warrior but he didnt quite suit the character of Munish as he failed to convey the rawness & ruggedness that was evident in his appearance. Even Saiyami Kher didnt impress me with her histrionics or dialogue delivery. If at all there was someone who deserves a mention, then it has to be Anjali Patel while all the rest were either average or mediocre.
Verdict: Apart from technical brilliance, there is hardly anything in the movie which makes it worth watching. The movie will have to depend solely on the multiplex audience for its investment but even they are likely to stay away due to the incoherent script. In short, dont bother!!!
Mirzya, a much-awaited film by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, is inspired from the famous Punjabi folklore of a tragic love story of Mirza-Sahiban. It comes in the league of other tragic love stories of Punjab – Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal etc. This film is also the launchpad for Harshvardhan Kapoor (Anil Kapoor’s son) and Saiyami Kher (Niece of Shabana and Tanvi Azmi). Expectations roar high, when the film is written by a living legend Gulzar and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash. Mirzya is poetic, painted beautifully on a huge canvas, visually spectacular, but the screenplay falters. Mirzya is not able to evoke the pathos of such a powerful love story, not soul-stirring. The film shows the much famous folklore in two eras, visuals interspersed with Daler Mehndi’s powerful voice in the background. When the story of Mohnish / Adil Mirza (Harshvardhan Kapoor) and Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) is conveyed, parallels are drawn with the scenes of Mirza-Sahiban story too.
Om Puri, a blacksmith, is shown working and saying that there would always be some fire in the streets of blacksmiths. Clubbed with this is that of Sahiban (Saiyami Kher of the old era) watching a group of horse riders galloping and her eyes full of appreciation for Mirza (Harshvardhan with the get up of an old era), a scruffy warrior winning archery competition against others. Throughout the film, relevant scenes from either of the timelines are blended and shown parallelly.
Mohnish and Suchitra are great friends as children, and both go to school together. Suchitra, a disciplined child, and Mohnish, a naughty child, are almost inseparables. One day, Suchitra gives Mohnish her homework book so as to save him from teacher’s punishment, but ultimately ends up getting punished herself. Mohnish, unable to bear Suchitra getting punished, takes a much undesired drastic step. That ill-fateful incident separates Mohnish from Suchitra. Later on Suchitra is sent abroad by her father who is in Police department. Years fly by. The backdrop changes to Udaipur from Jodhpur, where prince Karan (Anuj Choudhary) is eagerly waiting for Suchitra to return from abroad so that he can propose her and announce his marriage plans to her. Mohnish, who is now known as Adil Mirza is the one who is taking care of horses in the stable. Unaware of Adil’s actual identity, Suchitra’s and Adil’s paths cross.
Although the folklore is familiar to us, it is interesting to watch, how the parallels are drawn between Adil-Suchitra and Mirza-Sahiban’s stories. How does Suchitra come to know regarding Adil’s actual identity ? How Adil reacts when he sees Suchitra along with Karan ? What happens when Suchitra’s father, Prince Karan’s father, and in fact Karan react when they come to know regarding Adil and Suchitra ? Is the fate of Adil and Suchitra the same as that of Mirza-Sahiban ?
The film had tremendous potential. In fact, the lyrical way of storytelling by blending two timelines that of Mirza-Sahiban and Mohnish/Adil –Suchitra’s stories with songs also is brilliant. But, efforts are not taken to show / justify the love story or strong bond between Adil-Suchitra. Strong ties of love in a relationship, where the protagonists separated decades back, is not developed. It doesn’t touch one’s heart.
Harshvardhan, Saiyami and Anuj are very good, but the lack of intensity in the script brings their intensity quotient down. Anjali Patil as Zeenat is also noticeable. Om Puri’s presence is left incomplete on screen. Art Malik (A British Actor) and KK Raina who essayed Suchitra and Karan’s father respectively are also good.
The dialogues are less in the film, rather the story is intertwined with the dance sequences. Songs are having meaningful lyrics. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Daler have given good folk songs.
Cinematography needs special mention, kudos to Polish cinematographer Pawel Dyllus.
Mirzya is poetic, painted beautifully on a huge canvas, visually spectacular. Expectations roar high, when the film is written by Gulzar and directed by Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, but the arrow misses the target. The screenplay falters. The film is not able to evoke the pathos of such a powerful love story, not soul-stirring. It lacks passion, intensity. But, one must watch it for the way this lyrical art is presented.
The film has 2 parallel stories where in the former; the plot is archaic type, where we see Harshvardhan on a horse, riding, competing with someone to marry Saiyami. There are no dialogues but picturesque scenes speak well about the plot, the bow-arrow portion and the fire ball effects but one cannot get to know the story precisely and what does it relate to ending in the death of the hero.
The latter portion is contemporary in its theme in which both Harshvardhan(Monish) and Saiyami(Suchitra) are good childhood friends. Both study in the same class but then Monish does a crime that sends him to a juvenile home wherein he escapes easily. And Suchitra goes abroad to study. After many years, Suchitra with her education is seen entering into matrimony with a prince in India. She then learns horse riding and Adil, who was actually Monish teaches her. Whether the lovers of yore unite is to be watched.
The movie is full of irrelevant music and dance sequences that suddenly come up wherein women and men dance in different Rajasthani forms. And even the scenes from the past keep popping up in between which just bores the viewer and kind of infuriates them. Histrionic talents lie latent and unexplored in the film.
Mirzya is a film that had many anticipations, it just fails to fulfil that and turns out to be an epic bore romantic drama. It is so dull that one can’t even sit awake, till the intermission comes with full concentration. It is meant for fluid minds and you can see it if you like musical dramas. I am giving it 4 stars.