Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Om Puri, Anuj Choudhry, Anjali Patil
One enters the cinema hall with huge expectations when the film is directed by someone like Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The man who made cult films like 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' has now tried to adapt the Mirzya-Sahibaa legend in a modern context but fails to bring the story to life.
Munish (Harshvardhan Kapoor) is madly in love with his classmate Suchi( Saiyami Kher) but when a school teacher beats Suchi for not completing her homework, he steals a gun from Suchi’s father (Art Malik) and kills the teacher. The court finds Munish guilty and sends him to juvenile home. Suchi is left alone and miserable. Few days later, he finds a way out from the jail and runs away. The story moves years ahead and Suchi returns home from abroad. Meanwhile, her dad fixes her marriage with Kunwar sa (Anuj Choudhary) who is already in love with Suchi. Munish works as a caretaker for Kunwar’s stable. Munish and Suchi meet again and love blooms.
When ROMP launched the trailer, the film promised to be one of a kind. With aerial desert shots and colourful renditions of folk music, 'Mirzya' was considered to be one of the most awaited movies of this year. Director ROMP is known for making distinctive cinema but one can’t help but ask him the reason for making a film like 'Mirzya'. Apparently, it took many years to complete and this reviewer feels sorry for the big names attached to the film.
If you remember Amol Palekar’s 'Paheli' and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s biggest dud so far 'Saawariyan', these films suffered loss at the box office but still had the ability to take the viewer into a different fantasy world. ROMP’s 'Mirzya' is far from the sensibilities of even the so-called polished multiplex audience. A film can’t work with a clichéd plot and over-dramatic emotions in 2016 especially when Bollywood has already opened doors for experimental films.
The 2 hours and 10 minutes become difficult to pass as most of the film has been shot in tight close-ups and slow motion. Though, cinematographer Pawel Dyllus did a fair job in shooting a few sequences especially the deserts of Rajasthan and grand Rajput mansions. The film not only tests the patience of the audience but also destroys faith in the director’s creativity. The war sequences in the ancient flashbacks may have a feel-good factor but are ruined with loud music. The film looks more like a documentary about horses or archery matches.
Coming to the actors, Harshvardhan Kapoor marks his acting debut with the film. He is definitely good with his expressions, may be it is the genetics (remember Sonam Kapoor in Saawariyan?) but he definitely made the wrong choice for his debut. With the least dialogues given to him, Harsh had scope to showcase his mettle but the weak plot didn’t let him do that. His shabby tanned look has surely drawn attention but his romance with Saiyami Kher has no spark. Saiyami, niece of veterans Shabana Azmi and Tanvi Azmi, fails to impress. But I won’t blame the actors because it is tough to get a launch pad no matter who you are and what’s better than such a great team. Anyone would have fallen for it. It is totally the director’s job to make the actors perform. Anuj Choudhary, Anjali Patil and Art Malik are average.
Editor P S Bharathi could have easily chopped off the dance sequences of the extras which had no relevance to the film or the plot. Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is in such abundance that the film comes across as noisy. Daler Mehndi will surely capture your interest in the title track but nothing beyond that. 'Mirzya' is a flop show in totality. I wouldn’t recommend it even to art film lovers, rather catch a nice play over the weekend.