Film Review: Mirzya
Director: Rakeysh Om Prakash Mera
Producer: P. S. Bharathi Mehra, Rohit Khattar,Rajeev Tandon, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Rating: 2.5 stars
Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anjali Patil, Anuj Chaudhary and KK Raina
Anticipations and comparisons are odious and perhaps, an abdominal thing done to an extremely unfair level when you happen to be the son of one of the most explosive actor and legend, Anil Kapoor. What better debut than featuring in a movie that has the touch of a Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, the man behind masterpieces such as Rang de Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The Gulzar written Mirzya is the launch pad of Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan and Saiyami Kher. A dream debut for two youngsters to make a mark in the Hindi film industry.
The Mirza-Sahiban saga is stuff legendary tales are made of. Unfortunately, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra builds its narrative on a very shoddily and weak plot. The story is told in flashes marrying the historical and contemporary. It’s where the Mehra-Gulzar story and screenplay stumbles and falls flat. There is no plot or story line. It is confusing, tacky and lacks steam that holds back the narration.
Make no mistake, Mirzya is a work on art canvas shot with technical finesse and is visually appealing. The visuals are stunning and carved in an aesthetic manner which is a treat to the eyes. In short, the folk dance has been shot in such a majestic way that makes it a sheer delight, touching our sensibility. It’s a piece of art in motion with lyrical tones.
Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra wanted to make an artistic fare which he did by wielding his direction baton to capture our sensibility as an audience. Unfortunately, from a script perspective, the whole experience goes topsy-turvy when he tries to experiment the Rang de Basanti way, merging present with the past. The gaps and flaws are blatantly present and confuse the audience. The whole experience goes wrong and gets messy.
Harshvardhan Kapoor shows immense potential as an actor in his launch vehicle and his eyes expression, raw intensity shows his worth. He is broody which, somehow, reminds us of his illustrious father. Unfortunately, the film limits his ability to perform. Blame it on the faulty story line, script and screenplay. He simply doesn’t get ample opportunity to showcase his mettle as an actor.
Saiyami Kher has an amazingly good screen presence and oozes sensuality, hotness, and sex appeal in tons. She is photogenic and a director’s muse. There is not enough room for her to show her acting abilities in the half-baked screen. Saiyami fails to make an impact from an acting perspective. But, her confidence tells that she needs to be watched out and may emerge as a dark horse. She is a director’s muse and if tapped to perfection, will emerge as an actor. Raj Chaudhari flits easily into the role of a prince with confidence while Anjali Patil leaves a mark and acts competently. She shows passion in her character and holds herself well in a subdued performance. Sadly, an actor of the caliber of Om Puri is wasted in the two-bit role.
Unfortunately, Mirzya suffers from several flaws. Firstly, the back-to-back songs clutter the whole narrative experience and work against the film. Secondly, the flash moments and the present life of the main protagonists show visible cracks. Mehra was successful in the back-and-forth narrative in RDB but this time, the whole experience is entangled in a mess of sort. It’s quite a puzzling piece weaved together which confuses the audience in every bits and piece.
On the whole, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra has pictured the frame beautifully through the imagery and aesthetic canvas as well as dances done on a grand scale. Unfortunately, the Gulzar-Mehra vision fails on more than one count. Mehra borrows the tried-and-tested formula of lovers running away from parents and chased which is so passe, doesn’t fit in the modern versions of love epics. Such an old borrowed and hackneyed formula that doesn’t work when set in a modern framework. The title song by Daler Mehendi hits a high note and enraptures the soul. There are few tracks by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy that stands out.
On the whole, the movie deserves 2.5 stars but only for its stunningly beautiful visuals, grand folk dances shot majestically and stunning special effects. Mirzya is a major disappointment from a narrative perspective that fails to glue the audience and Mehra-Gulzar should have chosen a powerful script. It’s only the makers who know what they have crafted in a seeming lost narrative.