Cast: Harshwardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhry, Art Malik
Director: Rakeysh Ompraksah Mehra
When Rakeysh Ompraksah Mehra is making a love story that flows through two eras, you expect a norm defying cinema which will set a benchmark in romance but his Mirzya is exactly opposite. It is a shallow story without any depth between the two eras.
Mirzya is a story of two different times: 1st is the ancient times when a warrior falls in love with a woman and tries to flee with her against her tribe. Another era is the present time in Rajasthan, where Munish and Suchitra aka Suchi are childhood best friends but get separated. After 10-15 years, now Suchitra is going to marry Karan, who is a prince. But, Suchi meets Munish in Prince’s stable where he is working as a horse care-taker. Munish and Suchi go ahead with their love story which was paused for so many years and decide to run away. This is a story of these love birds, whose romance has crossed the bounds of time.
Based on the Punjabi folklore of Mirza Sahiban, Mirzya’s story is written by the genius Gulzar. However, the script does not open its wings fully. It was really not about the two eras; the story talks only about the present scenario and then we have some glimpses of the ancient one. It doesn’t even give much emphasis on the characters. The romance and the bonding between the lead pair written were very basic. Eventually, the story doesn’t make much impact.
If the story was bad, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s direction was worse. It is an exciting thing when a sound director like Mehra takes a project like this where he has a chance to redefine the romance in Indian cinema. However, I felt Mehra got trapped or confused as to what approach he should take for such a film. Mehra tried to take an artistic approach to this love story but couldn’t succeed because in that effort, he forgot to make the romance worthwhile. Munish and Suchi’s love story didn’t have much appreciable moments where you will enjoy and relate the poetic passion. In his previous films, the characters like DJ from Rang De Basanti and Milkha Singh from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag were memorable because they were crafted marvellously which was absent in Mirzya. The love story didn’t even feel interesting.
Image Source: T-Series
1st shot of the film where we are thrown into the beautiful open landscapes, giving a perfect feel of ancient times. Now, this is an interesting scene in which the lead protagonist is riding the horse and winning for an aiming contest. Just when you are about to connect with the character and the narrative, the scene is cut to the present time. This is one of the most disappointing aspects of Rakeysh Mehra’s direction in the film. I understand, this film is talking about two different times so non-linear storytelling is obvious but what Mehra failed to recognize is he has to give each era of the story a considerable amount of time to work and connect with the audience. I would have loved to see a complete shot of that contest of first scene at a stretch. It would have been an epic statement from the film.
Mirzya was really not much about the ancient time. It was unbalanced with all the focus on present time in Rajasthan. I like the slow motion shots; they add depth to the scenes and give more time to appreciate each element of the film. However, the director has told the whole love story of ancient time in slow motion which was a bit discouraging. The fights should have been more rigorous and in real time. Some slow motion shots are fine and necessary.
From the trailer, it was evident that Mirzya is going to be a poetic film and music is really the highlight of the film. One of the most potent songs of the film, the title song ‘Mirzya’ was used incorrectly by Mehra. It is such a powerful song with a voice of Daler Mehndi but Mehra used it during the childhood scenarios; it should have been picturized during the time when Harshwardhan Kapoor actually comes to meet Saiyami Kher. What impact it could have made! The film was so shallow that most of the musical brilliance of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy couldn’t make the mark. They have actually outmatched themselves with Mirzya’s music. It’s a sad thing that the film couldn’t match their musical prowess. Title track, Hitchki, Teen Gawah and Hota Hai are masterful scores.
Like I said earlier, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra tried to give it an artistic approach but he failed to do so. The sequences of Rajasthani men and women dancing with some amazing energy were unique and boast of Mehra’s understanding of art but with a hollow narrative, it was never going to work in the favor of the film.
Pawel Dyllus has done a commendable job. The locations of Ladakh to portray a beautiful and wide open war arena were perfect for such a film. Even the shots of Rajasthan from the top view and then the local regions and desert contributed nicely for the narrative.
Harshwardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher both have made their debut with this film. Harshwardhan has performed well as Mirzya. He has a strong built for a warrior and a person who will take risks for his love. His camera presence is pleasant and also delivers the dialogues pretty decently. It’s early to say if he is a complete actor as the film only demands a serious portrayal from him and there are not many unique situations in the film where his in-depth acting skills would be tested. But, he shines in Mirzya. Saiyami Kher has to work a lot on her dialogue delivery. She feels immature and her confidence level on camera is not powerful. She is charming but that’s not enough. Anuj Choudhry was a great cast. He looks like a prince and gives a proper justice to his character.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya doesn’t succeed in romance and art. It fails to create intriguing story and connect. A lethargic direction infects the film and it is a complete disaster.