If I were given a penny for each time I was awestruck by Mirzya’s visuals, I would be the richest man alive. If I were to give away a penny each for reasons that the film let me down, I’d be selling my kidneys.
The film’s trailer established two things loud and clear- one, the film is going to look darn good and two, the acting’s gonna suck. I had my doubts when I walked into the theater and a near-20% occupancy wasn’t helping. So when the film started unfolding, almost half the time at 0.5x in an effort to positively dramatize it, little did I know that I was in for two painfully poetic tragedy sagas. While the one set in god-knows-what era is essentially mute, with the background score and Dothraki-looking men fighting it out for reasons you can only guess but not ascertain, the modern-day story is set in Rajasthan, a fact time and again testified by shots of withering forts, arid deserts and Rajasthani women dancing.
While the relevance, or even existence and portrayal for that matter, of the saga of the yore is beyond the comprehension of my peanut brain, Monish and Sucharitha of this day and age are what romantics would call “star-crossed” lovers. Childhood sweethearts drift apart following a chutzpah from our leading man, only to be reunited post puberty for, well, sparks to fly. Only this time, the lady is to-be princess to Prince Karan, played by Anuj Choudhry. The consequences of rekindling romances from the past come with a price to pay. What follows forms the dragged second half of this film.
Bringing to celluloid the famous Punjabi folklore Mirza-Sahiban are Gulzar saab (lyrics and writing) and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (direction). Lyrics are wonderful; they are beautifully strung into soulful music only Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are capable of. Paweł Dyllus’s lens paints beautiful portraits; the film is drenched in vibrant colours and every frame is picture-perfect. What falters is the screenplay. There were at least 6 instances where I could not make sense of what, why and where things are happening. When Mirzya’s time-machine is triggered by Saiyami Kher’s sense of deja-vu and that unknown, weird era comes back on screen, that’s when you begin to question the film’s worth.
Harshvardhan Kapoor is all beard and puppy eyes. His facial hair masked most of his act. He’s raw but holds promise. Too bad his role is almost always unilayered. Saiyami Kher shows self-assuredness in sporting the one single expression, okay maybe two, throughout the film. Either she’s looking in an arbitrary direction with a tear or two flowing down her eyes or expressing interest in the goings-on. As Sucharitha, she’s mostly riding ponies. My heartfelt sympathies are with Anuj Choudhry. It’s he, among the three newcomers, who deserved to be in a better project. Nonetheless, he delivers when his scenes come up.
Oh and the abrupt way (some would go for ‘seamless’) in which the film pauses at intermission point! Who would want to be disturbed when there’s an erotic dance on screen? Talk about leaving people high and dry!
If stunning camerawork and good music turns you on, you could watch Mirzya. IMO though, the film doesn’t warrant the effort. It’s hard to believe this film is coming from the man who gave us Rang De Basanti.
I’m going with 2/5
Rating: Good time if you are drunk