Mirzya has everything that’s required for a musical romance based on a popular Punjabi folktale: a pair of fresh faces (Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher) with great Bollywood genes, a strong supporting cast, and lilting music.
Outside Punjab, the story of Mirza-Sahiba may not be as well-known as the other folktales about star-crossed young love such as Heer Ranjha and Sohni Mahiwal, but it has an equally strong core of emotion. And there’s no one better than Gulzar to be able to translate the story into a film, keeping the feelings and idiom intact. A touch of ‘Romeo-Juliet’ is stirred in to emphasise just how hard the lovers have to fight, and just how much our hearts have to go out to them.But right from the get-go, Mirzya tells us it’s going to be more about setting the scene, as it cross-cuts in time — some sequences are as spectacular as anything we’ve seen recently — than giving us characters that will instantly grab us, and keep us with them. This problem plagues this lush, good-looking production right through, and makes it much less of a film than it could have been.
Transplanting the tale to Rajasthan allows for locations that can take your breath away, despite their overuse in Bollywood. Grand forts, picturesque hamlets, glittering deserts and undulating dunes, and ‘rajwadaas’ with all their grand costumes and liveried retainers: Mirzya is all eye candy.There’s also something sweet and engaging about an initial segment which shows Suchi and Mohnish as childhood sweethearts very attached to each other, who part and meet again in very different circumstances.
The film starts to slide when we meet these two as young adults, Suchi (Saiyami Kher) as a curly-haired miss engaged to Prince Karan (Anuj Choudhry) who bumps into Adil-Mohnish (Harshvardhan Kapoor), and re-kindles old embers. But soon enough it gets stuck in silliness, and a line exchanged between the lovers becomes all too prescient: ‘tum aa rahi ho ya ja rahi ho’, asks he. The film, much too intent on creating prettiness, gives us no answers: Suchi and Adil-Mohnish come and go minus impact.And that’s down to the fact that the lovers do not set the screen on fire. Except for a stray scene, and that too towards the end, when these two look at each other, really look into each other’s eyes, and break out laughing, telling us that they are delighting in each other’s presence to the exclusion of all else, they are merely spouting lines.Without that crucial element, where lovers create a tight world of their own and no one else is allowed, no romance works. In terms of acting potential, neither newcomer lifts off the screen, but Kapoor fares just a little better than his affectless leading lady: he appears to have a quiet spark which may surface after some more polishing. Flashback to his father Anil and his first film, you will instantly see the difference between an actor being groomed and an actor who is a complete natural, and who makes us look. Choudhry brings something to the table, as does the veteran Art Malik who is made to recite Shakespeare, but they get lost in the window-dressing. And neither K K Raina, hidden under designer glares, nor Om Puri in his muddy-grey garb, have much to do.
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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.
This would have a great movie only if the story would have been as better as the screenplay! Such a poor story line was definitely not what is expected from Rakesh OmPrakash Mehra. It is really hard to believe that it was him who churned out beauties like that of Rang De Basanti and Bhag Milkha Bhag. The teasers in itself were not that immersive, but still I had thought that it might be a good once since it was none other than Rakesh OmPrakash Mehra!!! But I was wrong…weak story line, no synchronization and bad acting are some of the reasons that makes this film clumsy.
The story makes no sense, be it the childhood story or the one in the present. And the actors are so poor in terms of their acting skills. I really don’t understand if they were selected on the basis of their skills or their filmy background!!! But, yes the songs, lyrics and the cinematic effect of the movie is what is quite good. You can definitely give a thumbs up for that. And if you ask me if I am going to recommend this movie to anybody, it is definitely a no.