Star cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhary
Direction: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Ratings: 3/5 stars
Rakesh Omprakash Mehra is back since the incredibly successful Bhaag Milka Bhaag with Mirzya. Film is all about two school kids in Jodhpur are inseparable. The girl isn’t concerned about the boy’s humble roots. They are happy until a tragedy befalls. Probably they would never see each other again. But, it isn’t a tragedy to remember if it doesn’t give a chance to rise and redeem. So, they meet again in Udaipur after some years. They’re Princess Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) and horse trainer Aadil (Harshvardhan Kapoor) now. Suchi’s marriage with Prince Karan (Anuj Choudhary) is impending, and it’s going to be an affair to remember. Gulzar is back to screenplay writing after 17 years. His last was Hu Tu Tu in 1999. He chooses to depend on a ‘sutradhar’ (the narrator). Sometimes, it’s a voiceover, sometimes it’s a group of tribal women.
Industry’s newbie Saiyami Kher with a Telugu release already under her belt, Mirzya is Saiyami Kher’s first Hindi language release, and it is quite evident why Rakesh Mehra picked her in the role of Sahibaan. A character that in folklore was known for her beauty Saiyami is beautiful, her career as a model is evidence of this, though the character of Sahibaan needed a rare combination of innocence and spunk, which Saiyami manages to inject into the on screen character in droves. While this year’s most awaited debutant Harshvardhan Kapoor is amazing. There are scenes in the film where Kapoor is outstanding, the hitchki song, and the revelation scene to name a couple. He has also managed the dual character performances with finesse, something that a lot of seasoned actors have struggled with, so as a newcomer I applaud his effort here in differentiating between the two roles. Anuj Choudhry as the understanding yet somewhat jealous and possessive lover is convincing. Anjali Patil proves that sometimes a lot of dialogue is not necessary to make your presence felt. As the daughter of the blacksmith her quiet love for Adil Mirza leaves a lasting mark, you can do nothing but understand her acceptance of circumstance and her quiet sacrifice.
Add to it Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music that reflects the ecstatic pain of love and takes the narration forward. Shankar Ehsaan and Loy has done something different here and it suits Mirzya. The music weaves in perfectly throughout the film and actually helps to move the narrative along. They aren’t directly related to this love-story, but they understand the universal language of affection and empathy.
Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra creates a surreal world here. He experiments with his time warp film. He is confident about his storytelling technique. He has used it effectively in Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. And he is willing to add more drama. Like a stage play. Amidst colour blasts and oiled bodies. Super slow motion shots are his tools, and he frequently features them. Rakesh Omprakash Mehra has taken his time with this film. It is evident that this is a labour love. Thought has been put in the locations and a clear directive has been given in regards to characters. There are scenes that show what a skilled director he is, with scenes being handled gently and in an aesthetically pleasing manner. You don’t mind if Gulzar’s couplets cover almost the entire film. Also, a predictable story requires such gimmicks. We know Mirza-Sahibaan’s saga, one of Punjab’s most famous folklores. The interest was around how Mehra presents it, and he nails it. Mehra is a storyteller, this is evident in his previous films and it is present in Mirzya with his version of Mirza Sahibaan for the new generation.
The lead actors’ performances are his prime savior, so giving them less dialogues appears like a wise decision. It helps in escalating the tension too.
Harshvardhan Kapoor has decided to debut with an unconventional film, and he gets noticed. He underplays it, still leaves his impression in shots where he is alone on the frame. Saiyami Kher looks mysterious as Sahibaan, but somehow the other sides of her personality don’t come out. Mehra has taken a subject that has been presented to us before in its various forms and given us something new. This 135-minute Shakespearean drama is visually impressive, but lacks the essence of a heart wrenching love-story. It’s a period drama trying hard to be a musical. Essentially Mirzya is a film about love, in all its various forms, Your first love that you never forget, a love between friends, a love between child and parent, unrequited love. With a tag line like “Dare to love” , you expect romance, love, high voltage chemistry which is all delivered. Mirzya is must watch m Film this weekend with your loved one to fall in love all over again.