MIRZYA Movie Review: An eye popping tragedy

Director : Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Music : Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics : Gulzar
Starring : Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher and Raj Chaudhary, Om Puri, Art Malik and Anjali Patil

October 7, 2016 2:32:34 PM IST
Mirzya Review By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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When Rakesh Omprakash Mehra (RANG DE BASANTI, BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG) attempts a love legend from the history of Punjab - MIRZA SAHIBAN with Gulzar at the 'pen' of affairs, after a sabbatical of 17 years as a scriptwriter (HU TU TU last), an on screen poetry for the classes and masses is expected.


But alas, Rakesh Mehra takes a suicidal step in MIRZYA by ostentatiously relocating the Punjabi folklore to today's Rajashthan. The set change from icescapes of Ladakh with the sun soaked vistas of desert lands, real Havelis with real horses and VFX created bow and arrows look stunning and it is indeed an endearing experience for our naked eyes.

MIRZYA is an amazing eye popping experience but behind the picturesque landscapes lies an on screen translation of MIRZA SAHIBAN in a lyrical broad way manner that is neither engaging nor smart and on the top of that the Sufi Punjabi soundtrack against the Royal Rajashthani backdrop is distracting enough to turn irritating towards the end.

MIRZYA starring first timers Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher by Rakesh Mehra is a miscalculated and misdirected dream of paying tribute to Baz Luhrmann (ROMEO + JULIET), Chetan Anand (HEER RAANJHA) and Kaifi Azmi at one go in which the writer and the maker fail miserably.

In terms of modern adaptations of classic stories of yore, Vishal Bhardwaj remains the best till date. His intoxicating mix of desi liquor with Shakespearean wine is quite hard to beat. Bollywood flag bearers of radical cinema like Anurag Kashyap's DEV D (modern adaptation of DEVDAS) had its share of accolades but way short in delivering the raw and rustic desi knockout punch given by Bhardwaj in MAQBOOL, OMKARA etc.

With due respect to Rakesh Mehra as a helmer and Gulzar as a writer, it is extremely difficult to turn centuries old love saga into a stunningly outstanding piece of art mixing the lyrical ethos and modern age pathos like Baz Luhrmann's ROMEO + JULIET (1996) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes which still remains my personal best in terms of modern adaptation of the 400 year old Shakeshpere's saga. The film kept its modernity intact with stunning visuals celebrating the pop culture and astonishingly kept Shakespeare alive with dialogues in verse from the original play.

Similarly in 1970 Chetan Anand's HEER RAANJHA starring Raaj Kumar and Priya Rajvansh had its dialogues in verse, Kaifi Azmi wrote the verse dialogue apart from the memorable numbers like 'Milo Na tum toh hum ghabarayein' though the movie was set in a period.

Rakesh Mehra's MIRZIYA is nowhere in between. Gulzar pens this adaptation ignoring vital facts with glaring potholes.

Mohnish/Aadil (Harshvardhan) and Suchitra (Saiyami) are in love since childhood. (Their parents 'milk sibling' episode from the folklore is ignored). An unconvincing untoward incident designed just to give a shock value separates them for years. Their paths cross at a point where Suchitra is about to marry Prince Karan (Anuj). The writer fails to explain how and when Suchitra and Karan met and started liking each other. Mohnish/Aadil (Harshvardhan) is a groom (caretaker of horses) at Prince Karan's stable. During her riding lessons Suchitra and Mohnish rekindle their love for each other and all hell breaks loose. The reincarnation theme lacks the required depth and drama making it looks like a simplified and hurried attempt.

All this is executed in a broadways style ballet that tries hard in taking the narration forward instead of passion, chemistry between Harshvardhan and Saiyami told in a unbearably slow pace juxtaposing the period saga with the modern day take that is no cool or hot even after those hot smooches.

This pointless exercise is a weird attempt in paying tribute to THE GAME OF THRONES too (The introduction of Harshvardhan) 'MIRZYA' yells Sahiban (Saiyami) and for reasons better known to Rakesh Mehra and Gulzar, the whole of period flashback episode is literally speechless and yawningly captured in slow motions to strongly check our patience.

The movie scores maximum points on Pawe3 Dyllus breathtaking cinematography that is nothing but sheer painting on celluloid.

Coming to the new comers. Harshvardhan Kapoor seems to have much more then what we saw in the film. Sadly, The script doesn't offer him much but certainly he appears to be quite confident.

Saiyami Kher who comes with more exposure (advertisements) certainly has the looks. She is gorgeous and posses that rare raw rustic and haunting allure and she can act as well.

Raj Chaudhary impresses as the royal prince, Om Puri is wasted, Art Malik is fine. Anjali Patil as the village belle is decent.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is disappointing as the film and the title song by Daler Mehndi becomes irritating after sometime. VFX has nothing to say and action by Australian action director Danny Baldwin is uninspiring.

MIRZYA is Rakesh Mehra's most ambitious and the most tiresome movie till date. The master craftsman is alleged for spoiling his brilliance by abrupt endings in last reels like RANG DE BASANTI, DELHI 6 after all the convictions in previous reels. BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG will remain an exception.

Ironically, in MIRZYA Rakesh Mehra loses conviction after a couple of reels right from the beginning itself and all the razzmatazz that follows turns out to be all sound no fury.

 Mirzya Review Rating : 
2.5/5 stars
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