When I got up after watching the two hour plus MIRZYAN, a friend who also watched the movie with me commented: was there no intermission in the movie because the producer-director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra felt that the audience may not return to see the second half? I must be honest in what I felt : Even if there was an intermission, I would have returned because, surely the man behind RANG DE BASANTI, DELHI 6 and BHAG MILKHA BHAG, would do something magical to steer this modern day inspiration of the famed Punjabi folklore romance between Mirza and Sahibaan to an above average production. One must accept, however that, it is rather difficult to do that, if you do not have a powerful story to turn the tide. And that’s not the only reason why MIRZYAN fails to redeem itself!
Love is an emotion that doesn’t require vivid and colorful imagery to be portrayed on the big screen; it doesn’t require melodrama either. But it requires a solid story to begin with, excellent story telling skills and of course excellent emoting by the lead actors. MIRZYA focusses so much on the imagery (excellent work by a Polish cinematographer) that it actually becomes a distraction in the absence of a well-crafted story. Similarly, the poetry of Gulzar as unleashed in the lyrics strikes several chords, but fails to add to or even create the ambience of a romantic tragedy. Sadly, the screenplay (also by Gulzar) fails to rev up the proceedings. Shankar-Ehsan-Loy’s musical compositions resonate excellently with what should have been the soul of this movie, and therefore have far less appeal than what they should have had. And to add to these woes, the debutant lead artistes, Harshvardhan Kapoor (Anil Kapoor’s son) and Saiyami Kher aren’t able to communicate the passion which causes them to elope.
Can childhood infatuation subverted by a long period of physical separation, suddenly find an expression of love? Yes, if it was a folk tale; but a strong NO, if it is purported to be in today’s settings. Thus MIRZYAN tries to substitute skills of showmanship for soul and story and sadly slips on the stage! The only memories that stayed with me after the movie ended were the shots of the deserts of Ladakh and the sands of Jaisalmer. It would be a great tragedy if someone calls MIRZYAN as an Indian Romeo and Juliet story: the Marathi SAIRAAT and the Malayalam ENNE NINTE MOIDEEN are better examples.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5
October 8th, 2016