BizAsia Movie Review: ‘Mirzya’

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When Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra announced that his next would star none other than Anil Kapoor�۪s son, Harshvardhan Kapoor, and Shabana Azmi�۪s niece, Saiyami Kher, there was much excitement as to what this trio would produce. With the trailers of ��Mirzya�۪ leaving a great impression on audiences, all eyes were on the hero, and how a story based on a Punjabi folklore tragedy about star crossed lovers, is interpreted in today�۪s times. Mehra has been consistent in bringing entertaining and thought provoking narratives to the screens and many are therefore watching closely to see how this next matches up to the others, as well as how Kapoor and Kher live up to expectations.

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The film opens in a small village full of men and women hammering cast iron for horse shoes. As the camera zooms into the small window of a hut, the man (Om Puri) hammering his own iron, looks up straight into the camera, with his own voiceover introducing the audience to the village and it�۪s people, who all look forward to hearing about the story of Mirza Sahibaan. With the screen travelling through the village, it comes to a piece of wall art illustrating the famous couple sleeping by a tree, with arrows charging toward them. As the camera zooms in, the painting transforms into moving images of arrows, horses, men and fire. As men on horse back charge toward fireballs, shooting each one to blow them out, from the hurdle of the crowd emerges Mirza (Kapoor) soaring through, hitting every target. As Sahibaan (Kher) watches through the white sands, it�۪s quickly realised that this is a ritual to find the beautiful Sahibaan a husband. With her longing eyes however, her heart is already set on the brave Mirza. With Mirza�۪s arrows blasting through the fire balls the image quickly cuts from arrow to dart, thrown by a small schoolboy in his uniform. As a little girl�۪s voice in the distance shouts ���MONISH!�۝, the little boy runs to get his bag and meets his best friend Soochi. Whilst in the classroom, Monish is asked by the teacher to show his homework. Not having done it, Soochi hands him her book to save Monish punishment from not having done it himself. However, when the teacher asks Soochi for her�۪s, she says she hasn�۪t done it. With this the teacher punishes her with a stick to her had. Feeling sad, guilty and angry for what the teacher did to his true love, Monish takes drastic measures to get revenge on his teacher. However, with revenge comes consequences where the two young lovers are suddenly separated.��Years go by and Soochi (Kher), now all grown up, is returning to marry the young and handsome Prince Karan (Anuj Chaudhary). In the attempt to learn the ropes of how to be a royal, she takes up horse riding lessons from the stable boy named Adil Mirza (Kapoor). Thus spiralling a turn of drastic events and providing questions galore. Where is Monish? Has Soochi forgotten about him? What has become of him? What is Adil Mirza�۪s part in the story?

As a director who will now always have high expectations from audiences, yet again Mehra hasn�۪t failed to deliver. Being a director who has always included unconventional elements, be it with the story, the cast or even just the way a film is shot, Mehra has made this film in pure theatrical style. Through his creativity he has made this movie in a way that is clever, eye opening and very engaging. The way in which he has told the story through his lens is nothing short of brilliant, showing both narratives simultaneously at the precise moments . As the audiences experience the tale of Mirza Sahiban along with Adil and Soochi, they soon begin to piece together how both tales are connected. The biggest element that stands out in terms of direction is the way that Mehra has shot the sequence of Mirza Sahiban. Shown in different parts in conjunction with Adil and Soochi�۪s story, Mehra�۪s choice in making the folklore without any dialogue adds to the intensity to the film, drawing the viewer’s attention even closer to the screen as they inch further to the edge of their seats. The director has also decided to use his dancers in more ways than one. Having them be at the forefront of every chapter, where they tell the story through their own movements, gives a whole new light into the way drama can be told through film. Mehra has truly outdone himself, experimenting in making theatre through the lens as well as casting brand new actors has made a perfect blend for a brilliant watch.

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Kapoor and Kher make a fantastic pairing and it�۪s safe to say that these two newcomers have great potential. Their chemistry as Mirza Sahibaan and Adil-Soochi is intense and believable. Despite Mehra having made them work hard for the film, both actors make their roles seem effortless. Kapoor as Mirza and Adil delivers an outstanding performance, making one forget he is the son of the evergreen Anil Kapoor. Making the role his own, he has proved that he will make a successful career all by himself, not just in the shadow of his talented family. As for Kher, from the minute she appears on screen, she is every bit a stunner and this makes the audience want to see more of her. Kher plays her characters with a powerful elegance and she doesn�۪t shy away from showing her true emotions to the fullest. Even at times where only her voice is heard, the audience will find themselves searching the screen for a glimpse of her. Kher has an infatuating on-screen presence even when in the same frame as both Kapoor and Chaudhary. A special mention has to go out to Chaudhary who brilliantly plays his role in the most humble way. Through his performance he gains the audience�۪s trust where he ensures he isn�۪t seen as the bad guy. With the way Chaudhary plays his character, the viewer immediately warms to him and sympathises with his actions. Despite being a subtle character, his is another name that audiences will be looking out for in the future. Art Malik also gave a decent performance as a devoted father who was also protective.

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To conclude, ‘Mirzya�۪ is a great watch. Mehra tells this story in a very simple yet effective manner, where audiences are left awed by the creative way he has portrayed both tales in one, as well as how he has used every aspect to bring out the brilliance of his cast. However, those who are expecting to see an out-and-out mainstream film will be left disappointed. With no lip synced, hero-heroine dance numbers, this is a film where some parts rely purely on action and scenery only. However, the performances from the whole cast will have everyone laughing, crying, gasping and clutching to their seats without a doubt. ‘Mirzya’ gives the perfect opportunities for all the performing artists involved, as Mehra has given them all the space to show their true potential. Rest assured, you will be left with a positive lasting impression of them all.

BizAsia Showbiz rating: 4/5

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