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FIRST MOVIE REVIEW OF MIRZYA: It Is A Visual & Emotional Feast!

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Starring: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher

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Directed by: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Interestingly and curiously—and these are feelings that propped up repeatedly as I watched the maverick movie making magician Mehra’s fifth directorial pilgrimage into the mysteries of cinema—Mirzya doesn’t mention its debut making lead pair as ‘Introducing’…

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That’s because continuity and renewal are critical to Mehra’s  vision of cinema. He moves, no he glides, from one era to another without punctuation marks in pursuit of that uncorrupted core of humanism which makes life worth living even in the worst of times(and honestly, it can’t get any worse than now, can it?).

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Mirzya is a  very simple yet extremely layered love legend . The lovers here face what lovers everywhere have faced since love was discovered in the human heart. As in Rang De Basanti, Mehra creates two level of storytelling, one that is situated in the  present times with the lovers going through the love tropes with a kind of  gentle persuasiveness that makes destiny seem charmingly welcome, and the other love story that unfolds in a snowswept landscape of the past with a fatal fury.

The provocative uniqueness of Mehra’s Mirzya flows out of its narrative format .Stylish and yet improvisationalMirzya  imbues the love legend with a casual grace and a disarming ardour. A large portion of the film’s inescapable charm is traceable to the lead pair who are no gym-produced mannequins. Flesh and blood, they bleed and bawl,plead and brawl ,  with their tempestuous love for one another being the epicenter of their conflict.

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And Gulzar—God bless his insight into the human heart—gives them such lovely lines to speak. Harshvardhanand Saiyami own those lines with proprietary  pride. The exemplary sound design (Pranav Shukla) is so textured and tonally correct we can hear every crack in the lovers’ hearts.

This brings me to the  film’s exceptional technical  qualities. Mirzya is arguably the most  technically accomplished piece of cinema in a very long time. Spaces in the heart are virtually manifested on screen in the characters’ clothes, demeanour, performance and posture. The visual landscape reifies  the emotional content of the plot without hammering in the link between what we see and what the characters feel. The romance in the past fuelled by a nomadic mating dances(Raju Sunderam’s choreography is divinely erotic) and  rituals from folk art which coalesce in a comfortable union of  a fugitive heritage and contemporary conventions.

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All of this is achieved with a subtlety and tenderness which are not all accessible or obtainable in the first viewing. Mirzya tells a deceptively simple tale of star-crossed love with a flummoxing flourish. Why the two love stories fused in concurrent movements which allow no room for demarcation lines? This  question gets its answer in the empowering befitting finale where, shall we say, guns and arrows meet without a violent conflict of interest between the two weaponry.

For me, what made Mirzya unstoppably unique was its even temper. Even during the moments of heightened emotional conflict and outburst Mehra is in full and supreme command of his character’s words and action. The music by Shankar Ehsan Loy is the life and breath of the lovers’ journey from a childhood togetherness to doomed adulthood.Every musical piece in the narrative tells a story.

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Curiously Gulzar seems to borrow some of the film’s external and interior worlds from Emily Bronte’sWuthering Heights. The stable-boy Adil  that Harshvardhan plays could be Heathcliff from any era(considering Mehra’s penchant for era-less drama). The debutant plays the tormented lover-boy using his eyes that speak a million words of recrimination. Harshvardhan’s forte is pain and hurt .He expresses these with an honesty reminiscent of Dilip Kumar in Dil Diya Dard Liya.

Saiyami Kher as Suchitra is no comestic beauty. She is real and unstoppably vivacious, a Kajol of the new generation.Both the debutants hold the camera in close-ups with an unflinching directness unique to the new generation of actors. Anuj Choudhary as Suchitra’s royal fiancé is adept at expressing an arrogant hurt.But thescenestealer is Anjoli Patil as Zeenat the ironsmith’s sensuous daughter who has the eternal hots for Adil. Anjolichews the meat off every scene that she has including a very crucial wedding –chamber scene where she breaks your heart.

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It is the older actors who let us down. Or is it the script that doesn’t allow them room to show their worth?Rakeysh  Mehra’s favourite K K Raina’s face is so lost in whiskers we barely recognize him. Art Malik as Suchitra’s over-possessive father over-punctuates his performance and hams it up in one major drunken scene where he actually rolls on the floor like a tantrum-throwing child..And Om Puri as the lohar and the narrator barely gets two scenes.

There are some terribly bright child actors in the film lending a sense of artless innocence  to the luminous goings-on.Every frame of Mirzya speaks a language that echoes Luis Bunuel . A  lot of the credit for the captivating cadences of the storytelling must go to Shankar Mahadevan’s astonishing music and Pawell Dyluss’s soul-searching cinematography which makes every shot a do-or-die endeavour without sacrificing the spontaneity and fluidity in the narration .

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Then there is P S Bharati’s editing. She  fuses the two eras where the two love stories unfold with an effortlessness that makes the director’s existential philosophy—that life moves from one conflict to another without the luxury of full stops—seem like the only way love can be expressed.

Of course we know love is a many-splendoured emotion. But Mirzya makes us feel with time-stopping stillness when the only sound we hear is that of two hearts beating, that this is only was to feel love,  with a ferociousness that precludes options.No wonder we FALL in love. How else would a moviemaker like Mehrabe  able to catch the journey down  during the fall?

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Why On  Earth Is Sushmita Sen Smoking A Cigar In Aarya’s First  Look?

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Aarya

Season 3  of Aarya is being shot as  you read this, and naturally Sushmita Sen is  super-kicked about it, so kicked that she has put  out a  video where she is seen  in the  best Lady Boss version of herself.

Alarmingly, she is seen puffing away at a  cigar, to  complete her Badass Lady Boss image.

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 There was a  time when women smoking  cigarettes  in Hindi cinema signaled vampishness. If a female actor was  shown smoking it meant she had evil designs  over the  hero, and life in general.

 Sushmita being Sushmita, a cigarette won’t do. A  cigar it is, to go with her formidable image. The last Bollywood actor I saw smoking a cigar  on screen was Premnath in the 1970s. Back then so  many  people didn’t die of cancer  by smoking.

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 These are  different far more dangerous  and deadly times.

Sushmita is an iconic  actor.She  needs to be more careful about the image  she projects . Smoking  a  cigar doesn’t  enhance a woman’s(or a  man’s) muscle power. Nor does it make her look cool.

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About shooting for the third season of Aarya  Sushmita says, “Aarya is synonymous with my name.  I have lived as Aarya for two whole seasons and the love received by the audiences has only encouraged me to do more. Walking on the sets of Aarya Season 3 makes me feel at home and gives me  a sense of empowerment. I’m grateful to the entire team at Disney+ Hotstar, Ram Madhvani Films and Endemol Shine India for the vision of creating Aarya and taking it to newer heights with every season.”

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Shah Rukh, Deepika, John Will Meet The Media  On Monday At 4 pm(But There’s  A Catch)

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Pathaan

Pathaan has effectually discredited the  efficacy  of media interactions to promote  a  film. The  film’s lead actors Shah Rukh  Khan, Deepika Padukone  and John Abraham did not conduct any  press or portal interviews  to  promote the  film.

And  yet Pathaan  is  a blockbuster.

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 This  weekend  the Pathaan producer Aditya  Chopra  of  Yash Raj Films  took a call on behalf  of  the Pathaan team  to do one media  meet at the Taj Land’s End in Mumbai  on Monday January 30 at 4 pm.

The  three principal actors  and  director Siddharth Malhotra  will address  the  media.

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 But  here’s the catch: the media will not be allowed to ask any questions. There will be no  Q& A s or  one-on-one  interactions.This  basically means that the  Pathaan  team will  have an opportunity to  say what it wants  to the media. But the  media will have no say.

Make what  you will of this  one-way traffic.

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A  source close  to Yash Raj informs  me that this is  the   pattern  regarding the media that  Yash Raj will follow for  future  releases: no  press meets  no promotional  engagements.

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Fake Projects of Pathaan Director Being Planted In Media

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Siddharth Anand Denies Considering  Any Project With  Deepak Mukut

A  word of caution to those marketing and publicity wizkids  who think  it’s okay to  plant fake stories  on (fake) projects  with the Pathaan director.

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 It is  not.

Such baseless announcements  are meant only to  raise  the equity  of the  producers  with whom Siddharth   Anand’s name is  linked. One  such  producer whose name  has cropped up after the  spectacular success of  Pathaan is  Deepak Mukut.

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There were  reports  everywhere that Siddharth Anand’s next would  be with Mukut.

Turned out to be a false rumour.

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A  source in the  know informs, “Siddharth now has to complete Fighter  starring Hrithik Roshan and  Deepika Padukone  for Yash Raj.Then  he  is   committed to direct the sequel to War 2 for  Yash Raj films.  They will then start  work on the  next film in the Pathaan  franchise. There is no scope  or  room for any outside  projects  for Siddharth Anand. So every announcement  that  you read of a  new film  to be  directed by Siddharth Anand  for an  outside  producer is likely to  be  a hundred  percent fake.”

When I asked Siddharth Anand  about the  supposed project  with  producer Deepak Mukut he promptly replied,  “NOT AT ALL.”

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Pink Director’s Next  Featuring Yami As A Crime Reporter To Stream From February 16

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Yami

Anniruddha Roy  Chowdhury whose  Pink  featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu was one of  the  most important  films of  2016, is all set to  release his  next  Hindi film.

Entitled LostAnniruddha’s film , based on true  events, will see Yami Gautam Dhar(that’s  what the actress calls herself after her marriage)  as a crime journalist. LOST is an emotional social thriller that represents a higher quest, a search for lost values of empathy and integrity.

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Inspired by true events, Lost is a story of a bright young woman crime reporter in her relentless search for the truth behind the sudden disappearance of a young theatre activist.

Lost

Lost

Says Aniruddha  “The shoot of LOST has been an incredible journey. I have been eager for the release of our hard-worked venture. The film is a realistic highlight of media in a social context and I am sure that it will give the audience a compelling watch. I am curious about its release and see the responses it shall get. I hope they will welcome it with open hearts.”

Yami Gautam Dhar  who plays  the lead  of  the  crime reporter  says,   “I can’t be happier and more proud of the film’s selection for the opening night at CSAFF. I feel like its one that the people will connect to and will be the one that you cannot miss, especially in the current age and time. I have loved playing this role because it was such a special experience, it allowed me to explore so many layers of emotions as an actor and the entire team has worked really hard on it. I genuinely cannot wait for the film’s release, especially to see the reactions of the audience to it.”

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The crime investigation  drama boasts a stellar cast. Along with Yami, the film will feature Pankaj Kapur, Rahul Khanna, and an ensemble of younger talent, including Neil Bhoopalam, Pia Bajpai, and Tushar Pandey, in pivotal roles.

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