Cinestaan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures’ Mirzya (UA) is based on the legendary love story of Mirza and Sahiban. Monish (master Iteshyam) and Suchi (baby Anuja) are childhood friends. They study in the same school and same class and are inseparable. They live in Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
One day, little Suchi prompts little Monish to pass off the homework done by her as his own because he himself has not done his homework. The teacher understands this and promptly asks Suchi to show him her homework. Continuing her lies, Suchi tells him that she hasn’t done her homework. The teacher then punishes Suchi. This infuriates Monish so much that he kills the teacher, using the gun of Suchi’s father who is a police officer. Monish is sent to a juvenile remand home.
After some days, Monish escapes from the remand home. Years later, Monish (Harshvardhan Kapoor) comes back to Jodhpur but under the name of Adil. Suchi (Saiyami Kher), who had gone abroad for studies, also returns to Jodhpur. She is shown to be in love with a prince, Karan (Anuj Choudhry). Her marriage is also fixed with Karan. But old sparks are soon reignited when Adil alias Monish and Suchi meet. Clearly, Suchi is more comfortable and happier in the company of Monish than when she is with Karan.
All hell breaks loose when Suchi’s father (Art Malik) and Karan’s father (K.K. Raina) learn about the love affair of Adil and Suchi. The two love birds have no option but to elope. Do they live happily ever after?
Gulzar’s story is inspired by the legendary tale of Mirza-Sahiban but it doesn’t do justice to that story as even the parallels are depicted quite sketchily. Gulzar has written a screenplay which is pathetic and makes no sense in today’s time and age and for the modern generation. The drama is so lacklustre, so boring and so dull that it tests the audience’s patience. Although it is a love story, the romance is anything but heartwarming or even enjoyable. The viewers don’t feel for the lovers and, therefore, fail to root for them when things get difficult for them. The audience neither feels sad for them when they are separated or when they face obstacles nor feels elated when they are together. The flashes of legendary lover Mirza fighting his adversaries keep appearing on the screen at strategic points in the drama but they hardly serve to heighten the impact, which was the intention. This is the writer’s way of alluding to Mirza-Sahiban’s story but that is simply not explained to the audience which wonders why Monish and Suchi are shown in get-ups which are so different from their actual get-ups. Worse still, the flashes are repeated so often that the audience wonders if the writer was so bereft of ideas or the director was so short on imagination. The film has three layers – the present-day love story of Monish and Suchi, the love story of Mirza and Sahiban, and the story narrated by the sutradhar (Om Puri). But these three layers only serve to confuse the viewers. Shockingly, there are no dialogues between Mirza and Sahiban in the legendary love tale.
Although the film is a launch pad for two young actors, it is so dry, drab and morose that it will simply not cut ice with the youngsters who look for entertainment in a film and who should have formed a large chunk of audience for this film. Light moments are almost conspicuous by their absence. In fact, the viewer can’t believe it when he sees Monish and Suchi laughing in one scene – this, because they are always shown to be so sad. With romance being half-baked and comedy missing, the film falls short in two departments which should be key in any love story. The dramatic portions are so subdued and half-hearted that the viewers actually doubt whether any thought has gone into the scripting or it has been written without caring for the audience to which it caters. Since the romance totally fails to touch the heart, the emotions fall flat on their face. There is action, of course, but even that does not generate the excitement and thrill it should, if only because the characters fail to make a place for themselves in the hearts of the audiences.
Frankly, the audience is almost completely not with Monish’s character from the moment he takes the extreme step of killing the teacher – that too, for merely doing his job as a conscientious teacher. The scene of killing is meant to evoke empathy for Monish in the viewer’s heart but the weak script does not let that happen. The reverse definitely does happen – the audience hates the child’s audacity and that never really changes because the writer just does not address it or simply doesn’t make Monish regret his extreme action. That’s exactly the reason why the scene in which Monish (Adil) indirectly asks Suchi’s father for her hand in marriage, does not have the viewer’s heart pounding. Another flaw in the screenplay is that the writer would like the audience to go with Monish and Suchi on the basis of the days they spent together in their childhood, but the audience is just not ready to interpret the childhood bonding as love. To show two little kids in love would be found to be distasteful by many. This childhood love is the foundation for the entire love story and hence the film rests on a weak foundation. All in all, the screenplay is so poor that it will be mocked at by the youth. Gulzar’s dialogues lack fire and are barely passable.
Harshvardhan Kapoor makes an ordinary debut. He tries to bring intensity to his character but is let down by the terribly poor script. He is presented so unclean that it only takes away from the excitement of watching a newcomer who is a star-son (Anil Kapoor’s son). His hair is always dishevelled, his face and clothes are always unwashed and his general demeanour is unpleasant. Surely, this is not how one would want to see a new hero. Saiyami Kher also makes an average impact in her debut role. In several scenes, she appears to be rattling off her dialogues without much feeling. The only scene in which she has looked pretty is the one in which she is dressed up as a bride. Anuj Choudhry (as Karan) hardly looks like a prince. His acting is alright. Art Malik fails badly as Suchi’s father. His dialogues are inaudible at several places. Om Puri doesn’t get any scope and one wonders what he is doing in the film. Anjali Patil leaves a definite mark in the role of Zeenat even though she has a brief role. K.K. Raina lends dull support. Masood Akhtar has his moments as the servant in Suchi’s house. Master Iteshyam and baby Anuja are confident as young Monish and young Suchi respectively. Vikram Singh (as teacher), Geeta Agrawal (as Monish’s mother) and the others provide ordinary support.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s direction is terribly dull. He is let down by an inane script and, therefore, all that stands out in his direction are his stylised shot takings and his over-indulgence. His narration fails to involve the audience. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music comprises a good title song and others which are fairly well-tuned but none which has the hummable quality about it. For an epic love story to not have super-hit music is a minus point in the film’s report card. Besides, for a love story to not have a single lip-synch song picturised on the lovers is a poor joke – and this film does not have any such lip-synch song! The title track stands out for its excellent rendition by Daler Mehndi but its impact in the film is greatly diluted because it comes at different places and, therefore, only in parts at irregular intervals. Gulzar’s lyrics are not easy on the lips. Song picturisations (by Raju Sundaram and Mayuri Upadhya) are eye-filling but the choreography in a couple of song-dances looks repetitive. Tubby Parik’s background music leaves something to be desired. Pawel Dyllus’ cinematography is of a fine standard. Action scenes, choreographed by Danny Baldwin (horses), Manohar Verma (horses) and Allan Amin, are effective but to not much avail. Acropolis’ production designing is fair. P.S. Bharathi’s editing is quite sharp.
On the whole, Mirzya is a flop show and will meet with a disastrous fate at the box-office. It is like a lifeless as well as soulless film – dull, dry, drab and devoid of drama. It is all that a film with newcomers shouldn’t be!