Dir: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra | Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Siyami Kher, Om Puri, Art Malik, K K Raina, Anjali Patil | 130min | India
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s latest Hindi drama is an ambitiously mounted and dazzling lyrical epic that interweaves the legendary Punjabi love story between Mirzya and Sahiban “If you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt – only love”. The traditional version opens in the magnificent desert fortresses of Rajasthan and tantalizingly precedes each episode of the reimagining of a modern day Romeo and Juliet, where school friends Monish and Suchitra found first love in modern Delhi as children and then unite as adults in the 21st century. However, Monish (Harshvardhan Kapoor) now works for a prince, to whom Suchitra (Saiyemi Kher) is engaged to be married.
What makes MIRZYA so appealing to watch is the dynamic performances of newcomers Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher who are glamorously gorgeous both as a modern couple and as their mythical counterparts. A tunefully rhythmic soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy sets the extravaganza off on its way, and minimal CGI effects depict an exotic bird involved in the narrative, zooming exuberantly into the sky in a metaphor for the feelings of the lovebirds themselves.
MIRZYA has brave intentions and plenty of chutzpah, but much of the story gets confused as it flips backwards and forwards and the result is an over melodramatic affair that often feels implausible and over-excited in the contemporary context, despite the convincing onscreen chemistry of the leads. MIRZYA is certainly spectacular to look at and entertaining to watch, but the narrative fails to be convincing despite the director’s best intentions. MT
SCREENING DURING BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL UNTIL 16 OCTOBER 2016