The stunning visuals and horse riding long shots are excellent in Mirzya. Editing and cinematography is top notch. Mirzya is a film for a niche audience. People who enjoy poetry in motion, this film is exactly that. Based on the Punjabi folk legend, the love story of star crossed lovers Mirza Sahiban, this film is divided into two eras. One where, through horse-back riding and shooting arrows, Mirza tries to win Sahiban by competing with her brothers.
In contemporary times, Suchi/Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) and Monish (Harshvrdhan Kapoor) are childhood friends until a gruesome crime tears them apart. Years later, Suchi returns to India for her engagement to a royal prince, Karan (Anuj Choudhary), only to fall in love and rekindle her friendship with the stable boy, Adil who is actually Monish. With the class difference and the horrific past, can Suchi and Monish’s love survive? What is the legend of Mirza-Sahiban all about?
There had been a lot of expectations from Mirzya considering, the screenplay has been written by Gulzar. The man is known to write even silences that convey way more than words. Re-telling the Romeo-Juliet’s Indian version, the film communicates more in the verses narrated and songs than in casual dialogue. The lyrical narrative of the film is difficult for everyone to fathom. Also while the folk tale makes sense, its modern day take seems too archaic. Not all love stories that are meant to be legends need to have tragic climaxes. It would have been wiser if Mehra would have seeked a contemporary ending to a contemporary tale.
The narrative is pretty much broadway musical or ballet recital style where we see colorful Rajasthani groups singing about what’s about to happen next. For a story that is anchored to the two lovers Suchitra and Monish, there is hardly any dialogue to give them a strong footing as characters. For the bygone era it is easily palatable but the new age love angle contrived at many junctures.
The direction and cinematography department is where the film truly excels. Mehra proves to be a true story-teller and his inspiration from Greek tragedy, (a peculiar form of theatre) is quite evident. With Gulzar’s magnificent words at his hands, Mehra’s Mirzya falls short of becoming a masterpiece thanks to its non-commercial music and a strong plot. The cinematography comprising of Ladakh’s beautiful landscapes to the colorful Rajasthani folk flavor and also, Udaipur’s plush palaces is absolutely stunning. VFX is another department where this film is pulled down. In the scenes comprising of fireballs being hit by arrows and also a leopard attack, the visual effects of poor quality lose the impact. Mirzya is a dramatic, poetic and visually aesthetically pleasing but does not wow audiences based on story yet the portrayal visually magnificent. Rating: 6/10.