Mirzya: Poetry in Motion

When I first saw the trailer of Mirzya, the words that came to mind were abstract, colorful, and visually gorgeous. Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra promises just that in this epic adventure romance interweaving the legend of Mirza Sahiban and a modern-day parallel love triangle between Karan (Anuj Choudhry), Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) and Monish/Adil (Harshvardhan Kapoor).

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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra does a fine job combining two parallel tales from different times effortlessly into one narrative. The transitions between the present-day love story and the ancient legend are seamless, but it would have been nice to see more scenes from the folktale of Mirza Sahiban, especially for viewers who are not familiar with it. In this cinematic world of love, lies, and deceit, there are moments of pure humanness where we are able to identify with the characters and their (sometimes conflicting) motivations.

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As promised in the trailer, Pawel Dyllus’ cinematography is simply breathtaking, contrasting visuals of Rajasthan’s barren deserts and Ladakh’s picturesque mountains. The combination of natural landscapes and slow motion moments makes this film worth watching in the theater. Besides the visual imagery, metaphors and literature references are galore in Mirzya, thanks to the profound dialogue and screenplay by Gulzar.

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Despite the prolific writing, Mirzya is somewhat of a plotless film, and the overall abstract and artsy vibe makes it feel longer than it actually is. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is versatile, as is the contemporary choreography by Raju Sundaram and Mayuri Upadhya. Shoutout to Nritarutya Dance Company from Bangalore, who are the background dancers in most of the songs. The background score adds dimension to the film by accentuating and musicalizing routine movements in the daily lives of the blacksmiths. At the same time, Daler Mehndi’s tracks on Mirzya become repetitive and predictable relatively quickly.

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Saiyami Kher is beautiful and authentic as Suchitra, and Harshvardhan Kapoor pulls off his angry young man character quite well. However, I wish he would have adopted another look in the contemporary romance compared to the ancient legend to better differentiate the two male leads. Anuj Choudhry executes the role of a Rajasthani prince with questionable intentions rather well. Special mention must be given to Om Puri and Anjali Patil, whose portrayal of Zeenat is heart-wrenching.

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Final Verdict: Mirzya is a visually stunning movie that features abstract storytelling, beautiful cinematography, and poetry in motion. The lack of plot slows down the pace of the film, but Harshvardhan and Saiyami do justice to what they are given. A PG-13 film worth watching once for the cinematic experience!

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