Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhary
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
When the next filmfare awards will be announced and if Mirzya gets the statues don’t be surprised especially for the music. It is a slow release of adrenaline. The music and the experience are like the feeling of happiness and calm after a workout.
Two time zones intercut each other. The two lovers are sometimes on a bike and sometimes on a horse. The visuals are like poetry in motion. There is Mirzya (Harshavardhan Kapoor). He is irresistibly charming and almost rides to us from 300 years back.
The Sahibaan can make the knees go weak. She is mysterious and alluring and exotic, the types who can grace covers of international best sellers..
Bringing an actual love story to life, a very well known one at that and also an often quoted one; which released a series of female infanticide by the tribe after the “betrayal” by the chiefs daughter, is not easy. It is an intense and pure love story set on fire due to the circumstances. The actual story happened in Punjab of yore. The movie is based in a different era and a different place and the threads of time keep getting the two eras tangled.
The director has tried the same time wrap method of storytelling in Rang De Basanti of going back in time to identify with the characters take form and take the story forward.
The original story spoke about two kids, who due to the norms of the time were labeled as siblings. They however were in love and the tribes they belonged to did not approve. They elope and are killed due to a very honest hope of reconciliation and faith of the girl.
The movie talks about two children, one a princess and the other from polar end of the society.
They are thick friends and are inseparable. This is Jodhpur of now. They grow up together and there is no wedge of society driving them apart till one day the girl goes away to London and the boy stays back to become a stable hand after he is incarcerated as a juvenile.
Time flies, they have grown up when they meet again, this time she is the beautiful princess Suchitra (Saiyami Kher) and he is horse trainer Aadil (Harshvardhan Kapoor). They know each other and then they discover that the dormant embers of love were waiting to be fanned into life again.
The girl who did not care about the humble background of the boy and her best friend earlier is still the same and the boy also reciprocates. However, the societal backdrop has changed.
Suchitra and Adil meet at Udaipur, she as a fiancé to Prince Karan (Anuj Choudhary- played well with his emotions of practiced humility, anger, dejection and macho egoism in place) and he as a stable boy.
Suchitra’s marriage and the connection to the saga to the earlier folklore form the essence of the movie.
There is a realization of love, and a silent war between the girl and her family played out without words and just emotions and turmoil. Watch the movie for the wordless exchanges between the screen pair. A new method of emotion taking place of want on dialogues to convey.
Gulzars pen has done the trick. After nearly a decade and half he brought forth couplets using it to communicate and to drive a story ahead.
The cinematographer Pawel Dyllus is the master painter. Unbelievably beautiful locales. We have seen Rajasthan, now watch the movie to feel the place.
Then there is the lead pair. Look at the scene where Suchitra is wading into the water, the water flows in slow motion and so does the passion. She stands like a monument of love and Mirzya is transfixed along with the audience.
Mirza-Sahibaan’s saga, is one of Punjab’s most famous folklores so the layout is rustic, there is beautiful and raw tribal energy, of tanned skin, blazing arrows, sinewy horses and exposure to what could have been a form of life we have no idea about. We lap it up. Give us more of that time. We love it and we fall for it.
Technically this is an outrageously brilliant film to watch, your jaw will shut after 133 minutes of film time. The canvas resembles that of the raw and naturally captivating films made by Mira Nair.
The feeling of gut wrenching helplessness and pain is part of the storyline which just watches the tragedy unfold. The movie is dramatic and the use of slow motion be it the fireballs or the lead on the stallion Bakki is unparalleled. Indian movie making has been taken a notch higher.
This is poetry in motion and shot with sensitively. The lead actor chose this unconventional film, not many would do this back breaking effort flawlessly. Take for example the way he rides the horse. It is an extension of his self. He is very good especially as the tribal. The makeup and the aesthetics need special mention. Even the feeling of love, the doubt the confirmation is underplayed through the body language.
This is a period drama with soothing Indian music. Very earth and very raw, unfettered. It has love just love. Take a bow Shankar-Ehsaan Loy. This is the best of the year.
Mirzya will be a point of reference for movie goers and students of art. It is a beautiful piece of sincere attempt to relive a lost story and watch it unfold on screen.
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