Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Trailer length: 3 minutes 33 seconds
Release date: October 7, 2016
You could perhaps put it down to their melodrama or excess, but legends of love do seem a little over the top to the modern mind. Ranjha, you’re convinced, should never have eaten the rest of that poisoned laddu, and Sohni should have perhaps hung around a little longer for her Mahiwal. Much like these epic tales of passion and sacrifice, the story of Mirza and Sahiban also comes from Punjab. No prizes for guessing the spoiler – they too die in the end. There’s a twist in this tale, though. Sahiban is the cause of death here. She had broken Mirza’s arrows when the marksman and she needed them most. There’s family involved, and if you read the whole story, the plot only thickens.
The trailer of Mirzya sees Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra update this folk tale. The deep voice of Daler Mehndi in any film helps you arrive at one emotion successfully – it gives you an immediate sense of ‘grand’. When Saiyami Kher begins narrating the story of her childhood sweetheart Mohnish, you immediately feel that there will be something a tad monumental about their love that follows. When you’re the son of an actor as famous as Anil Kapoor, the anticipation around your debut will be expectedly high. And if the script’s demand is broodiness, Harshvardhan Kapoor doesn’t disappoint. He looks sombre and intense when he sees Kher being kissed and wooed by some smooth operator.
Shots of Kher atop a horse and a brief shot of lovemaking in the stables immediately brings to mind images of Kapoor’s father rolling in the hay with Dimple Kapadia in Janbaaz (1986). There was something impossible about their love too. But Mirzya’s screenplay has been written by Gulzar. It would be wise to expect turns that are wholly novelistic. “Ishq main aksar hota hai. Chot kahin pe lagti hai, jaa kar zakhm kahin hota hai” – hearing Om Puri narrate Gulzar seems like a treat already.
At one point, when one is two-thirds of the way into this three-and-a-half minute trailer, the visuals change dramatically. Contemporary gives way to the ancient. A refurbished Rajasthani palace is replaced by the stark outlines of a mountainous desert. There are no motorbikes or guns here. Kapoor is only left with his horses and arrows. The camerawork by Pawel Dyllus in these parts is stunning. Though the Mirzya trailer is too short a prism to know what Mehra intends to do with time, it’ll be prudent to conclude that he is as interested in original folklore as he is in its adaptation.
Before Mirzya, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has sold us stories of fighting apathy (Rang De Basanti) and athletic achievement (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). This is the first time he’s offering his audience a straight-up love story. There is, however, that one fear his film’s trailer leaves you with – it might be too far-fetched to believe in. But Mehra have a strange power of influence. With Delhi-6, he had convinced us that Sonam Kapoor can act. Here is hoping he’ll work that magic with her brother too.