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Mirzya: A visual and emotional feast

The provocative uniqueness of Mehra’s Mirzya flows out of its narrative format. Stylish and yet improvisationa, Mirzya imbues the love legend with a casual grace and a disarming ardour. 

A large portion of the film’s inescapable charm is traceable to the lead pair who are no gym-produced mannequins. Flesh and blood, they bleed and bawl, plead and brawl, with their tempestuous love for one another being the epicenter of their conflict. And Gulzar gives them such lovely lines to speak. Harshvardhan and Saiyami own those lines with proprietary pride. The exemplary sound design is so textured and tonally correct we can hear every crack in the lovers’ hearts.

This brings one to the film’s exceptional technical qualities. Mirzya is arguably the most technically accomplished piece of cinema in a very long time. Spaces in the heart are virtually manifested onscreen in the characters’ clothes, demeanour, performance and posture. 

The visual landscape reifies the emotional content of the plot without hammering in the link between what we see and what the characters feel. 

Mirzya tells a deceptively simple tale of star-crossed love with a flummoxing flourish. Why the two love stories fused in concurrent movements which allow no room for demarcation lines? This question gets its answer in the empowering befitting finale where, shall we say, guns and arrows meet without a violent conflict of interest between the two weaponry.

What made Mirzya unstoppably unique was its even temper. Even during the moments of heightened emotional conflict and outburst Mehra is in full and supreme command of his character’s words and action. The music by Shankar Ehsan Loy is the life and breath of the lovers’ journey from a childhood togetherness to doomed adulthood.Every musical piece in the narrative tells a story.

The stable-boy Adil that Harshvardhan plays could be Heathcliff from any era(considering Mehra’s penchant for era-less drama). The debutant plays the tormented lover-boy using his eyes that speak a million words of recrimination. 

Saiyami Kher is no comestic beauty. She is real and unstoppably vivacious, a Kajol of the new generation. It is the older actors who let us down. Or is it the script that doesn’t allow them room to show their worth? Every frame of Mirzya speaks a language that echoes Luis Bunuel. 

P S Bharati’s tremendous editing fuses the two eras where the two love stories unfold with an effortlessness that makes the director’s existential philosophy-that life moves from one conflict to another without the luxury of full stops-seem like the only way love can be expressed.
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