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hangover. The two films may be different as chalk and cheese thematically, but Mehra's style of linking the past with the present is the same in both cases.

Like Rang De Basanti , Mirzya too picks out a slice of the past and tries equating it with a modernday context. Rang De Basanti found a parallel between Bhagat Singh's life story and the tale of present- day happy- go- lucky collegegoers who are shaken when in conflict with a corrupt system.

Mirzya tries out the same formula exploring the genre of love. Mehra equates the legend of Mirza- Sahibaan with the strife- torn tale of two modernday lovers.

The idea is to highlight the fact that love is universal and timeless.

Unlike, Rang De Basanti , however, Mirzya does not click. For one, the love story is too jaded compared to Mehra's treatment of burning patriotism in Rang De Basanti.

Also, a decade after Rang De... , the parallel narrative style seems repetitive.

What stumps you watching the pedestrian effort is it has been screenplayed by Gulzar.

The veteran, clearly fumbling for new ideas, gives the film a climax that would squarely remind you of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak , which seemed cool almost 30 years ago.

It is left to Harshvardhan and Saiyami to salvage some interest. The newcomers get double roles -- as Mirza- Sahibaan, and as a present- day stable boy and his childhood lover. The first track unfolds through a stock of designer perfect ethnic frames that are too cold to have any emotional impact. The modernday story soon takes a cliched poor boy- rich girl turn.

Still, the budding duo plays the field with aplomb and emerges as the film's only worthwhile mention. Both Harshvardhan and Saiyami look like they have some mileage career- wise.

No one expected pathbreaking cinema from Mirzya . But the film could at least have worked as an entertaining commercial package. It does not, and the makers must hope whatever hype they have garnered over the past weeks helps them draw the crowds over the opening weekend.

by Vinayak Chakravorty Mirzya Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Om Puri, Art Malik, KK Raina, Anjali Patil, Anuj Chaudhary Direction: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Ei Ei L OVE never dies. Love never ages. So, if you are out to tell a new love story in Bollywood -- an industry that has mostly survived cashing in on mush in some way or the other -- just change the faces on the screen.

Bring on Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher for a fresh twist then, as Bollywood continues romancing the soppy saga.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's new film draws its USP from the greenhorn lead pair it flaunts. Harshvardhan and Saiyami have been packaged to look good together, essaying double roles in a designer commercial package that sadly comes with most of the lows and very few of the highs you have come to associate with Mehra's trademark filmmaking style.

The folktale of Mirzya is lyrical yet fiery.

Mehra's screen tribute is dull and dimwitted.

For a man who gave Hindi commercial cinema one of its most unique spins with Rang De Basanti a decade ago, Mehra is surprisingly out of ideas as a director this time. It is almost as if he made this film because a filmmaker of his stature needs to routinely keep churning out stuff every now and then. Despite touting a poetic love story at its core, Mirzya is all about plastic passions. It has no soul.


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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 8, 2016
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