Sunday, October 9, 2016

Mirzya [2016]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing listing

Access Bollywood (K. Gibson) review

Hindustan Times (R. Vats) review
The Indian Express (S. Gupta) review 
Times of India (M. Iyer) review

Mirzya [2016] [IMDb] [FiBt] (directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra [IMDb] [FiBt] screenplay by Gulzar [IMDb]) is a visually (and audibly) spectacular Indian Epic that combines pre-Colonial / Silk-Road Era India, sixteenth century Shakespeare and contemporary Bollywood.  Along with last year's Bajirao Mastani [2015] which I honestly thought was one of the best technically and consequential thematically films, anywhere, of last year I would recommend current film to any Westerner seeking to see what Indian cinema is capable of these days.

At its heart, the film is a truly TIMELESS love story between two doomed "star crossed lovers" that plays out in both Mogul / Silk Road times and in the current day.   The ancient story is portrayed on murals in a dusty-midsized town somewhere reasonably near to the current India-Pakistan border.  The current one, plays out in the same town of today, 'cept, of course, none of the people involved are aware of this until its end.  At the end of the film, the two more current lovers (played by Harshvardhan Kapoor [IMDb] [FiBt] and Saiyami Kher [IMDb] [FiBt]) are immortalized in a new mural where though dressed in recognizably traditional Indian garb, motorcycles replace horses.

Indian reviewers (above), have lamented -- "Okay, the film's visually spectacular, but ... that's just it, it's _just_ eye candy."  And yes, they kinda have a point, but HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS.  And when one's talking about A TIMELESS (LOVE) STORY ... the imagery is probably more important than the words.  Honestly, a visually / audibly spectacular film that _could_ make a lot of American viewers rethink their general aversions to subtitles.  Here, honestly, "the words don't really matter." 

Great film!

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