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mirzya posterDirector:  Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Stars:  Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Art Malik

Released: 2016

Reviewer: Isaac Tomiczek

How many times can you tell the story of Romeo and Juliet? One more time it seems as Mirzya proves that Shakespeare’s classic is the ultimate love story for any age.

Based in part on the bard and mythical couple Mirza and Sahiban, Mirzya is an epic cocktail of colour, song, action and sweeping romance that resembles Zhang Yimou’s recent Wu Xia trilogy of films.

It is an assault on the senses and fantastic to look at but as with beauty, sometimes looks can be deceiving.

The film starts with a barnstorming merging of narration over musical and action set pieces.

A horseback warriors fights for the prize of a woman amidst a backdrop of mountains and rivers that the Game Of Thrones production team should sign up for its next season. It is truly a wonderful way to open a film, all speed ramps, and slow motion and superior sound FX work.

The film then jumps to a contemporary setting and trains its focus on two young friends, a boy and girl, Adil and Soochi. When the boy commits a fatal crime to defend his young love he flees and their lives take different paths.

But like all true romances they are destined to cross paths again and when they do many years later, Soochi is due to be married.

But the fireworks and flames of love still burn which means acting on their passion will have serious consequences.

Yes, this is a tale as old as time but anything more would bog down what is already a film full of much to digest.

A sensual feast, this is Bollywood by way of Hollywood and David Lean, epic in scale and scope. Yet it is equal parts fascinating and frustrating.

Whilst the sword and sandal style action of the fantasy narrative is enjoyable it’s tiresome use of slow motion makes the scenes overlong and often detracts from the story set in the present, which feels far more gripping due to it’s real and relatable stakes.

I also found a slightly worrying and obvious leaning to a fairer skinned actress distracting especially as she doesn’t resemble her younger character.

I doubt whether this is enough to diminish the film in the eyes of its target audience but it did with me.

Taken, as a piece of cinema Mirzya is excellent value, targeting all your senses. Its love story is strong if simplistic and there are musings on class race and power that whilst uneven make the film about a little more than it appears on the surface.

And if that wasn’t enough the title song is as addictive as any Disney effort and has been stuck in my head for weeks.

Mirzya will satisfy anyone with appetite for entertainment like they used to make, where every penny was spent on something to enhance and give enjoyment.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite flaws and I would gladly watch another Mirzya over another Pirates Of The Caribbean movie or the like.

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