I should clarify right away that this is a review as I see it. It shouldn’t make you change your mind or make you biased/unbiased towards the film. You might not agree with it and you might find it off the mark. On the other hand, you might agree with it in unison. Whatever the case, we are all individuals and we are all entitled to our opinions. So lets celebrate our individuality. Oh and Spoiler Alert!
That being said, Mirza is either a hit or a miss. Either you’ll totally love this film or you’ll totally dislike it. Some people will think this was the best utilisation of their time, others might think otherwise. For me, it was sheer beauty.
I’ve always watched films from the technical perspective and have enjoyed the technical vividness. I’ve always forced upon the consensus that Punjabi Cinema has to move into the direction where technical aspects are given a priority and Mirza is an epic win in those proportions.
It’s really sad to learn that Mirza hasn’t won all the hearts. It is supposed to be the apex of Punjabi Cinema. It still is, in more ways than one, but what really went wrong? My consensus would be that it’s half an hour too long. If the film was paced properly and was a bit fast, it would have kept the audience on their feet. It can’t be denied that there is drag in the film, too much dialogue and nothing happening. A lot of transitional scenes and too much talking on the cell phones. In the first 15 minutes it seems that all the hell will break loose, but nothing happens. You just keep waiting for something to happen.
On a positive note, Mirza is not your regular Punjabi film. It demands a very different taste in movies. The film takes time to build itself and I guess it will be better enjoyed in closed environments. It will probably be much liked outside of India, but it’s definitely not without flaws. Some very simple mistakes have made it less than perfect. The biggest mistake is its length.
So why didn’t they cut it short? I can only imagine being in Mr. Deo’s shoes. How hard it must be to do that. Film is your child and editing it short is like amputating the child. Mr. Deo wrote the film and its screenplay, for him to edit out the scenes would have been a heart wrenching job. Perhaps that’s why; perhaps he thought that every scene was important. But the truth remains, the film tends to get boring because of its length. It should have been cut short. Even the great acting can’t save a movie if the film starts to drag.
Coming back to the movie itself, the plotline is based on traditional Mirza-Sahiba story, so it’s not that hard to decipher what’s going to happen next. However it has elements of Mirza’s background of being an undercover cop. What’s really fun is the way the contemporary parallels have been drawn. While “Baki” becomes a Mustang, arrows become bullets, traditional dresses become leather jackets and the war cries of Punjab become the hand to hand combat, the transformation is handled impeccably and the viewer does not realise that a parallel has been drawn from the ancient times to the contemporary world.
Giipy Grewal has proved his mettle. He is one of the best Punjabi actors at the moment. He played his comic lead in Jihney Mera Dil Luteya and now he has shown his skills in a serious role. His dialogue delivery is purely to his character and he truly is the ideal action hero. It’s impossible to imagine anyone more fit for this kind of a role.
Mandy Takhar didn’t have much to do in the film as Mirza is meant as the launch vehicle for Gippy. Mandy has definitely looked elegant and graceful, but there was no chemistry between Gippy and Mandy. She definitely is a great alternative for Neeru Bajwa in Punjabi Industry but she has to improve a lot on her balancing act. May be in good time she will come to realise her true potential.
Honey Singh will win all the praises. In a very diminutive and brief role, he has made his impact. Doesn’t matter if you like the film or not you’ll not hate Honey Singh for what he did. He definitely deserve a lot of praise. He has played a role which has never been seen before in Punjabi films. His body language, the accent and psychotic ways simply reminded me of Heath Ledger as Joker in Batman – The Dark Knight. Amazing job by Honey Singh.
Binnu Dhillon and B.N. Sharma were definitely amazing as they were supposed to be. But they had nothing to do with the plotline of the movie. They were there just for the comic relief; a device used in an action movie to relieve the audiences from the gritty story line. But in Mirza mostly they distract you from the main plot of the film. Rahul Dev is good, but his character portrayal was almost same as in his previous Punjabi movie Dharti. He definitively deserves praise for his cool act and his portrayal of Jeet. He was a well adversary for Mirza.
Now about bad acting. Mirza’s father was terrible and so was his friend Behal. All the brothers of Sahiba were average. “Kavi” was mostly acting as a stick.
The songs of the movie could have been a lot better. In fact they could have been the driving force behind the movie’s success but they failed to do so. Two of the songs make an impact, but the rest fail to make an assertion. Thinking about it, they were almost received as singles coming from Gippy and were not really associated with the film. The way I see it, they were not really given that much of attention. Music completely failed to do what it should have done.
On the other hand background score has been done perfectly well. When the background music is done properly, audience doesn’t even realise if there has been a background score and that is another victory for Mirza. The moments of tension are given their due respect and the comic scenes have lighter tone.
The editing of the movie is another great job done. The film’s running length is almost 3 hours but editing was done in a way that those 3 hours become bearable, remember it says bearable, not “acceptable”. If editing was done badly those 3 hours would have turned into 6 hours. You don’t feel a single jerk and scenes shift to one another flawlessly. No complaints there at all.
And now about certain perks in the film. There is an odd combination of English and Punjabi. In certain scenes English has been used to deliver an important message which totally ruined the seriousness of the situation. The worst is the climax scene where Sahiba keeps crying and pleading in English. Maybe her character demanded her to speak in English, but it completely ruined the experience of an amazing climax. Gippy keeps talking to her in Punjabi and she keeps pleading in English. Maybe it was in the script and maybe it wasn’t Mandy’s fault, but it doesn’t let audience associate with the situation.
Another big perk is that attention hasn’t been given to the important plot devices. Some very important information passes in seconds. The whole idea of how Mirza and Sahiba had known each other since childhood gets lost in the opening credits. There hasn’t been enough justice done to build up the romance between Mirza and Shaiba. Think about it, in just two scenes they fall in love. On the other hand a lot of time has been spent in establishing Mirza’s fighting skills and his intrusion into the Jeet gang. It seems that undercover cop serves as the main plot and romance serves as secondary. It should have been other way around.
The killing of Mirza’s brother by Honey Singh also doesn’t serve its purpose and audience simply mistake it as Honey Singh introductory scene. Most of the audience doesn’t even remember that scene and it’s easily forgotten.
You might hate it or like it, you can’t deny the fact that Mirza will always be remembered as a technically radiant movie. It’s a path breaker and Punjabi Movie industry will do well to learn from it. No matter what your take on the film is, you simply cannot ignore the genius of direction, the genius of cinematography and the genius of technical achievement. While Mirza has evidently not been able to win all the hearts, I really hope that the production crews of other movies, the directors and other technical people can use Mirza as a motivational asset to make better movies on technical lines. Baljit Singh Deo is almost a passive teacher who is passing on his genius to an entire community. And as audience and viewers we should also increase our expectations from the upcoming films. Along with the plot line and acting, we should start demanding for technically better movies.
In the end I wish flaws were taken care of in Mirza. Everyone wanted Mirza to be a huge success. Everyone was dying to watch this movie and everyone will still watch it. We love our cinema, but we are also very open in hating it. I hope they make more movies like Mirza as with trial and error, we will eventually get there.. we will achieve perfection.