Mirzya...Dud with a thud!

MUMBAI: Mirzya is a fantasy, romantic, thriller as the tagline describes it. The inspiration is claimed to be the folk story of Mirza Sahiban which is one of the four Punjabi love stories popular to date in local folk.  As with others, the love story of Mirza Sahiban made it to folklore mainly on the strength of its tragic ingredients.

To start with its descriptions, Mirzya is neither a fantasy nor a thriller and, when it comes to love, it backfires on just about every count -- be it depth or chemistry. As an inspiration from Mirza Sahiban, it does injustice to the folklore. The film runs on two tracks, that of the folklore and the other being the maker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s contemporary version. To what avail a viewer is at loss to know.

In a small town in Rajashthan, Harshvardhan Kapoor’s character goes to the same school as Saiyami Kher’s, the daughter of a policeman played by  Art Malik. The two are inseparable and share a bond. Once the teacher asks Kapoor to submit his homework which he does but the teacher can make out that it is copied from Saiyami’s notes. When he wants to compare the two, just to save Kapoor from teacher’s lashes, she lies and says she has not done her homework. The lashes are for her now as is the school’s tradition.  At every lash that Saiyami bears, her winces make Kapoor lose his mind. He steals Malik’s pistol and shoots the teacher.

Consigned to a children’s home, he does not plan to stay there for long. He has to go back to Saiyami. He breaks out but, as it happens in films, Saiyami has left the town with her father not to come face to face with Kapoor any time soon.

Time has elapsed and Saiyami is returning from wherever she was all these years. She is engaged to the local prince, Anuj Chaudhry. Her father is now the commissioner of police and fit enough for a family bonding with royalty headed by K K Raina. Rajasthan may be old-fashioned when it comes to traditions but Saiyami makes the palace her home where she is being trained in to the royal ways. Her first lessons are in horse riding and, guess who the stable head is? Kapoor, of course.

Soon, as if on cue, Saiyami starts rattling to Kapoor the story of her childhood and the boy she knew who cared very much for her. The love is rekindled. Saiyami, who just a few scenes back was coochie-cooing with her fiancé, Anuj, is now in love with Kapoor.

The romance of Kapoor and Saiyami blossoms with no holds barred as they romp around town, its forts and the countryside. There are no prying eyes, no gossip. So what if Saiyami is the royalty’s bahu to be? That is till the time the duo plans to elope. Eloping is always reserved for the wedding day and, in keeping with the tradition, Saiyami has escaped while her groom, Anuj, waits for the rituals to start.

Mirzya starts off with a deceptive title; the name has nothing to do with any character in the film. It is just an attempt to give the film a pretentious air. The love story of star-crossed lovers offers no novelty even if branded after Mirza Sahiban. Scripting is poor. The direction borders on mediocre. Dialogue lacks the required feel (Raina even mouths his dialogue in Punjabi!). Lyrics writing is uninspiring which reflects on soulless songs. The one positive in the film is its cinematography.

As for performances, a newcomers’ love story hinges majorly on the chemistry between the lead pair which is totally lacking in this film. Kapoor and Saiyami both lack screen presence and, as far as acting talent goes, they have a long way to go. Anuj is the one who does a sincere job. Rest fill the bill. MIrzya is one of the poorest films to hit the screen in recent times.

Producers: Rohit Khattar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, P.S. Bharathi, Rajiv Tandon.

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Cast: Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher, Anuj Choudhry, Anjali Patil, Om Puri, Art Malik, K. K. Raina.

Tutak Tutak Tutiya…Nothing to sing and dance about!

Tutak Tutak Tutiya (also made in Tamil as Devi and Telugu as Abhinetri) is a comedy film with a touch of horror to its story. As such, the film features actors whose faces are well recognized by the southern India audience. It has a blend of south and Hindi film actors with the Hindi actors being ones who have done a number of films in southern languages.

The character of Prabhu Deva (used to be Dheva for a while) has settled in Mumbai to make a living and made progress from a dispatch boy to a decent post. He is recalled to his native place in Kerala because his grandmother is on her deathbed.

Once in his village, the grandmother now wants to see him married to a nice girl. After seeing a dozen or so girls, the grandmother approves of Tamannaah. Deva is a habitual proposal maker. He approaches every single but English-speaking girl in sight and always carries his CV printout.

Coming back as a married man, Deva keeps pretending he is still single for this is not the kind of girl he had in mind for marriage. After all, she is a village girl and can’t speak English!

Deva shifts into a rented house with his new bride. Tamannaah surprises him on many counts as against his expectations, she can speak fluent Hindi and also cook the dishes he desires. But, the biggest surprise she springs on him is when he takes her along for a film awards function where he suddenly sees her on stage in trendy short dress dancing like a star and later also joins Sonu Sood, the award function’s best actor award winner, over drinks. She even speaks English now!

Deva can’t figure out what got into his wife because next morning she does not remember a thing from the night before. To add to Deva’s troubles, Sonu is besotted by Tamannaah and wants her to do a film with him. Deva is trapped because he does not want anybody to know he is married to Tamannaah.

Tamannaah not only keeps alternating between a simple village girl to a modern-day city girl who also agrees to do a film with Sonu. When she is his village-bred wife, she is comely, homely and caring while, otherwise, she is aggressive, bent on acting and there is no way can Deva stop her.

That is when the touch of supernatural comes in. The house they have shifted into was earlier occupied by a girl called Ruby, an aspiring actor who was signed for a film against Sonu but dropped at the last moment leading her to suicide. Her ghost gets into Tamannaah to fulfill her desire to act.

Tutak Tutak Tutiya had a good idea going for it but somewhere on the writing table, it has not been expanded on sincerely. The comedy lacks in this comic film. The direction is average. Music does not meet the requirements of a film counting on dances; the songs lacking in popular appeal.

Dialogue is good at places but too subtle. Editing-wise, the second half needs some trimming. Deva looks fresher but disappoints his fans as he has few dancing moments in the film. Sood dancing in his stead is no consolation and shows it is not his forte. Tamannaah does very well. Murli Sharma shines.

Tutak Tutak Tutiya has no drawing power and will make the list of also rans.

Producers: SonuSood.

Director: Vijay.

Cast: Prabhu Deva, SonuSood, Tamannaah, Murali Sharma, Amy Jackson, Esha Gupta and Farah Khan in guest appearance.

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