Directed By: Rajesh Ram Singh
Produced By: Green Apple Media, Falansha Media Private Limited, Shemaroo Entertainment
Cast: Darshan Kumar, Pia Bajpayee, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Chandan Roy Sanyal
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 1/5
Murasaki Shikibu once wrote, “There is a tendency among men as well as women… so soon as they have acquired a little knowledge of some kind, to want to display it to the best advantage.” Like, to make a film like ‘Mirza Juuliet’ that got me completely flat-faced. Writing a ‘Mirza Juuliet’ movie review and mourning death of humour as well as sensibility would be the same.
I’d go straight to the point. The film kickstarts with a murder on the backdrop of a relatable religious contradiction. Cut! Jully Shukla (Pia Bajpayee), hailing from Uttar Pradesh, is set to be married off to Rajan Kumar (Chandan Roy Sanyal), a ridiculously stupid and spoilt son of one influential politician. Meanwhile, she accidentally stumbles upon Mirza (Darshan Kumar), her childhood buddy who she now falls in love with. I am in the mood to give away one spoiler. Thus, Mirza is the murderer I told you about; and he has a prolonged background. Jully is irritated with how her future husband is turning out to be a sex-freak moron. On the other hand, her proximity with Mirza increases; although she knows their relationship will never reach a conclusion. If you’re wise, you’ve already understood it is going to be another cliched story of ‘Pyaar ya Parivaar’. If you’ve not, you’re other-wise!
As the story develops, there are some predictable conflicts, some emotional outbreaks and some terribly regressive notions that the filmmaker thought he was opposing. But he actually wasn’t. In fact, that’s the saddest part about ‘Mirza Juuliet’. It could be a very powerful piece of cinema, if dealt with care. I also like how woman empowerment is turning out to be the new cool. You sketch a lovely male character and you make him mouth dialogues like ‘Yeh kaam (read s*x) shaadi se pehle kisi aur ke sath karna gunah hota hai’, or ‘Dekh raha hoon tum apne aap ko kitne hisson mein bat sakti ho’. Moral policing in its politest form; but we don’t need it, thanks! Or, you get a man who justifies a woman’s marital rape by admiring her beauty and saying anyone would ‘lose control’ on seeing her. You think you are being an eye-opener and exposing patriarchy? At times, there’s this very thin line between exposing and glorifying.
Next, it looks a blatant copy of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Mirzya’. It either was a deliberate attempt of recreating Mirza and Sahiban’s story, or they thought no one would catch the resemblance. Since the time I heard the film was named ‘Mirza Juuliet’, I murmured to myself, “This one is going to be painfully predictable.” Every turn of event is familiar and we always know what’s happening next. No wonder people around me either chuckled or yawned.
How Pia Bajpayee looks and how her character should look are in extreme contradiction with each other. She is this pretty, jovial girl with beautiful curls and nice pastel shade dresses. And her character is that of an outspoken, loud-mouthed, straightforward woman, always upfront expressive about what’s going on. No, not at all suitable. I could see Darshan Kumar was desperately trying to fit into his role. Directors should really do some justice to this man! Priyangshu Chatterjee, in his last Bollywood outing, suffered a bomb blast, fell from a flying plane and survived; and is now back as a loving brother who loves his sister but loves his ‘Khandaan ki izzat’ more. I liked Chandan Roy Sanyal though. All he had to do was to be stupid. You think being stupid is a cakewalk? It’s not, you stupid!
The only thing about ‘Mirza Juuliet’ that spares you some relief is its background score. It’s kind of neat and situational. Thanks Krsna Solo! ‘Tukda Tukda’ by Asees Kaur is a lovely number. It diverted my mind for five minutes, because I was cursing my singledom. Then came ‘Mohabbat Ko Misuse’, a desperate attempt to copy ‘Emotional Atyachar’ from ‘Dev D’. The cinematography is decent, whenever they gave a little time. Especially landscapes are beautiful. Although, there are more continuity breaks than what can be pardoned.
Take my advice, and do some charity work this weekend.