Free Press Journal

Mirza Juuliet: Another lifeless Mirza-Sahibaan story


Film: Mirza Juuliet

Cast: Pia Bajpai, Darshan Kumar, Priyanshu Chatterjee

Director: Rajesh Ram Singh

Yet another Tragic-romance that harkens back to the Mirza-Sahibaan legend, this one has a grimy, ball-busting, feminist core that might have been entertaining if only it were consistent in its ideology. Despite the twists and turns, the story is old hat of course – especially after the recent flurry of inept Mirza-Sahibaan remakes that hit the screens and vanished into oblivion even before the week was up.

A village hoyden herself, Juuliet (Pia Bajpai) is the darling sister of three goons led by the eldest (Priyanshu Chatterjee) and is engaged to be married to the sex-starved nephew Rajan Pandey (Chandan Roy Sanyal) of a local politician Pandeyji (Swanand Kirkire). Then she bumps into Mirza (Darshan Kumar) who is just out of prison doing time (and tricks for the police department), after a childhood crime. After a brief skirmish they get intimate and eventually fall in love – but her soon-to-be in-laws and her brothers won’t allow a happily ever after.

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Thankfully not all the characters in this film are stereotypical even though they don’t appear to be entirely realistic. Juuliet would have been a more interesting character if she could have seen through the diabolism of her brothers instead of getting all muddled up in the ‘Raksha Bandhan’ fantasy used as a ploy to ferret out the lovers hiding place and set the course for the predictable tragedy that is to follow.

The narrative is gritty; the camerawork lends rusticity to the telling while the performances are well-knit within the framework of expectations of the director. It’s the inconsistent nature of the characterizations that makes this story seem implausible really. Men who treat their wives with disdain might get over-protective about their sister- but will certainly not allow her the run of the land in hoydenish defiance. That brashly uninhibited character trait of the heroine comes across as a mere plot to shock and awe the rural audience. This film had the makings of a good solid entertainer-if only it had stayed faithful to the original intention.