Mirch - Review

wogma rating: Buy the DVD already (?)
quick review:

Sexual tension, neglect of a woman's urge, double standards, an artist's struggle in the big, bad world - all in one breath but without getting breathless. Thanks to some amazing wit inbuilt into the stories from folklore.

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Superficially Mirch is a collection of short stories with an underlying theme of adultery. But while throwing the theme of shameless betrayal on you face, it covers a lot of ground. We are scandalized by the sexually expressive female characters, who rightly call themselves 'bitches'. This shock itself is an example of how inappropriate we think it is for our women to articulate their sexuality, let alone use or act upon their needs. The short stories are replete with sarcasm on the hypocrisy inbuilt in a man-woman relationship - mythology or modern.

The double standard also subtly creeps in the audience's mind. For example, without taking offense (I'm a woman and all that), I started making character judgments about the women. Though they were smart and thought on their feet, they were ace-class calculative. Only suddenly, Ruchi (Shahana Goswami) remarks that the stories are pro-women. And it struck me, all the men in the film were equally manipulative. Only their scheming doesn't come into the fore because ...because of what? Stereotypes about men allow them to be devious? Lead ladies are hardly ever portrayed as conspiring in films, unless they are vamps?

That's how slyly the film makes you think. The characters argue amongst themselves on our behalf. They shhusssh possible criticism by bringing up objections against the four shorts themselves. The others make counter-arguments. Usually, I get annoyed when films do that. Justify its faults by saying them out loud. But, it slid by here. Mainly because of the content of the shorts. And they had to do something to connect the four dots, right?

On the side, Mirch also talks about the struggle of a writer who wants to differ from the standard. In fact, the underlying theme that wit can get you places, applies to this side-plot too. Deftly, writer Maanav (Arunoday Singh), textures his stories in accordance with the producers demands.

And while making all these points Mirch is fun to sit through. It could've solely stood tall on the clever stories. But lovely performances and to-the-tee casting only add to the entertainment quotient.

I thoroughly enjoyed the colors used to accentuate and differentiate the mood of the setting. The lively colors in the Panchatantra short stories are in complete contrast with the browns and blues in the modern stories. And these are set against the black and whites hues in the connecting segments. Similarly the narrative is lyrical and musical in the folklore portions but is sort-of stone-hearted and harsh for the modern stories.

One of the nagging issues with any film that has a few absolutely unconnected parts put together is flow. The connection should not look forced. Mirch just about passes that hurdle. The other bigger concern is the climax. And the conclusion here slithers by like a snake. Left me with a smile and a few questions that I was happy they left unanswered.

Despite the sexual undercurrent, none of the shorts are erotic. They aren't vulgar, but they aren't beautiful either. They made me uncomfortable in the "too much of one thing makes one sick" sense. But, that was while watching the film. While walking out, the other things the film was pointing at came one after the other. There was also this pesky question, "by liking this film am I subscribing to the fact that sex sells?" :D

Also, while walking out, I overheard a couple. After a longish silence -
He - Thinking about the movie, no?
She - Goodness, this is going to make everyone suspicious.
He - It's a movie one should watch alone.

The couple was thinking and discussing. And it struck me - the film also warns you not to get complacent about your relationship.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

Content is too mature for children.

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Loads and loads. Love making scenes - some subtle and some elaborate
  • Concept: Facets of human nature
  • General Look and Feel: some portions are vivid and bright, others are blue and browns, yet others are black and white. None serious, but content is mature.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 4.5
  • Lead Actors: 3.5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 3.5
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 3.5
  • Lyrics: 3.5

Mirch - Movie Details

Mirch - Trailer

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Comments (3)

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meetu:

Thanks Ash!

Roy:

Heh.. where was the nudity in this?

Srinivas Kulkarni:

Nice elaborate reveiw... :) Good one... Maybe I'll watch it later on DVD... Abhi to time hi nahi... :(

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