wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)

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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Director: Vinay Shukla
Running time: 110 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
More Movie Info

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

40 reviewers(?) - 11 yays 21 so-so 8 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, bigoye.com : ...The format of the film takes its time to grow on the audience but once you are at it, you are glued to your seat ... full review

Thumbs up, by Roshni Mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...Vinay Shukla walks away with quite an impressive film to his name. The issue at hand is incredibly relevant to and prevalent in current times, which makes the film a great watch.... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Chaska : ...When it comes to Vinay Shukla, people can trust the actor turned director to make a masterpiece out of a small budget film too!... full review

Thumbs up, by Smita, Desi Martini : ...Spicy plate of four golgappas... full review

Thumbs up, by Ameetbhuvan, Desi Martini : ...Mirch is superb cinema. Not for its treatment, not for its direction, neither for its performances. Its superb, simply cause its been made. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Blessy Chettiar, DNA : ...Sen and Sen Sharma play horny wives with ease, something we are not accustomed to seeing in Hindi cinema.... full review

Thumbs up, by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions : ...Without intending to-- at least overtly -- the film makes case for women’s emancipation from patriarchal rules.... full review

Thumbs up, by Minty Tejpal, Mumbai Mirror : ...Mirch has an evocative music score and the film moves at a brisk pace... full review

Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...Raima Sen is simply superb in both her stories. She oozes an impossible-to-resist sensuality and has the face of an angel which is a potent combination. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Anuj Kumar, The Hindu : ...the stories ultimately gel well with the connecting story of Manav and the climax has the requisite punch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, yahoo! India : ...While the stories don't offer any remarkable twists, the dialogues could induce a chuckle or two. ... full review

So-So, by Abhijit Mhamunkar, AOL INDIA : ...Despite the uniqueness of the main plot, each short story having the same culmination, ends up making the narrative a bit repetitive. ... full review

So-So, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...The song ‘Badra’ does stick to your tongue and so do some of the dialogues which are laced with obvious innuendoes.... full review

So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...These episodes are uniformly dismissive of men as fools and cuckolds, but these aren’t strident feminist tracts either... full review

So-So, by Manu, Desi Martini : ...He delivers a film that half as good - it delivers 2 crackling history lessons, plus another 2 not-so-crisp contemporary ones... full review

So-So, by Rhea, Desi Martini : ...Zor ka tadka, medium ka jhatka! ... full review

So-So, by Danish, Desi Martini : ...Mildly spicy at best! ... full review

So-So, by Payal, Desi Martini : ...The theme of the film seems to be out of the place and even the actors dont seem to know what they are supposed to do and what they are doing. ... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Filmfare : ...Where the film could have been clever, slick and darkly funny, it’s mostly just pat down and flat... full review

So-So, by Pankaj Sabnani, Glamsham.com : ...just about palatable... full review

So-So, by Aakash Barvalia, Gomolo.in : ...However writing part has some negatives in that, pre-interval stories are very striking with added good humour to it, but post interval stories are not pretty much convincing.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...'Mirch' has moments of great fun, thanks to credible performances by Raima Sen and Konkona Sen Sharma as sexually liberated women who're unapologetic about their libidos.... full review

So-So, by Sarita Tanwar, MiD DAY : ...While the idea is solid, it is flawed... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Shukla’s portrait of the uncompromised filmmaker is clumsy and heavy-handed... full review

So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...Strong sexual gestures specially in a woman make for very unpoetic cinema. Love when linked to lust tends to lose its lyrical lustre.... full review

So-So, by Preeti Arora, Rediff : ...The sutradhar has always been an intrinsic part of our story-telling tradition. Here we have the trio -- producer, director and his girlfriend. Instead of serving as links between the stories, each sutradhar comes with his or her emotional baggage. An interesting premise, had it taken off successfully, but here it only pulls the film down. ... full review

So-So, by Ruchi Mehta, Roochster : ...Director Vinay Shukla’s very smartly used most of them more than once in all the stories in the movie and they’ve done a good job, except for maybe Arunoday Singh who was just ok.... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...And in a country, where crimes routinely take place against women due to their suspecting partners, this is perhaps too dangerous a film as well... full review

So-So, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Konkona Sen Sharma, the bong beauty who is famous for her superb acting, does not disappoint this time too, and comes out with a winning performance.... full review

So-So, The Friday Freak : ...Mirch is at best something that would have been a whole week storyline for a Doordarshan or a Zee TV short stories program, I am not sure that it actually made financial sense to get this movie into theaters with a supposedly ‘no biggie’ starcast.... full review

So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The garbled end and the misconstrued tenor of the film do act as a deterrent.... full review

So-So, by Rummana Ahmed, yahoo! India : ...Its fun to watch women play a man's game and beat them at it fair and square... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Karmalkar, Bollywood Chaska : ...Even as a joke – a naughty one at that – the premise doesn’t hold.... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...Eventually, it falls short of expectations! ... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee , Film Impressions : ...Kudos to Shukla for even addressing the question of women's sexuality and their need for happiness in a social order that's stacked so heavily against them. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...uses that most primal of acts in the most leaden of ways... full review

Thumbs down, by Komal Nahta, koimoi : ...faces bleak prospects at the box-office and not just because of poor promotion.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sudish Kamath, The Hindu : ...it's a filmmaker who considers himself to be an artist who won't sell out, telling us that he has successfully packaged art cinema in a form we will more than willingly consume it in... full review

Thumbs down, by The Thirdman, Upper Stall : ...Arunoday Singh as the struggling filmmaker as well as the illicit lover in 3 of the 4 stories is unable to hold the film together. ... full review

Thumbs down, by SpiceZee Bureau, Zee News : ...Raima Sen and Konkana played over-sexed women who are full of lust and sexuality. But it seems as if the two actresses have not been happy performing such characters.... full review

33 tweeters(?) - 20 yays 6 so-so 7 nays

thoibunty: Go for Mirch @Vishal_tekwani

thoibunty: Mirch was such funny, clever movie @gulpanag should ve been in it

thoibunty: Saw Mirch. Too gud! 4/5. What a funny n cleverly scripted movie. Watch it.

thoibunty: U were so comfy in d role. Lovely @ShahanaGoswami Mirch made my day today!

tarunkhanna1971: Mirch is a must watch!

sagorikadg: Please go watch Mirch...its a fun movie! :)

RuchiraTweets: Saw "mirch"...mst amazn muvi i've evr seen...maks it a mst wtch!luvd it..

rati7: Saw d movie 'mirch' yesterday... Trust me people its worth a watch...:-)

neetakolhatkar: Pll Mirch is a must. If anyone planned to miss this film pl do NOT. Phase gaye & Mirch. fab films. sab maya ki meherbani hai. mast maza

mnikhil4: cell went dead so couldn't update.. #mirch is one hell of a movie.. must get oscar for sure.. :P

manaskakrania: Saw the Movie Mirch...kinda liked it... Nice Comedy.. The Movie has proved the correct character of #women #win #lol !!!

macvamsi: it was awsummm....guys go fr "MIRCH"..its a good muvy... nd yeeaaahh beer on khrgr hlllss at 8 in d evenin wid u ws totally wrth...thnq gal!

jskhangura: Mirch is super movie 3 stars

jayvasavada: Mirch: aftr a long time satisfying n interesting offbeat film..3 stories artistic n sublime..soft n spicey..raima looks magicaly charming..

greenentropy: Btw did anyone watch 'Mirch'? It's quite interesting and funny in most parts.

DevjaniD: saw 'mirch' last nite. It was hilarious with a good ensemble cast. dinner at yoko's was a disappointment. They got out order wrong!

aritra_sarkar: #Mirch is the best outing of Dir. Vinay Shukla since GodMother...Must b watched atleast once!!!

apsapre: Mirch a MUST MUST watch for all....sometimes all you want is a simple story told with a bit of wit :)

anandgb: My rating for #MIRCH - 4/5(for being the 1st of its kind). Go watch the movie, but be prepared to get stumped!

anandgb: At 1 point,I felt the movie was horribly cheap;the next moment I was rofl'ing!!A good thing about #MIRCH is that it does its own criticsim.

tehelkadotcom: #film #review MIRCH has all ingredients to stimulate but it only plays out as instant entertainment for the mindful http://bit.ly/hyGRbo

SudhishKamath: Mirch: 4 sex jokes made into a full film with a self referential super indulgent thread stringing them. Raima & Konkana are fantastic. 5/10

piyal_mukherjee: Watchd an interesting movie "Mirch"- A very different treatment of d theme of woman sexuality... though d end part cud hv been done better!

jiteshpillaai: Mirch is a story within a story. Had loads of potential frittered away in some seriously dull direction. Watch it if u must for the girls

hsanat: Mirch-painfully #slow beginning(s!) At the same time refreshingly #witty #moviereview #ok

aritra_sarkar: Saw 'Mirch' today...Quite an innovative idea which could hav been a lot more delicious if not for the shabby editing...But worth one watch!!

svgan_in: Mirch is not spicy... review by B.W.H

ruggedrv: Wanted to kill time so.. went to watch Mirch.. however i walked out wit a want of killing myself.. tottal NO....:/

RJADITI: Maari budhdhi behar maari gai chhe! mirch 150 maa joi n aeno baap nikle aevo hathodo KaaLo 250 ma joyo!!bey bekaar movie hati!! gn:) #fb

panik02: After ages, watched horrible movie #Mirch .. #sad http://myloc.me/fxaaZ

NishithSampat: Mirch lacks the #Mirch in it

mumbaiboss: #Mirch is an over-spiced hodge-podge that quickly runs out of steam. http://bit.ly/hOCVxd #fail

maxabout: Mirch - Wastage of Time http://movies.maxabout.com/movie/mirch/212102

3 readers - 2 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by metrogel : beautiful

Want to Watch, by nude middle aged women

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Ash : naughty stuff

Yay! Thumbs Up, by MovieHungama.net : Director Vinay Shukla has done nice job.

So-So, by Roy Daniel DSilva

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

A collection of four short stories about the fragility of man-woman relationships.

What Worked

  • The opening shot - made me impatient like the character who was waiting for someone to arrive.
  • The close-ups.
  • Photoshopped/artificial skies in the Panchatantra stories added to the "fairy tale" flavor.
  • The innumerable references to films and film-makers - old classics and contemporary

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):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Mirch - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Music Director:
Running time:
110 minutes

Comments (3)

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Thanks Ash!


Heh.. where was the nudity in this?

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

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