Mirza Juuliet movie cast: Darshan Kumar, Pia Bajpai, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Swanand Kirkire
Mirza Juuliet movie director: Rajesh Ram Singh
Mirza Juuliet movie rating: Half star
Here’s yet another desi version of a beloved Shakespearean classic attempting a reboot of its tale of doomed young love. Mirza (Darshan Kumar) is Muslim and poor. Julie (Pia Bajpai), the film’s Juuliet with a double ‘u’, is Hindu and upper-class. The twain meet, and, love blossoms. Well-made, this could have been an explosive, much-needed subversive cinematic incursion into territory increasingly shrinking in real-life: in an Uttar Pradesh where the dominance of anti-Romeo squads and ‘love jihad’ is making lives miserable for young people, just being able to imagine opposing viewpoints, could have been liberating.
But this Mirza Juuliet comes stuffed with the most abominable clichés which are clearly aligned to the power structure in place – the high-spirited Hindu girl influenced by the near-criminal Muslim guy; the latter situated on an appropriately lower rung on the economic and the social ladder, the latter needing to be rescued by a bunch of entitled men.
Kumar, who tries keeping it low-key, is buried under the violence and crassness, physical and verbal, which colours the film. Chandan Roy Sanyal deserves better than this: his role of a permanently randy suitor does him no favours. And Bajpai comes off plain insufferable as the bad-ass, foul-mouthed leading lady, in this plainly appalling film.
Scratch that: this is not a film. It is a travesty.