MirchRating: ** 1/2
A title like "Mirch" could surely tickle your imagination to assume a lot before you actually watch the film. But pre-conceived notions aside, Godmother director, Vinay Shukla will surely manage to surprise you (if not excite you) a few times, through the 128 minutes you spend watching this movie. The film projects itself as a feminist revolution, by claiming to pack in four stories of female infidelity. But when you watch the film, the stories only prove that the female leads are just taking charge of their sexual destiny which makes it a fair call in most cases.
The plot revolves around Maanav (Arunoday Singh), a filmmaker who takes pride in the two adjectives that define him- idealist and struggler (are the two forever married?). Along with sidekick and successful film editor girlfriend Ruchi (Shahana Goswami), he pitches a film story to producer Nitin (Sushant Singh). This narration comprises four short stories tweaked to match the 'mirch' quotient as prescribed by Nitin (title prompter!).
Now if you've watched any promos of this film or even heard about it, you know it deals with four stories of women cheating on their husbands. But what you don't know is that the treatment is such that the cheating wives seem almost innocent and their 'act' is portrayed like the only obvious thing to do. Ranging across eras, the stories explore different shades of womankind and present how they can strive to great lengths to seek physical pleasure (just like men). Laced with humour and deceit, the female protagonists who both play double roles, Konkona Sen Sharma and Raima Sen Be-sharma (both her characters are forever aroused) manage to have their cake and the baker too!
The husbands who put up with their unfaithful wives include Rajpal Yadav, playing a woodcutter (and a village simpleton), Prem Chopra (who makes for a convincing docile Raja Nirgun Singh), Shreyas Talpade (a suspecting husband from present day) and the inimitable Boman Irani (who plays an adulterous middle-aged Sindhi man, Asu Hotmal, who meets his match in a hilarious turn of events).
While the stories don't offer any remarkable twists, the dialogues could induce a chuckle or two. But what scores for the movie is the celebration of cunning that these women display in, well, misleading their significant others. Newcomer Arunoday Singh may have a perfectly sculpted body, but he fails to impress as an actor and Shahana has clearly spent more time doing her hair than working on her performance. Even the otherwise talented Raima tries to get away with seduction to cover up her excuse-for-a-screen presence. Predictably, Konkona and Boman (also the only crowd-pullers for this film) come away as clear winners with their refreshing performances.
The songs are dull and stuffed unnecessarily to show passage of time. Mirch may have failed in many sections of filmmaking but it surely has something for everyone. The women will naturally love the film for its premise and for the tips on cheating. While the men just love cheating so much, they'd cheer the fairer sex as they indulge in their favourite sport. What a marketable idea, sirji!
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