The ApunKaChoice movie review of Mirch. Let’s toss aside the lofty claim of ‘India’s first erotic film’ that has given the impression to many gullible movie buffs out there that director Vinay Shukla’s film Mirch is a sure-fire testosterone tickler. The film does have mild doses of eroticism, both visual and verbal, but what catches your fancy isn’t the romps of cheating wives or the obvious sexual innuendoes in the dialogues, but how cleverly and cunningly the women are shown to assert their sexuality.
Maanav (Arunoday Singh) plays a struggling writer-filmmaker who pens a script that has no takers. His girlfriend Ruchi (Shahana Goswami), who’s also a film editor, introduces him to a producer (Sushant Singh). The producer hears the script and doles out his nugget of wisdom: “Sex sells.”
So Maanav narrates a story from Panchtantra in which a wife (Raima Sen) is caught red-handed by her husband (Rajpal Yadav) while she’s making love to another man (Arunoday Singh). The tale’s not quintessentially about adultery but about how the wife manages to get out of the situation by using her subtle manipulations and wit.
Bingo! says the excited producer and tells Maanav to pen three more such stories that could be clubbed together in one film.
The second story is a period piece featuring Konkona Sen Sharma as the oversexed wife of a regal (Prem Chopra) giving rose petal baths to the senapati and making love to him on moonlit nights while her frail old hubby watches all the action live from atop a tree. The third story (Shreyas Talpade, Raima and Arunoday) and the fourth (Boman Irani and Konkona) are set in modern times.
Director Vinay Shukla tackles a bold subject with a mix of flair and fudge. He pitches the first two stories beautifully, but botches up the following two. There’s a thread of humour running throughout the course of the stories, but it peaks in the tale featuring Konkona and Ila Arun.
The leading ladies, Raima and Konkona, are the lifelines of Mirch. Raima exudes sensuality in her every move, gesture, coy smile, battling of eyelids, while Konkona falls back more on her acting and dialogues to do the needful. There’s more of Arunoday Singh in the film than you wish to see. He’s all beefed up - the very symbol of masculinity and virility. In supporting roles, Ila Arun is a treat to watch, while Boman Irani is over the top. Shreyas Talpade and Shahana do perform well.
‘Mirch’ has some very interesting moments in the first half. The second half is a bit of a drag. The song ‘Badra’ does stick to your tongue and so do some of the dialogues which are laced with obvious innuendoes. In one scene Rajpal Yadav lies prostrate on the bed after the day’s hard work while Raima gives him foot massage. She quips: “Kaam ki thakaan toh kaam se hi jaati hai.”