Prabhas is my first Telugu hero. Meaning, my interest in Telugu cinema started off with Prabhas films. Munna, Chatrapathi, Varsham, Pournami, Bujjigaadu, Chakram, Billa…I saw them all. But then I became distant from Prabhas films and started watching films of the like of Siddharth and Allu Arjun. The last film of Prabhas I saw was Darling from 2010 and that film was not very impressive. Also, the guy doesn’t make many films. Lately, he makes one film per year and he doesn’t even have a release in 2014. I decided to see Mirchi, not necessarily for Prabhas, but because of the good ratings.
Prabhas is known for his dialogue delivery and fight scenes. He often makes films about revenge and he is a simple actor, meaning he doesn’t like to exaggerate his performance and keeps it as natural as possible. Mirchi is Prabhas’ type of film. It has all the elements that one can expect in a Prabhas film — action, revenge, romance and family. It also has great production value with foreign locations, top notch direction, camera work and editing, great costumes, great songs and cinematography. The performances were also impressive. Prabhas and Anushka make a lovely on screen couple. They have nice chemistry. In fact, next to the songs, they are the best thing about the film in my view. The songs are really nice in this film. My favorite is Idhedho Bagundhe which is picturized on Anushka and Prabhas. I could listen to this song all day. Oh, wait, I did.
But there is just one problem with Mirchi — the story. Have you heard the phrase “the story is the true hero of a film?” I remembered this phrase after watching Mirchi. Unfortunately, the story of the film is lacking in the logic department.
Jai (Prabhas) is a student in Italy and meets Manasa (Richa) there and falls in love. Manasa rejects him on the basis that her family is a violent gang that only thinks about revenge. Jai then gets a transfer to Manasa’s brother’s college in India and befriends the brother. Jai changes the violent brother into a romantic, gentle guy by getting him a girlfriend. The brother then invites Jai to his native place for the holidays and Jai accepts. Jai plans to change Manasa’s family and make them leave violence and revenge. He gets nicely acquainted with all the family members and starts having a positive affect on them. Meanwhile, Manasa is also at the native place and the romance continues secretly.
The film is very straight-forward and interesting until this point, but then there is a twist and the film takes a whole new direction. The second part of the film unravels a whole new plot. We find out that Jai is not who we think he is. He is in fact the son of the rival family that Manasa’s family is fighting with. Jai grew up away from his father and his father is a peace-loving man who spent his life trying to get his family to give up revenge and stop killing. Jai visits his native place and meets his father as a grown up man and becomes involved in the conflict between the two families. But instead of taking his father’s route – peace – he starts fighting with the other family. The fight leads to the death of Jai’s mother. Jai’s father is so angry and disappointed that he tells Jai to go away and never return. Meanwhile Jai has fallen in love with his cousin Vennela (Anushka) and was about to marry her but couldn’t.
Jai is devastated and decides to take up his father’s way after all. He decides to find a way to return to his native place and stop the enmity between the families and promote peace between them.
So Jai doesn’t love Manasa, he just wanted a way into her house. Then why did he have to befriend her and play a game of love? It wasn’t Manasa that got him into the house, it was the brother. He could have just befriended the brother and would have ended up there anyway.
When Manasa finds out the truth about who Jai is and that he loves someone else, she’s totally okay with it and does not even get upset.
That’s not all. What’s more ridiculous is that despite the fact that Jai has taken a vow to encourage peace between the families, he doesn’t mind fighting with and killing people when his family is attacked. So Jai’s interest in peace, which is the basis of the whole story, is unconvincing. Jai should have completely stayed away from violence once he repented for his mistakes and decided to follow his father’s ideals.
Although the groundwork of the story (Jai wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps and make him proud) is interesting, the paths that the writers took to make it happen are illogical. So towards the end of the film, one feels like saying “what the hell is going on,” and “what was this film about again?”
The main issue is the twist in the story. In order to make the twist happen, the writers weaved a mini story around the real story. So when we come to know about Jai’s real identity, we would be surprised. Yes, I was surprised but it also meant that the first twenty some minutes of the film were not even worth watching. The only thing that the romance track with Manasa did in the film was fill up space.
The other issue is that Prabhas’ mission in the film should have been more inspirational. Since Jai sets out to instill peace in the hearts of these families and amend his relationship with his father, it would have been okay to make the story more idealistic or maybe even utopian. Just as I thought that’s what would happen with the entry of Jai in the rival family’s home, the writers decided to give me a dose of reality by restarting the violence once again. There is a constant clash between peace and violence in this movie. The hero tries to make peace by changing people, but he doesn’t mind beating up a few goons along the way. Isn’t it a strange idea to make a film about peace that’s full of violence?
Mirchi is only two hours and forty minutes but the film feels like five hours because there are so many things going on. And I had a hard time tying everything together. However long a film may be, at the end of it, I want to have a clear idea about what it was that I just watched. There should be a definite answer to the question “what is this film about?”
And what is Mirchi about? Is it about the two families? Is it about Jai and his father? Is it about Jai and Vennela? Or is it about how peace can win over violence?
I guess I wanted to see only one or two of these themes highlighted in the film while the others took a back seat. But they were all highlighted equally which made it difficult to see the point of the film as a whole.
The other downside of the film is, as I mentioned, lots of violence in the second half. Although Prabhas’ films are known for the heavy dose of violence, I think that Telugu films that limit violence to a minimum are doing better nowadays. I only liked the first fight scene in the movie which is actually like a dream sequence. Prabhas talks about beating the guys and the fight is pictured in their minds. I found that very creative and entertaining. Another downside was that Brahmanandam was completely wasted in this film. And why is this film titled “Mirchi” again?
I think the only reasons to watch the film are for the songs and for the Prabhas-Anushka chemistry. If you decide to see it, I suggest you stop thinking once you hit play in order to enjoy the film.