Film Review: Mithya


Film: Mithya


Banner: Planman Motion Pictures


Producer: Arindam Chaudhuri


Director: Rajat Kapoor


Cinematography: Rafey Mehmood


Editor: Suresh Pai


Screenplay: Rajat Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla


Cast: Naseruddin Shah, Neha Dhupia, Ranvir Shorey, Harsh Chhaya, Saurabh Shukla, Vinay Pathak, Iravati Harshe, Brijendra Kala, Iklaq Khan


Rating: 6/10


Rajat Kapoor & Co. are back with yet another interesting take on life as it is. Saying ‘as it is’ would probably be challenging the very title of the film (mithya = lies) but there is no better-fitting way to say it. It is as it is and Rajat Kapoor says it quite nicely so.


Mithya is the story of Vinod Kumar, a struggling actor who comes to Bombay from Noida in search of the stars. The film might seem like a companion of the bastion of film-industry-based movies we have seen in recent times (OSO, Khoya Khoya Chand, Super Star) but it only borrows the background for its lead actor.


VK, soon lands into the hands of the mafia because he exactly resembles the boss of the rival gang. The mafia finishes off the boss and fashions VK into his avatar a la ‘Don’. VK uneasily slips into the role until destiny hands him a rough blow and he becomes a desperate victim of ironical events despite himself.


Mithya starts off on an incredibly promising note with hilarious moments in scenes made by some superb timing and acting by the principal cast. Dialogues are snappy, events are hilarious in their sheer simplicity and pedestrian characters are a treat to watch as played out by the leads. Realism, in the hands of Rajat Kapoor wears a new tone and is always interesting to experience despite the evident budget constraints. Mithya is a charming territory for realism aficionados so the initial movie promises.


But after the series of montage that the first half an hour is, the film settles down or seems to and that’s where all the trouble begins. The film begins to take itself a tad bit too seriously and hampers the deliciousness of its humour, its principal take-away. Post-interval the film acquires almost a new meaning with million subtexts vying for attention. Humour takes a disappointing back-seat and no drama comes forward to fill in. A thin line of suspense, a lingering question of ‘what next?’ keeps one hooked but that shortens the canvas of the film. The subtexts die a piddling death and so does the movie, which began brilliantly.


The brilliance of Mithya lay in the fact that the concept had several layers just waiting to be explored. Questions of identity, perception, belief and reality could have been pertinently flirted with to make the film explode with potential. That Mithya was not intended to head that way is acceptable. That what it achieves by choosing the path it does is confounding.


The film boasts of some exceptional performances that make the film eminently watchable just for the acting. Ranvir Shoerey, as the struggler caught in his circumstances plays his part brilliantly. He has almost become an ace in playing the loser yet maintains his versatility while doing the same role with multiple different shades movie after movie.


Neha Dhupia ably plays the part of the sexy siren of the boss who is caught in her own dilemma and loves someone else instead. Vinay Pathak, another effortless performer is immensely enjoyable as the no-gooder henchman of the Big Boss. Naseeruddin Shah and Saurabh Shukla’s performances plead for more screen-time such is their presence and ease with the medium. Harsh Chhaya and Iravati Harshe put in equally commendable performances that make Mithya a well-made film.


Mithya is a challenging film to make and the balance between humour and emotion is one that is not easily done. The film does not balance both competently neither does it substitute the lack of balance with a heightened sense of experience. To savour the portrayal of everyday middle-class characters the film is a must. Else, there aren’t many take-aways that the film can boast of. Despite that, it is definitely worth watching once at least if for nothing then to rejoice at the birth of a common-looking ‘hero’. It’s not everyday that losers win.