Mirchi is yet another film whose story is woven around a done-to-death theme of Telugu cinema. It tells the message that true heroism lies in making peace with one's venom-spewing, blood-curdling enemy, thereby becoming the man with gutsy heart that every village which has been reeling under bloody battles badly needs. Quite unintendedly, the young protagonist who is at the centre of this Gandhian project happens to hypocritically participate in the finale by threatening to establish peace by sword, fiercely saying "None can wield the sword better than me." What a self-forgetful pacifist, for heaven's sake!
The premise is pretty much hackneyed. X (Satya Raj), the peace-loving head of a virtuous family and a virtuous village, has a nastily violent enemy in Y (Nagineedu). After a bloody feud between the two families, X vows by ahimsa. Unconvinced that her husband will be allowed to remain non-violent, her wife comes with a novel concept. She walks out of a domestic relationship with him, along with her 2-year-old kid, never to see him again.
Approximately twenty years later, the unconventional woman reveals to her son the identity of her husband for no strong reason, least realizing that her tall, handsome son has the potential in him to take bloody feuds to another level. On a visit to his respected father, Prabhas realizes that for 20 years, despite talking peace, his father has been unable to convince the other side that hatred doesn't pay. Forced by circumstances, Prabhas reveals his macabre self to the other side during his brief stint in the village.
This triggers another bout of feudalism between the two families and very soon, the bewildered and disillusioned father disowns his son, whom he discovers to be a covert factionist.
What decision does Prabhas take at this point? What consequences will his message have for the villages?
If you look for novelty, Mirchi is sure to disappoint. Two villains who wanted to burn a village are very easily converted and how? Subbu Raju is told by Darling that one must have a girl in life. The bad father in the village is converted when a widowed mother appears before his house to thank him for the money with tears welling up in her eyes. This head is so amazingly and completely converted that he even wants to marry off Richa to the guy even without knowing who his parents are. Astonishingly, he even issues a fatwa to a local college principal to educate poor students who knock on his door. When a factionist visits their home for a bride-seeing ceremony, Darling finds a place in the hearts of the women by talking about how Richa will end up nursing a mutilated husband should he lose his limbs in an attempt on his life. Wow!
Darling attacks the other side (unbeknown to his father) when they threaten to kill people in the good village. But when the father banishes him (much like a ahimsa-loving freedom fighter would think of a revolutionary as a nuisance), Darling doesn't even raise this point. Worse, he even later talks as if his father had a point.
If the Darling-Anushka track is interesting (thanks to the heroine's sprightly act), the Darling-Richa episodes are woefully dumb. Look at Richa's expressions after he saves her from a gang of wannabe rapists. Watch it in mute, you will think as if she is thanking him for getting her a ticket for Vishwaroopam (Tamil).
The scenes are not intelligently crafted. Subbu Raju suddenly talks about 'love matter'. Nagineedu starts behaving like a saint.
The factionists on the bad side always have exaggerated expressions (read Sampath Raj) on their faces. At some places, Darling appears to be making philosophical grimaces as if he was going to die as soon as he converts the bad guys.
The performances are just about okay. If Lawrence thoroughly wasted Prabhas' talent in Rebel, Koratala Shiva doesn't succeed in helping his hero come out of the comfort zone. Anushka's role could have been bigger, while Richa bores with her deadpan act yet again (when she sees Prabhas in her house, is she expressing pleasant surprise or looking as though she is floored by him?). Subbu Raju and others have routine roles. Brahmanandam evokes laughter in two-three scenes.
DSP's music is peppy and his BG score entertains. The cinematography is fine and the art work is appropriate.
Shiva's pen rises up to the occasion in the second half.
Verdict: With a milk-and-water screenplay and a bunch of trite elements, Mirchi fails to offer either novelty or excitement. Prabhas's ferocity and the dialogues work at places though.
Released on: 8th Feb, 2013