The love affair of Bollywood and its adaptations will continue the coming week as well. The Anurag Kashyap directed film Dobaaraa is scheduled to release this friday which is an official Indian adaptation of the Spanish film Mirage. Now the interesting bit is that the rights for the script were exchanged even before Mirage was made. And this does give me hope of a good adaptation simply because you did not know how Mirage would transpire. So before Dobaaraa, I finished watching the Spanish film Mirage on Netflix and here are my two cents on the film.
Story & Screenplay
Mirage is one of those films which has a very strong unique storyline and so if you haven’t watched it yet and plan to do so then go in with a blank slate. The time travel film which has shades of horror and mystery has a terrific storyline for most of the runtime of the film. The issue with the film is with its screenplay and editing(which I will get to in my next section). The screenplay standing at a little over 2 hours might seem like the right length but the screenplay does have its issues.
The drama opens on a promising note with the setup of a little boy witnessing murder in his neighbourhood until he meets with a tragic fate, only for the drama to proceed years later. The use of the environmental elements does add a good amount of ambience to the drama. But once the main concept kicks in, the drama begins to crumble under its own weight.
The screenplay keeps jumping timelines only to settle in an alternate reality but the issue isn’t that. The issue is with the screenplay which tries to be smarter than it actually is. It tries to dabble with different genres and it doesn’t quite get the emotional quotient right neither the thrill quotient right. What should have been a trippy thriller which would keep you guessing until the very end, ends up being a lacklustre drama which is neither here nor there kind of cinema.
Mind you the drama is definitely watchable with a great concept tagged to it but there are glaring loopholes to it leading up to the end which is insipid at best. The final reveal could be guessed from a mile away and that was something which just did not sit right with me. Overall, a clear case of a good concept gone wrong at its writing stage.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate and fairly impactful. The BGM is decent but it doesn’t do enough to raise the bar of the drama. The cinematography is really good with good VFX. But that one technical aspect which falls flat is its choppy editing. The editing ensures that there aren’t smooth transitions in the screenplay. So you do get an impression that you are jumping from one event to another without being emotionally involved in the drama. Director Oriol Paulo who has tremendous films like The Invisible Guest and The Body to his name(and both remade in hindi as Badla and The Body) doesn’t quite get it right here. While the story was definitely novel, the execution wasn’t quite right here. The direction was just about average here. I trust Anurag Kashyap to rectify these mistakes in Dobaaraa.
The performances are quite good here. Alvaro Morte best known as The Professor from Money Heist is pretty good here. Nora Navas as Clare is decent as is Miquel Fernandez as Aitor. Javier Gutierrez as Angel could have been more menacing. Chino Darin as Leira is well restrained and has a good screen presence. Adriana Ugarte as Vera is top notch and delivers a good performance.
Mirage is a clear case of a good concept marred by poor execution especially in the final edit of the film. Available On Netflix.