It’s a story we’ve all seen and heard before, that of feuding families and a clear-minded hero who saves the day with his piercing philosophy of love. Except for the title sequence, a few glimpses of the condiment here and there, the title ‘Mirchi’ can only be symbolically interpreted to be the colour of blood, because there is lots of that.

We’re introduced to a lanky, do-gooder Jay (Prabhas) in Milan. His rockstar image intact, he carries around a mobile keyboard and his band buddies follow him around. He ‘saves’ Manasa (Richa Gangopadhyay) from a couple of goons who conveniently speak in Telugu and what follows is an effort to win Manasa’s attention and lo! she does fall for him. But there’s a twist - she tells him of her dastardly family back home, where men cut each other’s throats for the slightest of reasons.

Jay flies down to India and befriends Manasa’s brother (Subbaraju) and follows him to Palanadu. Jay’s mantra in life is to love and be loved, as he tries to show Manasa’s family the value and beauty of love. There is a brief history to why Jay shows up in Manasa’s village, it is because of his own family’s long standing feud with Manasa’s family. The story is interlaced with an interesting flashback about Jay’s mother (Nadhiya) and father (Sathyaraj) and as we hit the climax, Jay once again showcases the value of ‘love’ and says, “ Veelaithe preminchu..maha aithe tirigi premistharu (If it’s possible, love someone, at the most they will love you back)”.

It’s surprising how well Prabhas wields the katthi , his posture and body language alone glorifies the otherwise gruesome violence. Manasa’s character is dull whereas Vennela (Anushka) is rather fresh — a smart village belle who is whacky enough to shun her suitors by feigning a love story. She also tries to reverse gender stereotype by picking up Jay by the waist in order to help him pluck a fruit. Mirchi follows the so-called success formula by the book. You have the punch dialogue, long-drawn fights, a few foot-tapping musical sequences, high level of family sentiments and a narrative interspersed with a comedy track by Veera Pratap essayed by none other than Bramhanandam. So, to cut it short, this isn’t a film that will go down in history; if you like Prabhas, you’ll probably like the film because in the end the film relies more heavily upon his body language and dancing abilities rather than the script. There is nothing upsetting about the film, neither is there anything that is uplifting. It’s old wine mixed with freshly squeezed berries in a reasonably new bottle. Perhaps it is time to think of films that deviate from the formula and bargain with intellect.

vishnupriya bhandaram

MIRCHI

Cast:Prabhas, Anushka, Richa Gangopadhyay, Sathyaraj and Nadhiya

Director:Koratala Siva

Genre:Action-entertainer

Plot:A tale that teaches you to get your vengeance through love

Bottomline:Your regular box office masala film, yawn!