Get ready for tangy, pungent, sizzling and spicy stuff. Be forewarned,
ISHQIYA isn't the fluffy, candyfloss, saccharine sweet story of lovers
breaking into songs in mustard fields. In ISHQIYA, you just don't know
what turn the story may take next. Not just the story, even the
characters here are so impulsive and unpredictable.
You need to have a strong stomach to absorb ISHQIYA. It's high on
drama, it's wild, it's real. But it's not dark, it's not sleazy, it's
not crass. Frankly, you don't expect debutante director Abhishek
Chaubey to make a stereotypical fare thanks to the tutelage by his guru Vishal Bhardwaj, who loves to swim against the tide and undertake risks in film after film.
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North India, the film has a rustic feel, depicts characters that may
make you uncomfortable and is laced with saucy lingo. Yet, it's
different than OMKARA.
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Final word? You can't help but fall in ishq with ISHQIYA. Tired of sherbat? Try this spicy jaljeera for a change!
Two thieves, Khalujaan [Naseeruddin Shah] and Babban [Arshad Warsi],
are on the run from their boss, Mushtaq. They seek refuge at a friend's
house, but instead meet his widow, Krishna [Vidya Balan]. The time
spent together draws the duo to her, Khalu with his tinted vision of
old-fashioned love and Babban with his lustful eye. But the past
catches up with all three!
There's no denying that the promos had prepared me of the journey
ahead, yet it took me a good 15-odd minutes to get into the world of
Khalujaan, Babban and Krishna. But once you get sucked into their
world, the blurred images start getting clearer and clearer and you
become an active participant in their journey.
The first hour passes in a jiffy, but the story actually gets dramatic
and volatile in its second hour. It's at this stage that things start
getting more and more unpredictable. The story does a somersault every
10 minutes and by the time it reaches its finale, you're curious to
know how the debutante director would conclude this saga. The end, of
course, will have its share of advocates and adversaries, but the fact
remains that it's offbeat.
Abhishek Chaubey is a welcome addition to the ranks of avid
storytellers. His choice of the subject and also handling of the
material is what makes this film so eminently watchable. Not once do
you feel that ISHQIYA has been helmed by a first-timer. Note the change
of events in the song 'Dil To Bachcha Hain Ji' or the kidnap drama and
the heated argument that follows thereafter. Even the passionate
lovemaking sequence between Arshad and Vidya has been dexterously
However, Chaubey and his team of writers could've kept the writing
simplistic towards the finale. It's complex and also lacks clarity.
Yet, all said and done, screenplay writers Vishal Bhardwaj, Sabrina
Dhawan and Abhishek Chaubey deserve kudos for coming up with a film
that keeps you hooked for most parts.
Vishal Bhardwaj's musical score has his unmistakable stamp all over.
The film is embellished with two lilting gems - 'Ibne Batuta' and 'Dil
To Bachcha Hain Ji' - which are a rage with listeners already and have
been juxtaposed beautifully in the plot. Mohana Krishna's
cinematography is first-rate. Dialogues [Vishal Bhardwaj] are acidic
and a few lines are indeed startling.
Every actor in ISHQIYA delivers a sparkling performance! Naseeruddin
Shah is superb as a romantic. He is matchless in the sequence when he
learns the truth about Vidya and Arshad. Arshad packs in a bravura
performance yet again. Post MUNNABHAI films, Arshad should be liked in
this one the maximum. Vidya continues to surprise. It's a dynamic
performance undoubtedly. PAA and ISHQIYA are two landmarks in her
The actors enacting the role of Jijaji, the kidnapped victim and
Vidya's husband are all perfect. The child, who interacts with Arshad,
is natural. In fact, every performance in ISHQIYA is worthy of mention.
On the whole, ISHQIYA is definitely worth a watch. The film has a
riveting plot, great performances, soulful music, an absorbing story
and skilful direction to make the viewer fall in ishq with it. It should appeal to the hardcore masses as also the multiplex junta.