Talking Movies

Talking Movies
Talking movies

Friday, 11 May 2012

                                     ISHAQZAADE : SOUND AND FURY

                                       Ishaqzaade is a love story that  can fill you with enough hate to call the hero a  #@*#zaade. There lies both  the USP and the challenge to make you fall in love with him and his love story.

Gunfire and Hindu Muslim ire block the path of true love. Our village Romeo is Parma (Arjun Kapoor), a local goon who points a gun at Zoya (Pareeniti Chopra) and picks up  Chand (Gauhar Khan),the sexy dancer to entertain his MLA grandfather. The fiery Zoya bites the bullet and brandishes her own gun to get even. So begins a love story with hate spouting forth through bullets, racing bikes and jeeps. The hate runs in their blood with the respective families engaged in political feud playing the Hindu Muslim card of sworn enemies.

Parma is from the Hindu family of Chauhans who takeS pride in carrying  out his grandfather’s policy of “mardon ki haweli mardon ki bhasha”. Zoya of the Quereshis,takes pride in wearing her father’s waistcoat, sells her gold earrings to buy a gun and displays more balls than all the town’s men. The two come together to make a deadly pair of sworn enemies who when struck with Cupid’s gun, are like lost puppies on the run from big bad wolves.

The movie is written and directed by Habib Faisal who made an impressive directorial debut with a good, simple story, ”Do Dooni Chaar”. Faisal has also written  “Band Bajaa Baraat” where the male character takes time to grow up, acknowledge and understand love, much like the character in Ishaqzaade. Like BBB, his female characters are full of fire, can take on the world and all the  ...zaades.

Ishaqzaade’s  strength lies in its ruthless, fast paced, contemporary treatment of the everblack story of  caste and religion based hatred in small towns. While the stronghold of political gang lords and family wars are well established, along with interesting nuances in the main characters, the story falls short in the emotional quotient of young and innocent love. The ishq in Ishaqzaade could have been a lot more powerful to match the hard and gritty tone of the film.

Taking off well with a good intermission twist, the film falls a notch in the second half into the clichéd territory of lovers taking refuge with a kothewali .Parma’s character which starts off as a “jaanwar” gets into a confused zone .The fast paced momentum of the plot deprives one of  any memorable romantic moments so crucial to a good love story that earns repeat watches like QSQT. The sound and fury of guns,takes over the heart.

Kausar Muneer’s lyrics, “main pareshaan… “, besides the title track “Ishaqzaade” and “Jhalla walla” written to Amit Trivedi’s fantastic music score, adds beautifully to the film’s gritty tone. The cinematography (Hemant Chaturvedi), well chosen locales and the edit (Aarti Baja) together blend in seamlessly with the narrative.

Arjun Kapoor makes a decent debut in a challenging role of playing a lover boy with grey shades. The movie belongs to Parineeti Chopra who is at ease being the fiery yet endearing girl with a gun. Gauhar Khan steals the show with both her role and two hot sizzling numbers superbly choreographed by Chinni Prakash. Her confidence and chutzpah is electrifying on screen.

 The relentless and ruthless theme of Ishaqzaade   packs in punch and passion with the well adapted age old Romeo and Juliet plot but lacks the sweet, memorable romance of Qayamat se Qayamat Tak. Watch it for the Ishaqzaadi urf Parineeti.


  1. Is the entire story set in a believable setting?

    Faisal is strong in bringing colloquial lingo to the fore, however one can get carried away. Something that didn't work for me in BBB - you do less, it's great, but if you do more, flip over the top. Also the fact that the transformation of the guy was too sudden for my comfort.

    Looks like, by your review that the latter part of the middle act in Ishaqzaade doesn't have enough build-up in tension and character growth / development isn't what it should be.

    What does 'emotional quotient' imply? The chemistry between them runs dry or what? Though you do say it packs in a punch.

  2. The place is fictional but the people are believable.I think BBB worked precisely because it was over the top,something that the masses seem to enjoy.For me it worked because of the characters and the lingo.If you watch Ishaq,you may find the guy's transformation even more sudden:)
    By emotional quotient, I don't mean the chemistry but the touching or the caring feeling that comes with young, innocent love.As an audience, you need to care about both the lovers and given the ending in this film, it was very crucial.

  3. Thanks for your response.

    Interesting to note that over-the-top worked for you in BBB. I think the same happened for the masses. And it typically works if you have a couple in contrast, kinda going after/against each other and then...letting the love blossom between them in an effective way.

    For the record, I ain't fan of the perhaps the biggest favorite of folks of the past decade - Jab We Met. Yeah, the same ol' issues: Kareen character being a bit too over the top and then...dhaadam! She turns mute. Worst-of-all, her Romeo is such a jerk of a guy that one wonders couldn't Imtiaz think of a tougher dude.

    Coming to the point of caring - what should / could have been done? You mention QSQT and yeah the one thing that worked great was - the two were one in terms of protagonist with opposition against both of 'em. The conflict is set-up great. So when they get to steal some moments (though now when I think of it - too cute), it tends to be effective - with death / evil arriving soon at their 'home', they share affection and being oblivious to what's coming, you care more for them. Plus taking their love forward by strengthening their relationship.

    I haven't seen Ishaqzaade and now am more reluctant! However being a screenwriter am curious to know what was the issue: the rising opposition was missing or...too bland or...over the top?! Or/and, as they faced the wrath, they were lack of moments that showed they cared a good deal of each other? Of course one way is to protect the other or make some sacrifice.

    This could be an interesting case study as from what it seems they set-up interesting characters, build up a captivating relationship but then...they let it slide away? Hmm...

  4. There is more besides that.As I don't want to reveal too much in a review, there is an intermission twist that shows the hero in a certain light.The aftermath of that is not handled convincingly enough.The rising opposition is just fine,its the main characters we need to care for.
    But overall there is no reason why you shouldn't watch it.As a film, there are more things going for it.
    BBB too as a screenplay was predictable and dragged in the second half but as a film on the whole,was interesting.Likewise, with Ishaq.personally I love watching good performances,story or no story and there are 2 here:Gauhar and Parineeti:)

  5. Thanks for sure for avoiding the spoilers.

    Only reason I could go and watch is for the curiosity about why the 2nd half trips, well if at all for me! And how the chemistry / relationship progresses between the two. And...what's the story is really about? I have three.

    Predictability is an interesting topic of discussion, which may be alright, if the moments are gripping and you are with the characters. But the over-the-top doesn't go well with me :-|

    So...I have a feeling I won't be going for this one till the dvd's out. So pity won't be able to carry this discussion forward on breaking-down the flick.

    As for performances I get my fill with the government and opposition folks who are swell ;-)