Ten years ago, the gorgeous French-American actress, Julie Delpy acted in a film written by herself and co-star, Ethan Hawke. She went on to receive an academy award nomination for the best-adapted screenplay. This was a sequel “Before Sunset” to an equally popular ‘Before Sunrise’.
“Before Sunrise” had just two characters - a boy and a girl who meet in a train and spend an entire night together, walking around in Vienna, knowing that their most romantic time will end by sunrise. There was no story throughout, no sense of ‘and then what happens’ right until the end. Yet the film compels you and sucks you in. You simply enjoy following these two good looking stars, exploring their own chemistry, their worldviews and the developing connection.
Preity Zinta is obviously inspired by the film. She has co-written ‘Ishkq in Paris’ with Prem Raj, the director. The film begins in a train going from Rome to Paris. Boy meets girl and the two walk around the beautiful city, talking.
The similarity ends there.
She (Preity Zinta) is Ishkq with both ‘q’ and a ‘k’. Yes, that is actually her name. He (Rhehan Malliek alias Gaurav Chanana) is Akash and pronounces his name like A-cash ‘with a k’. She likes chatting up strangers as she knows there is no chance of meeting again. He likes ..well…that aspect is never mentioned, really. So he likes going along with all she plans. Which is nothing different from partying at a pub, having dinner and coffee. But then it is Paris -“the city of love…jahan pyaar karna asaan hai par pyaar karna mushkil.”
The idea like “Before Sunrise’ is to have a stimulating conversation. Instead it is boring and contrived. Any attempt at a joke falls flat. There is zero chemistry. The conflict brought out at interval point tries to create some intrigue but by then it hardly matters one way or the other. Ishkq has some past baggage (what’s new) which drags and stretches into one heavy cloud of boredom. Paris does little to rescue despite the picturesque beauty.
The acting by the duo doesn’t help either. Rhehan is strictly okay. His dull looks don’t work either. Preity like always, plays herself. If only she looked like herself too. Her apparent nose job has taken away the vivaciousness from her charming, ever brimming smile. The only thing commendable is her spirit and effort towards producing and writing a film for herself when the industry has all but forgotten her.
French actress, Isabelle Adjani plays a dismal role. She only has one moment to speak of and that lies in her beautiful portrait at a museum. The rest is a badly dubbed voiceover in Hindi.
If you are a Preity Zinta fan, hoping to get a glimpse of the innocence seen in her first film ‘Dil Se”, you may fall out of ishq with her.
If you are not a Preity fan, you may as well look at prettier postcards of Paris. Or wallpaper.