Post his National Award winning directorial debut DO DOONI CHAAR, I was pretty much excited to see writer-director Habib Faisal’s second venture ISHAQZAADEY. The well designed posters with the grungy look and its promos having guns all over, raised the expectations further along with Parineeti playing the lead. Besides I was also eager to see the rustic background of UP as depicted by Habib since he perfectly portrayed the middle class life of North Delhi with some straight out of real life sequences in his first venture.
However, the film came out to be just fine but nothing hugely exceptional going against my big expectations. It can easily be called a violent love story made on a fast moving script with sharp twists coming in its both halves to keep you engaged. But at the same time, its not a perfect take as all the elements in it collectively do not hit you hard with a 100% force. The first half of the film is thoroughly enjoyable as the various characters are introduced in the small town background entertainingly and one feels like watching a winner all the way. But post intermission the narrations dips at many places leading to some weak sequences and a ‘could be better’ climax from the talented director.
Made around the subject of ‘Honor Killings’, ISHAQZAADEY is undoubtedly better than many other big films of 2012 featuring the saleable stars. But as far as perfection is concerned, it disappointed me majorly in the confusing characterizations of its lead actors. Firstly the bindaas girl, who is daring enough to go and buy her own revolver illegally, who is bold enough to lead the election campaign for her father and who can even slap the grandson of the opposition leader. The same girl forgives & surrenders herself completely to the boy so easily, just like that and plays like a big fool which strongly goes again her bold, Tom-boy image. Secondly the boy who simply behaves like a no-emotion man when his own mother gets killed in front of his eyes and he weirdly takes it in a very strange, cool manner. The third are the close friends of the boy, who act like two born cowards and at once go against their own friend, the moment he decides to be a rebel. With such loosely written characters the film fails to sink in deep in the viewer’s heart and one never feels moved emotionally while watching it.
Still, the intelligent part of the script is that it moves at such a pace which doesn’t allow you to think about these weak chracterisations. Moreover with a violent (but lengthy) climax it ends like an attempt to create awareness around a social evil putting you onto a different track altogether. So the writer director very smartly covers up everything and one feels like having watched a fine film while walking out of the theater.
Frankly, I found the emotional touch missing in ISHAQZAADEY, both in the love as well as in the family relationship angle. The lead pair does show a great chemistry in their intimate scenes but I didn’t feel like watching an intense and passionate love story as a whole with feeling or depth. In other words, it all keeps on happening on the screen pretty fast without any real touch of hearts interacting with each other. To be honest, the narrative completely gave me the feeling of watching some well crafted plastic flowers with fine beauty & colour but no fragrance of their own. In fact there were only two scenes in the entire film where I felt the emotions coming out perfectly. One where the couple is running away from the girl’s house after their Idd visit and Parineeti’s father is blindly firing on them in anger. And second when Gauhar Khan is seeing them off with her moist eyes.
Performances wise it’s once again a Parineeti movie all the way after LADIES VS RICKY BEHL. The girl remains immensely likable from the first frame to the last with her next door persona and a fantastic bindaas style of acting. In her second film only, she goes pretty bold too in her on-screen kisses and is a real treat to watch particularly in the first half. Arjun Kapoor as the other Ishqzaada makes an impressive debut with a careless kind of attitude. He fairly manages to leave a mark with his cunning smile and rough looks. But the boy still needs to work hard in order to shine more brightly. And he can surely better himself working on some valuable tips coming from his mentor Salman Khan and uncle Anil Kapoor available to him as his family elders. Interestingly in his current get up he does remind you of the young Abhishek Bachhan too in few scenes. Apart from the Ishq couple, the supporting cast is fine but Gauhar Khan comes out as the sole winner here, giving a loving performance supported by a well choreographed dance number. Perhaps she has now become one of the favourites of Yash Chopra group after ROCKET SINGH.
In the technical department, Cinematography deserves a special mention, shooting on the actual locations and giving the same rustic feel to the project as shown in its posters. The action (especially the Chase Scenes) and the background score go hand in hand providing the much needed energy to the project and so does the well worked upon soundtrack from Amit Trivedi. I particularly loved the spirited title track “Ishaqzaadey” and “Pareshan” which has also been shot lovingly by the director in a great mood. However for “Jhalla Wallah” song, Amit takes a clear inspiration from Sai Zahoor’s “Saiyaan, Allah” track sung in the original Coke Studio version of Pakistan, which was also featured in the recently released “West Is West”.
In all ISHAQZAADEY becomes watchable mainly because of Parineeti and some good music alone. But being a film written and directed by Habib Faisal, it cannot be rated as a hugely satisfactory venture, vaguely made on the theme of honor killings. - bobbytalkscinema.com
Ratings : 2.5 / 5