Qayamat me Laila Majnu Ek Duje ke Liye
Ishaqzaade, a take on the word Haraamzade, is just that: A take on a million other love stories.
Set in a fictional, default town in the Indian hinterland, where Chandni-bai the courtesan, and not false promises ensure a votebank, it’s a story of clashes between 2 rival, political parties fighting it out for the region’s MLA title. The hatred runs deep and through the generations. The youngest heirs of the 2 families also get involved in the clash, and finally with each other. But obviously the families belong to the 2 different religions that Bollywood exclusively functions in, so there are bound to be repercussions.
The most clichéd story ever you think? I agree. Except for a twist that seems only semi-intelligent in hindsight, the movie is a basket of clichés. But it still it is considerably better than many movies. And the major reason for the payout are the leads. Arjun Kapoor, son of Boney Kapoor, is raw and loutish. He plays Parma, the unloved scion of the Chauhan family with a lopsided grin, so reminding of his uncle Anil Kapoor. I just hope he doesn’t follow the footsteps of his other uncle because the guy is good, and looks a complete actor, with an earthy presence and command over his face. Throw in his dancing prowess in Chokra Jawaan song, and we may be looking at a future superstar.
The fire to Parma’s wood is Zoya, played so wonderfully by Parineeti Chopra. She is the daughter of Qureshi family, ‘sabki chaheti’ as she describes herself and ready to lay down her life for honour. Parineeti was last seen in Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl as the Delhi girl and she was good in it too, but I always thought she was overrated. I love it when someone proves me wrong. And I think I am in love with her already. She is just so fiery. She is an excellent dancer, gives an excellent nuanced performance and looks like a dream, especially when her hair falls on her beautiful eyes. Aaaaaah!
Then there are the bit players like the prostitute with a heart Chandni Bai, played by the omni-hot Gauhar Khan, and the 2 heads of the 2 families, who both come off as losers and unbelievable. The moms are better though in a much more understated, cold way. And then there are million or so goons, whose only job is to shoot at each other and miss, or shoot at Zoya and Parma and miss again. And then they behave as if only the gun does the talking in Almora!
The 2 other winners of the movie are the soundtrack and the cinematography. I personally rate Amit Trivedi if not at par, then just below A.R. Rahman as the best composer right now. Not to say there is much competition anyways. All the songs in this film are exemplary. I was completely surprised by the Mujra and the Nautanki songs in the movie. This guy has some serious versatility. And Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography is just so refreshing, and still not too showy. Look for the long shots, one where they kiss for the 1st time and 2nd one in the chemistry lab. Top notch!
Habib Faisal, the creator of Bittu and Shruti of one the most loved films of previous years Band Baajaa Baaraat makes his 2nd movie as a director and writer after the wonderfully charming Do Dooni Chaar. He could have been the Superman of the film, but succumbs to the Kryptonite of 2nd half. The 1st half is highly enjoyable, with its colourful language, and believable happenings. But the 2nd half is just so plain awkward after the initial half hour that you almost want to abuse the man.
The runtime is around 2hr 10 minutes(including interval) and it never bores. But I suggest you leave the theatre 10 minutes early. At least you won’t have that bad aftertaste left by a really cheap peppermint taken after a delicious dinner.
My Rating : 7/10
All the songs. Their picturisations were excellent.
The long shot with the smooch. Just the thought that there were so many things that could and must have gone wrong while filming that scene and the number of takes they must have ‘labored’ through got my motor running.
Zoya’s lips quivered very slightly when she is shot at by her own father. Very, very classy piece of acting.
What an electrifying chemistry!
That shitty ending! Seriously they couldn’t think of anything else? And it was performed badly too.
Kill Rate = 3/1000 bullets fired?
Why was Parma grinning really after that encounter with Zoya?
Why that sudden social message at the end?
I think the movie was too romanticised unnecessarily. Even in the face of calamity, all they could think of was dancing among fireworks and dazzling lights. It was working way, way better without it.