Movie Review - Ishqiyaan

By: Amit R Agarwal

Ishqiyaan – No Ishq here

Vishal Bhardwaj is a film-maker who has always excited me as an audience. Makdee, Maqbool, Omkara and Kaminey. All his films have been different and though none of these attained commercial success; I returned home satisfied that I saw engaging cinema.

Unfortunately, his latest film Ishqiyaan (produced by him) dissatisfies me a lot. The main reason being, the screenplay is dull and the happenings mundane; which is strange, because Vishal’s last Kaminey was extremely engaging (except for the climax).

The romantic-crime-thriller genre is one of the most exciting formats of fictional narrative. Vijay Anand mastered the art; the team of Ishqiyaan ought to have seen some of his films before embarking on writing. Probably, they would have breathed some life into the dull screenplay.

Ishqiyaan tells the story of two men on run (Naseer and Arshad) who have siphoned off money of a don, Mushtaq (Aadil). For their security, they decide to run to Nepal with the help of Verma, a dreaded kidnapper in Gorakhpur, (UP’s hinterland).

Once there they meet Vidya Balan, wife of Verma. She uses them to take revenge on her husband. How she uses them, primarily, forms the narrative of the film.

The problem lies here. The story is very interesting; the plot seems plausible; the title evokes interest; but how can a film called Ishqiyaan work with no ishq – the zero chemistry between either Naseer-Vidya or Arshad-Vidya?

Yes, the nil chemistry between the protagonists plays a major role in making the film superficial, as a result the audiences never really connect with the protagonists.

The entire movie falls apart in the climax, when Mushtaq lets Naseer and Arshad go with Vidya. How come?

The basic plot of the movie is that because Mushtaq wants his money back, Naseer and Arshad are on the run. How can the makers destroy the basic plot, without any logics given?

Yes, Mushtaq’s wife on the phone tells him, he likes to play cat and mouse game, but it is hardly convincing, given the characterization given to Mushtaq. The act by writers is termed ‘screenplay of convenience’.

Abhishek Chaubey fails to evoke any interest in any of the characters. Though he has handled a few scenes well, a good film is about sequence of scenes, all handled well.

The music is the high-point of the film and the way makers have used the old songs to connect Naseer and Vidya works, strange because there is no chemistry, guess it is the power of golden oldies, still so melodious! Cinematography matches the mood of the film; though editing could have been crisper.

What rocks the movie:
Arshad Warsi’s performance.
In a few scenes the glimpses of Naseer’s histrionics.

What chucks the movie:

Ishqiyaan had one of the most outstanding promos. The music helped hype the film, but after the initial audiences, the film will find the going tough. This Ishqiyaan won’t make its audiences fall in ishq with it.