Movie Review: Ishaqzaade (Hindi) 155

If the promos were to be believed, Ishaqzaade was a film to watch out for. It had Boney Kapoor’s son Arjun Kapoor making his debut after a fat to fit success story. And there was Parineeti Chopra riding on a high after being lauded as a worthy newcomer for her performance in ‘Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl’. And well, it was from the Yash Raj Banner.

Predictably, the film began with packed halls on the weekend. But after the show, I’m sure many among those hordes would have returned to their homes thinking that they have just been conned by a pointless movie! As one of Ishaqzaade’s hit songs goes ‘Pareshaan’ (Troubled), this was exactly what the experience was!

In the fictional town of Almor, Uttar Pradesh, political battle-lines are drawn along religious lines with Qureishi and Chouhan political patriarchs being bitter rivals. The hate spreads through their families too, with Qureishi’s daughter Zoya (Parineeti) and Chouhan’s grandson Parma (Arjun) hating each other since they were kids.

Soon Zoya and Parma fall in love, at first prompted by the latter’s trickery. But circumstances draw them towards one another. But the world around them wouldn’t let the pair unite, as their religion-conscious families don’t want to see an inter-religious marriage, which could in turn hurt their political careers.

The love-hate relationship between the lead actors, in a way reminds you of ‘Tom & Jerry’ playing tricks on one another. But, set in a politically aware state like Uttar Pradesh, things can’t be so cozy. Shot across various locations in the state, including Lucknow, there couldn’t have been a better setting for the film.

With a zillion bullets being fired in every direction, the film feels like a live game of ‘Counter-strike’. If someone bothered to count the rounds fired, I’m sure it would add up to a four digit figure. Figure this, the goons-n-guns need item songs and, Gauhar Khan gyrates to them in the background of guns firing to the beat of the song.

Although the whole premise is clichéd, some good acting saves the day. The lead actors, Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor do well as newcomers. The supporting actors do well too. Per se, Parineeti scores better on the looks department as compared to her starry cousin Priyanka Chopra. And she has talent too. But it is too early to say whether she can pull off varied urbane roles with aplomb as Priyanka can.

A bizarre film that it is, you will either love or hate Ishaqzaade and there is nothing in between. The ending, which is not revealed in this review, is utterly disappointing. There are no reasons to recommend that anyone should watch this one. Just hang in there for a few weeks and Ishaqzaade will be on the small screen soon!

Rating 4/10: ‘Tom & Jerry’ meets ‘Counter-strike’ in Uttar Pradesh