Friday, January 29, 2010

Ishqiya - almost THREE stars

- First of all, director Abhishek Chaubey should be commended for his attempt at film making, it is difficult to believe that this movie is his debut film. It is a well thought out interesting film
- Vishal Bharadwaj has produced, made the music and written the raunchy dialogues for this film. One does feel his touches, though it does not have VB written all over it. This is a compliment to both Abhishek and Vishal, the former for being able to hold his own given such a strong influence around him, and the latter for allowing another to tell his story his way. Am sure this was tougher to achieve than we might think
- Naseer, Arshad and Vidya have done a brilliant job. I just wonder if Vidya could have sounded more rustic. She has worked hard, but is unable to hide her urbane diction completely. Nonetheless very good performances from all the actors, and if I HAD to pick the best of them, it would have to be Arshad. He dazzled with an almost perfect rendition of the various shades that his character is made to play out. He was especially good when he confronts Naseer on a road fight and another time when he allegedly discovers Vidya's true colors
- In true VB style the lingo is rustic, while this sounds very authentic and "in place" I wonder if he could have tried harder to make it more comprehendable, I for one didn't understand the dialogues sometimes, and do hope I didn't miss any jokes!
- VB is a brilliant music director and does have 2 winning songs [ibn e batuta & badi dheere jali] in the film, but apart from that the music sounds a little out of place and this is only because he has tried to mix modern and hinterland sounds. Nothing wrong with that, but I think a more small town version of Indian music would have carried this kind of film better. The music is not bad mind you, it just doesn't wow you like VB's usual creations. Badi dheere jali, sung by VB's wife Rekha shows his knowledge of classical music and Vidya who is trained in classical music does full justice to its lip sync [always tough for classical songs]
- There are some memorable dialogues in the movie eg. the conversation between Vidya and Naseer in the stolen Maruti Van, word exchanges between Naseer and Arshad when they have a fight etc.
- The humor is cool, timely and unforced - such 'uns are rare in Bollywood
- The kissing scene between Arshad and Vidya is one of the best I have seen in Bollywood yet. It reminded me of the steamy scene in Brokeback Mountain, when Heath Ledger meets his gay lover after a long time, who knows that amazing scene might have been Abhishek's inspiration. The cinema we were in was suddenly doused in absolute silence during this Arshad-Vidya scene almost as if it were a serious lesson in "how to kiss" [it wasn't!]. Of course soon people sitting in the front couldn't bear the silence and filled it with their own dialogues - "Arshad, mat kar yaar!!!" etc. etc. :)
- The movie's biggest strength is it's well rounded storyline and script with ample & intriguing twists and turns, all doing appropriate justice to the context
- And I have come to love the fact that our new band of directors are making the female protagonists in their films more realistic, meaningful and strong - that too without much ado
- So why is this movie an almost 3 and not a full 3? Ishqiya has everything going for it, but somehow it hasn't got the zaniness & pizazz, one would expect from this kind of a thriller. It felt like Abhishek was holding back and not letting loose his creativity, enough
- So, the movie is a one time watch, do catch it if you can, when you don't have to rush right now