May 12, 2012


I saw this film’s very first show on the day it released. So the opinions that follow are devoid of any influences from reviews by film critics in India. I did go on read many of the reviews and also got their anger and disappointment with sexism in the film. To me the realism and the possibility of this story playing out SOMEWHERE in north india was so striking, that i'd let the sexism allegation pass. That's how it is in north india. Patriarchy at it's best!

The film is a case of whole not being bigger than the sum of its parts. Hence, I’ll point out the parts that struck me right away!

* This is a Habib Faisal film. Period. He’s a man i started to appreciate deeply after the cinematic experience of Band Baaja Baraat (BBB). Then i saw 'Do Dooni Char' and completely fell in love with his creativity and skills of cinema. It's heartening to see how he stuck around YRF, doing (in my opinion, stupid) films for them. His patience finally paid off when he was allowed to show his real talent in BBB and now again in Ishaqzaade!

The film is VERY realistic. It is definitely possible in tier-3 towns in northern india. I’m sure such cases must be happening on micro-levels. The political equations mentioned are completely plausible. For the director to situate his take on the classic Romeo and Juliet in such a setup is commendable and has been well-executed.

* The cinematography deserves a special mention. They've captured the feel of such small-town locations brilliantly in the chases, showing the lanes, narrow by-lanes, garbage dumps, et al. The crew selection is awesome too. Ranjit Barot was the perfect choice for a background score that needed the element of thrill with subtlety. i'm glad YRF didn't opt for Salim-Suleiman this time. Amit Trivedi needs no endorsement! Though he is yet to supersede that bar which he set very high with his debut film – Dev.D!

* Dialogues of this film are very well-written and utterly enjoyable for their rusticity. makes me so proud of Faisal's skills! His insight of the hinterlands shines through some of the fast-paced and sarcastic retorts between the actors.

* The choice of supporting actors is spot on! I’ll stick to mentioning my views on only some of the lead actors here.

* Gauhar Khan is a woman i've had a serious girlcrush on, for a decade now! The 1st time i saw her was at the 'Miss India' pageant where she was among the top-5 contestants, and I developed a strong liking for her right away! i wish YRF had signed a 3-film contract with her too!;-)!. Considering this is her second film after Rocket-Singh (an older YRF venture)...i hope we see her in another of their films' soon, to complete her hat-trick!

* Parineeti Chopra has luscious hair and good acting skills conveying angst and hatred. Though, her inexperience shows in certain crying scenes.

* Arjun Kapoor… the debutante… does uncouth very well. i'm waiting to see whether he can do a classy act well too! By the way, as the adage magnifies everything...his stretch-marks on forearms and lower waist are clearly visible in some scenes! (background - he was the 'overweight teenager' who Salman Khan talked into getting fit!)

To conclude, this film made for a worthy watch, despite being ridden with clichés. The entire experience didn’t stun me out of wits, which is what I was hoping for, but it wasn’t that bad either!

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