3 February 2010 | ssvikas
Well intentioned but hurriedly delivered; good acting & songs!
Movie Review: Ishqiya (Hindi) 107
If the promos were to be believed, this could have been one of the best made movies of the year. Who could predict that a movie that starred the immensely talented Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan and Arshad Warsi along with the 'Vishal Bharadwaj' tag could only turn into a movie which you would call nothing more than 'Okay, decent'. Nevertheless, as music adds much needed spice, it's still worth your money!
The film opens with Krishna (Balan) in bed with husband Vidyadhar Verma in playful pillow-talk. As Krishna addresses Verma as 'Jahaanpanah' on screen, the audience was quick to append it with 'tussi great ho'; remember "3 Idiots" anyone? Cut to next scene, a blast. Cut again to Khalujaan (Shah) and Babban (Warsi) fleeing with stolen money seeking refuge at the now widow Krishna's village home near Gorakhpur.
The story builds on as Krishna unleashes her femme fatale charms to tame the duo to toe her line. Vidya Balan playing her part to perfection uses her 'desi' sensuality to the fullest while also displaying shades of bravado firing the shotgun when needed. As with Vishal Bhadwaj's movies, Ishqiya too has a rustic setting, foul mouthed characters and a hinterland heart. This flick deals with Kidnapping near the Nepalese border.
By interval time, the narrative just warms up enough to suggest that the trio now plan to kidnap a rich businessman for ransom. Khalu and Babban jump into agreement, given that their booty stands stolen and has to be repaid while on the other, they're taken over by lust and love for Krishna who manipulates their passions, so much so that Khalu junks his old lover's photo & Babban ditches his pal to make love to her.
The film-makers may have planned their hard-sell on the plank that Krishna's role is in shades of grey. Femme fatales have done well for themselves all through history, be it Cleopatra, or in Bollywood, "Karz" or "Aitraaz". But expectations fall flat towards the end as Krishna turns into nothing more than the clichéd vengeful Indian wife. Well, being apologetic was the last thing that one could expect out of a Vishal Bhardwaj film.
Making things worse is the hurried rush of scenes towards the end; as if a student just realized that he only ten minutes left with half the paper still to go. Climax is contrived and destroys the original 'femme fatale in grey' thread. But, its brilliant songs such as Rahat Fateh Ali khan rendition 'Dil to Bachcha Hai' and Singhs Sukhwinder & Mika's 'Ibn- E-Batuta' work like a balm. Try it out and you won't regret watching it.