Release Date: 26th July, 2013
Singers: Mamta Sharma
Cast: Prateik Babbar, Amyra Dastur, Ravi Kishan, Rajeshwari Sachdev, Makrand Deshpande, Neena Gupta, Prashant Narayanan, Sudhir Pandey, Amit Sial, Vineet Kumar, Yuri Suri, Prashant Kumar, Evelyn Sharma
Director: Manish Tiwary
Writer/s: Padmaja Thakore-Tiwary, Manish Tiwary, Pawan Sony
Producer/s: Shailesh R Singh, Dhaval Gada
Music Director/s: Krsna, Sachinn Gupta, Sachin-Jigar
Singer/s: Mohit Chauhan, Smitha Jain, Ustad Rashid Khan & Pratibgha Bagel, Kirti Sagathia, Papon, Mamta Sharma, Tarun Sagar, Malini Awasthi, Raghibir Yadav, Ankit Tiwari, Rahul Ram
Plot: In this original Indian adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet directed by Manish Tiwary, we see the story transposed to Banaras and its neigbouring areas that are witness to violence unleashed by sand mafia controlled by urban elite and equally violent retaliation by Naxalite armies. The sand mafia is run by two influential Banarasi families, Kashyaps and Mishras, who are at brutal feud with each other. Kashyap has an 18-year old, pretty and innocent daughter Bachchi from his first wife, Bachchi’s role is played by Amyra Dastur who marks her debut in this film. On the other hand, Mishra’s son Rahul (Played by Prateik) is a good-looking teenager with predictable interests for a boy of his background – Girls & Guns!
Things change when the battle-hardened and pleasure-seeking Rahul and romantic yet head strong Bachchi fall in love. Disregarding the consequences, the young lovers choose go ahead with the dictats of their hearts. What follows is a high octane action-filled drama.
Manish Tiwary’s Issaq turns into a commentary on the meaning of love in contemporary India!
Rating: 2/5 stars (Two Stars)
Star cast: Prateik Babbar, Amyra Dastur, Ravi Kishan, Rajeshwari Sachdev, Makrand Deshpande, Neena Gupta, Prashant Narayanan, Sudhir Pandey, Amit Sial, Vineet Kumar, Yuri Suri, Prashant Kumar, Evelyn Sharma
Director: Manish Tiwary
What’s Good: There is just one good thing in Issaq and that is its picturesque cinematography.
What’s Bad: Everything Else. Everything!
Loo break: Lots of them.
Watch or Not?: Issaq was indeed a thorough waste. With such a promising idea, the film’s pseudo-artistic style of narration is half baked and dishonest. Barring a few picturesque shots that encapsulate the fascinating charm of Benaras, the film has absolutely nothing more to boast of. Even if you have a lot of time to spare, avoid this; it comes with the price of aspirin.
In the land by the Ganges, Benaras’ tale of family feud begins with the animosity between the Mishras and Kashyaps. Following the vein of epic Shakespearean love of Romeo and Juliet, Rahul and Bachchi engage themselves in a heartfelt and enticing relationship which becomes difficult to give up. With hitches in the beginning, they decide to go forward with their love story. However, their end isn’t any different from that of Romeo and Juliet. It is the toiling they go through is what makes the crux of the film.
Watch their love bloom and wither in what is attempted at being incredible.
Issaq Review: Script Analysis
There are too many cracks in the film’s script. Trying to elucidate the tale of two families who have a history of rivalry between them, the writers unnecessarily adds a communist angle to it, almost to enrage you. With very little knowledge of what pushes communist terrorism to the brink of violence, the Laal Salaam part of the story is forced and pointless.
The family rivalries come with no back story and the comic tinge right at the outset shows the lack of depth. There is a clear insincerity and lack of simplicity in a love story that is flawless in its innocence. This one is so warped in the vagaries of its plots that you’ll lose yourself in this matrix of revenge. The needless violence perhaps depicts the way of life in Benaras, which is bizarre! Somehow, Bollywood is suddenly obsessed with lechers harassing women and portraying Benarasi men in such rude light is unfair. The freedom of women in our side of the world is already not something to be proud of and such films surely boost these unacceptable traits as heroines so simply fall for heroes who consistently stalk them!
The anticlimactic climax is almost spoof-like and the intentional gags are flat. This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet will surely bring Shakespeare alive from the dead to haunt the makers of this film.
Issaq Review: Star Performances
Prateik is dismally misfit in the role of Rahul. Being the blue eyed boy following his mamma’s legacy in the industry, the role itself lacked anything concrete. He is adequate in his part, despite his accent failing him at parts. The young lad must be careful about his choice of roles, or he’ll lose out on the edge which got him noticed in the first place.
Amyra Dastur is fine as the coy Bacchi but then again, her character wasn’t well etched out giving her a sketchy personality to work off.
Prashant Narayan is dependable as always and he manages to give a solid performance in the character which was odd to begin with.
The two people who stand out are Ravi Kishan as Teeta Singh whose menacing presence is powerfully executed and Rajeshwari Sachdev is a pleasant surprise as she bravely pulls through her role with grace.
Seasoned actors like Makarand Deshpande and Neena Gupta have been left unused in the film sadly.
Issaq Review: Direction, Screenplay and Music
Manish Tiwary has the ability to dish out crass with such beauty that you almost have the urge of falling for the film. However, there is a clear lack of soul here which is its prime drawback. Unable to infuse any energy in the story, the whole thing passes by without leaving an ounce of effect on you. The pain of its characters fails to touch you, their helplessness doesn’t make you weary and their romance feels stretched out, lame and tedious! The screenplay was inconsistent with too many loopholes which makes the weaknesses of the film even more apparent. However, its music was outstanding with every note of Sachin-Jigar hitting the right pitch. The cinematography and photography is ace and only if the story had some steam, a crackling product could have been created.
Issaq Review: The Last Word
Issaq is a tedious film which retells the story of amateur love. A flaky plot and wavering narrative makes Issaq a novel concept that is compromised at the altar of the director’s need to prove his artistic bent. I am going with a 2/5 for this one. Those precious 2 hours of my life are never returning! What a tragedy – for me!
Issaq released on 26th July, 2013.
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