Rating: 3.5/5 stars (Three-and-a-half stars)
Star cast: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Gauhar Khan.
What’s Good: The breezy first half; the good performances; the music and the background score.
What’s Bad: A few boring portions in the second half; the climax, which will not be liked by a majority of the lay viewers.
Verdict: Ishaqzaade makes for an entertaining watch.
Watch or Not?: Go for it if you want to watch a love story with a twist.
Yash Raj Films’ Ishaqzaade is a love story of two youngsters belonging to two opposing political families.
In a small town in UP where muscle powers reigns and politics is conducted through the muzzle of a gun, Parma (Arjun Kapoor) is one of the grandsons of Chauhan, a political leader who is contesting for the post of the MLA. Chauhan’s bête noire, Qureshi, is the current MLA of the area. Chauhan and Qureshi are sworn enemies, whose fight for supremacy often leads to gun battles in broad daylight. Parma, who is one of the ringleaders of the Chauhan family, wants to rise up the family ladder. He brazenly uses his might to do things for the family.
On the other hand, Zoya (Parineeti Chopra), Qureshi‘s gusty daughter, is no less than her brothers in her hate for the Chauhans.
While canvassing for votes in their college, Parma and Zoya have a tiff and Zoya slaps Parma in front of everyone. As he has orders from the family patriarch to not indulge in violence, Parma stops short of shooting Zoya.
Soon, he falls for her and woos her till she reciprocates his love. The two meet secretly and even get married in the presence of two of Parma’s friends. Immediately afterwards, Parma has sex with Zoya. Then, to her surprise, he abandons her, claiming revenge for the slap.
Parma even uses photos of Zoya getting married in the Hindu way – without showing his own face – to rubbish her family’s name. As a result, Zoya’s dad loses the election. Parma becomes his grandfather’s blue eyed boy.
Zoya’s father decides to snap all ties with her. Zoya, meanwhile, escapes from her home with the intention to put a bullet in Parma’s head. What happens then? Does Zoya kill Parma and avenge her honour?
Ishaqzaade Review: Script Analysis
Story writers Aditya Chopra and Habib Faisal take the age-old plot of a love story between members belonging to feuding families and give it a very nice twist. Faisal’s screenplay does full justice to the story. The first half is fast paced and entertaining. All the characters are well-etched and leave an impression the viewer’s mind. The last scene of the pre-interval portion has a surprise in store for the audience, which is shocking as well as engaging. However, the drama loses steam in the second half when the young couple deals with the aftermath of their marriage. Certain portions of the second half seem repetitive and even bore the audience a little bit. The climax, which is very unlike the happy endings the audience is used to seeing in commercial movies, will disappoint a section of the viewers.
On the positive side, the emotions will appeal to the audience, especially the youngsters and girls. Screenwriter Faisal also successfully establishes the film’s milieu very well, something that makes the drama completely believable. The angle of Hindu-Muslim rivalry has been exploited very well. Dialogues, penned by Habib Faisal, are earthy and entertaining.
Ishaqzaade Review: Star Performances
Arjun Kapoor makes a fine debut as Parma. He emotes well, acts with a swagger and dances delightfully. He has a very good screen presence as well. Parineeti Chopra, whom we loved in Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, shines again in a complex and intense role. She looks very good and acts like a song. Arjun and Parineeti’s on-screen chemistry and excellent performances are the highlights of the film. Gauhar Khan, who plays courtesan Chand, does very well. All the supporting cast members provide very good support.
Ishaqzaade Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Habib Faisal’s direction is first-rate. The writer-director treads a very different territory after Do Dooni Chaar but manages to make the narrative compelling. Only if he had paid more attention to making the second half crisper, the film would have proved to be a better package. Amit Trivedi’s music is very good. The songs go with the narrative. Lyrics, by Kausar Munir and Habib Faisal, are fine. Ranjit Barot’s background score sets the pace of the drama. Choreographers Chinni Prakash and Rekha Chinni Prakash make the songs a delight to watch. The production design is excellent. Cinematography, by Hemant Chaturvedi, is eye-pleasing. Aarti Bajaj’s editing is fine. Sham Kaushal’s action choreography is realistic.
Ishaqzaade Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Ishaqzaade is an entertaining fare which works on the strength of its first half and the performances.