What's it about
Sequel to Ishqiya, this one is made by the same team - Vishal Bharadwaj, Abhishek Chaubey and Gulzar. Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad) are retained in the film, while Madhuri Dixit replaces Vidya Balan as the leading lady.
This time, Khalujaan falls in love with Begum Para (Madhuri) and enters a competition to win her hand in marriage. He wins her heart but not her vote. Hell breaks loose. Kidnapping and ransom drama follows. Leading to a climax which keeps you guessing if the duo will get played by the female protagonist this time too.
First things first. Is it better than the sequel? No. But it is almost as good. The sets, the costumes, the music, the dialogues... It transports you into a bygone era. The chemistry between Arshad and Naseer is as zingy as it was in the prequel. Ditto for Madhuri and Huma (there is a hint of something more to their closeness). Vijay Raaz is delightful. Vishal Bhardwaj's dialogues are one of the biggest highlights of the film.
Too much shudh Urdu in the first half, which audiences will struggle to understand. Yes, there are subtitles but it makes you wish the makers had used simpler language. Madhuri's look is inconsistent. She looks hauntingly beautiful in parts and jaded in some scenes. Also, for a subject like this, the length needed to be shorter.
What to do
You loved Ishqiya? If you don't go expecting the same magic, you'll enjoy this one too.