Review: Parineeti Chopra steals the show in 'Ishaqzaade'

Friday, 11 May 2012 - 5:31pm IST Updated: Friday, 11 May 2012 - 6:47pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Watch if you must, go expecting nothing. You might just enjoy Ishaqzaade.
Film: Ishaqzaade
Director: Habib Faisal
Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor and others 
Rating: **
 
The setting is Almore, Uttar Pradesh, a small town where, after local politics, gun-wielding is the favourite pastime. Most of the time, the deadly mixture is fuelled by puritanical attitudes making it the hotbed of hatred.
 
Zoya Qureshi (Parineeti Chopra) is a wild cat. One among the boys of a fairly religious, political family, Zoya takes pleasure in gun-toting. She’s feisty enough not to think twice before pulling the trigger.
 
Parma Chauhan (Arjun Kapoor) is rough, irreverent, growing in the shadow of grandfather Surya Chauhan. “Tumhari maa mere bete ko kha gayi” is the kind of relationship Parma and his mother has with Surya. To prove he’s a Chauhan ka khoon, Parma must do something drastic.
 
The opportunities are presented as Surya Chauhan and Aftab Qureshi go head-to-head in the local elections. Zoya campaigns for her father, Parma for his family patriarch. Zoya dreams of becoming an MLA herself someday, Parma is just happy zooming around, picking up call girls from private parties (Zoya’s in particular) and sometimes setting fire to belongings of those who challenge him. They have firebrand chemistry; they’re violent, brash, and unapologetic. You slap me, I kick you and we’re all happy.
 
Until, of course, love happens (and invariably ruins everything, like in recent Yashraj films like Band Baaja Baarat, Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl). Why must the fieriest heroine always turn vulnerable lover? Why must logic be defied to make place for something that makes no sense? Yashraj movies give love a bad name!
 
Ishaqzaade has a slow start, nothing exciting enough. Until Zoya and her love for shikaar is made evident. Parineeti has marveled audiences as the loudmouthed Dimple Chaddha in Ladies v/s Ricky Bahl. As Zoya, she takes that to a whole new level, confident and unwavering from start to finish. Poor Arjun is only left trying to match that energy. His uncanny semblance (acting and looks) to Abhishek Bachchan cannot be missed. No doubt he’s made a serious attempt at making a smashing debut, but Parineeti definitely steals his thunder. Both shine as ishaqzaades, dark, crude yet likeable. Gauhar Khan is decent as Chand Baby. There are many others, none memorable enough.  
 
Director and writer Habib Faisal (he wrote the adorable Do Dooni Chaar in 2010) seems a bit more indulgent with Ishaqzaade. He takes his time to establish the boiling Almore, his shady characters and then the plot that sees generous sprinklings of political and religious rivalry. Zoya and Parma’s love story beg for attention, even though you like them, you cannot sympathise with them. The love story drags on till a point you stop caring. After the very slow start, things start picking up towards the interval. The second half is repulsive, length wise. The dialogue isn’t memorable either, though Parineeti’s timing is impeccable.
 
The songs are a bore too, except for the title song and PareshanIshaqzaade Ishaqzaade is the song you hum and visualise yourself banging your knuckles while bobbing your head.

Watch if you must, go expecting nothing. You might just enjoy Ishaqzaade.


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