Starring: Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Gauhar Khan
Director: Habib Faisal Star
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Banner: Yash Raj Films
Music: Amit Trivedi
Exactly what does one do when love strikes during occasions of war? And make no mistake. Elections amount of time in a small dusty town of Uttar Pradesh is similar to war. Guns are fired randomly at enemies, actual or imagined. Enemies fall to the ground. Morals lay crushed under heels. And finer feelings are hidden under a rubble of trouble.
Into this city, here named Almora, enters love on silent ft. Well, maybe not so silent. "Ishaqzaade" is an extremely noisy film. The hero Parma (debutant Arjun Kapoor) is definitely an uncouth animal, whose disgusting habits include kidnapping the town's nautch girl from the rival's party to dance at his grandfather's wedding ceremony. Later, his moral temperature dips to an all-time low when he takes loathsome revenge about the girl he loves to hate.
As the Muslim woman Zoya, Parineeti Chopra fills the screen with the tempestuous charm. Naturally spontaneous and vivacious, she reminds you from the early Jaya Bhaduri. Her character is a sharp-shooter having a tongue to match. And when she gets brutally jeopardized by Parma, she reacts like a wild cat raging from the promised full-cream milk that curdled when she wasn't looking.
Habib Faisal, who made the mellow, mild-mannered middle-class comedy "Do Dooni Chaar" in regards to a college professor's dream of buying a car, here shows a totally unexpected side to his cinematic vision. The landscape he paints in Almora is really volatile and violent, you pray for atonement with regard to these characters.
The lovers don't exchange chaste looks and furtive kisses. They embrace passionately and smooch every other's lips off. And when they make adore, it seems they are waging war on the planet. Full-blooded, voluptuous and eminently earthy, "Ishaqzaade" is the pickled, aromatic roller-coaster ride through the badlands where blazing guns mean families are in one another's throats.
The first-half of the narration accumulates to an engrossing case for Parma to instill his uncouth and aggressive malevolence on Zoya. The confrontation scenes between your two, written with the right amount of zing as well as sting, are first-rate. Remarkably the adversaries-turned-lovers keep drawing focus on each other's religion without mincing words. The two religions are almost thrown at each other as taunts. Riot or wrong, who can inform?
What Faisal wants to say, and we will be better off if we pay heed, is -- it's imperative to address the Hindi-Muslim divide headlong, or else blood would continue being spilt each time two people from different communities 'dare' to love one another.
"Don't even think of it. An Indo-Pak war will bust out, " the Muslim girl warns the Hindu young man. And then proceeds to break the self-imposed rule having a rush of rebellion and passion that seems to replicate the flow of adrenaline within the virile script.
"Ishaqzaade" is written in blood, dropped in passion, and shot in vivid colours associated with life, strife and other bitter embers of the actual communal fire. The director constantly attempts to bring alive the cluttered milieu of the lawless north Indian town. Faisal succeeds to an amazing degree.
His characters speak an easily recognisable vocabulary from Uttar Pradesh's heartland where even daughters tend to be taught to fire a gun before they discover the alphabet. The supporting characters don't fake it even for any second.
Many scenes convey warmth and empathy with no jot of self-consciousness. The characters are all played by unknown local UP actors who're born to the milieu. The director builds the believable arc of love and revenge. His lovers are so well-conceived in writing, it would have taken two truly idiotic stars to ruin their characters.
Luckily, Parineeti and Arjun are not incapable actors. They imbue the violent ambience using their own peculiar chemistry.
The bloodshed never stops, and also the action is relentless. Hemant Chaturvedi's cinematography creates a world that is real and simultaneously, highly cinematic.
There are many reasons why "Ishaqzaade" is really a remarkable film. It enters the killing fields associated with Uttar Pradesh. It chases down our two protagonists after which watches them get into a crisis with absolutely no end. In the end, we are looking at two young vibrant people whom we love simply because they love one another irrespective of the differences.
This isn't a film which offers a pretty love tale with gentle love songs. Even the music (by Amit Trivedi) seems like a war cry. As for Parineeti and Arjun, never mind the destiny that is based on store for their characters in this film. They're here to stay.
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