Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ishqiya - Krishna gets a Valentine

Two goofball petty criminals are being chased by a bigger don. A loving husband and wife are separated by an explosion. After this and Omkara, we would be very afraid to traipse through Uttar Pradesh. It looks like every home breeds a killer. The children here learn to shoot before they learn to wash their butts. Despite such rampant criminalisation of life, there is very little fear. Rather, the criminals are lovable and apt more to fall in love than kill. Make love not war. Babban, who is a lustful whoremonger falls in love when the girl mouths foul words and holds up a rifle. Khalujan is smitten from the word go, as soon as Krishna sings a ditty. Krishna finds love amidst bombs when she sees her lover return to save her. Even Cuckoo the captive finds double love.

There is loads of story here, plenty of scenes that make you chuckle, some scenes that are so subtly funny that they will delight you. Songs are first rate, lyrics better. Who is not captivated by Dil to bachcha hai jee? Ibn-e-batuta took me back to my history lessons. Rekha Bhardwaj's smoky voice is very effective in the amazing Badi dheere jali. In retrospect, this song is perfect as the song of Krishna, who lives her mundane life without anyone suspecting how she is simmering inside.

The second part has been accused of being confusing, but it is not. Everything is well thought out, and ties up somewhere or the other. You have to pay attention to everything, even the old crone who asks for a light to burn her torch, and is sitting by calmly while Krishna goes about her daily business.

Naseruddin Shah...... Khalujan
Arshad Warsi...... Babban
Vidya Balan...... Krishna Verma
Salman Shahid...... Mushtaq
Adil Khan...... Vidhyadhar Verma
Anupama Kumar...... Manju Kakkar
Aalok Kumar...... Nandu
Rajesh Sharma...... Kamalkant Kakkar

I have reproduced the cast here because while the first three actors are very well known and famous, the others are not. The little comedy between Kamalkant Kakkar (Rajesh Sharma), his wife (Anupama Kumar) and the beauty parlour lady (I think - Gauri Mala) is truly truly delicious. These fine supporting actors add to the realistic look of the film.

If it has a failing, it is that of falling between two stools of menace and comedy. I suppose it is a bit of a farce, but it does not go there overmuch. Maybe the story telling is too plain for it. Omkara was gloriously comic and gloriously menacing when the plot demands it, even when Langda Tyagi is being funny, you are chilled because you know the guy is pure evil. This one is too gentle to make that kind of an impact. Vidya Balan is understated. Among the current crop of heroines, she is surely very capable of handling this kind of a role. I would have loved to see Mahie Gill here, she is much more uninhibited and would have done better in the more menacing avatar of Krishna.

Krishna needed to be made the centerpiece of film, as she is the mover and shaker here. I feel the story would have had more of an impact if her character had been given more menace and drama.

It merits a viewing, maybe two, maybe three.

I loved loved the re-appearance of Dhanno ki ankhon me raat ka surma, the classic Gulzar-RD Burman song from Kitab.


  1. i saw the movie,(though pirated one)found it fine; (believe me Vidya never looked so beautiful)

  2. ...And I loved Arshad Warsi's character. This guy has so much potential as an actor, Bollywood should really get him out of Circuit mode.

  3. Ajay. I am going to get a DVD when it comes out. This movie merits a relook.

    DD - Yes, I guess it is very frustrating for the actors to be typecast.

  4. I liked the movie specially because it was fun to listen dialogues in Gorakhpuria lang :D (Gorakhpur is my birth place :))

    I also didn't find the ending odd!!! Dunno why it was said so in reviews!!! Am waiting for a sequels to come ;-)

  5. I liked the movie but can't call it excellent. Oh yes, I loved the dhanno ki aankhon me song as well.
    I felt that the ending was hurried. They tried to clear up too many confusions and if u missed a dialogue or two, it will give you an incomplete story of sorts.
    But yeah worth one watch as per me.

  6. Smita.. :) It is nice to hear different dialects used in a sensible manner. Mostly they are used in comic sequences, like a parsi or gujju or punju.

    Shanti - Not excellent. Excellent is very rare, but still a good movie, esp if you look at the stuff others dish out.

  7. Rather nice blog you've got here. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

    Best wishes

  8. I loved the earthiness of Omkara, so I'm looking forward to this one too! Did you think the script fell flat between the farce and menace or the direction?

  9. Thanks Anon ! I wish you had put your name there or directions to your blog.

    CP - I guess the direction.... You see the movie, and let me know what you think.

  10. I liked only the 2nd half.

    There is a hope of a sequel.

  11. Veejee, waqt mil gaya?

    I am blessed actually. I got so many different comments. That is exactly what I like.

    First half ke bagair second half kaise banta? You found the first half thoda slow kya?

  12. Slow toh tha hi but I found it too clumsy , and it seemed its going no where. Ya, true... 1st half me build up hua jo 1nd half me execute hua... but what I am saying is 2nd was gripping unlike 1st

    haan, mila thoda wakt.... ;)

    btw, can u believe I haven't seen MNIK and many more yet.

    Use movies dekhana pasand nahi hai. Ishqiya zabardasti leke gaya toh chalo dekh liya.. See kya kya ho jaata hai ishq me...;)

  13. had logged from other gmail acct so came as Oxy (my other blog which I dont usenow)... ignore kar dena.. Blessed Curse is the only one I use.

  14. havent gotten a chane to see this movie.. but have been hearing only good things abt it ..have to c it soon !

  15. Oxy, Blessed Curse is also an oxymoron. I too felt that the movie could have done with more passion, but at least it is a genuine effort, and not a bad one either.

    I can see it again.

    Me 2 watching v few movies, lekin just because I dont feel like going.

  16. I liked this movie too - and I liked both the halves!
    Loved Baban's character - amazing dialogue delivery and timing. And Khalujan was so sweet - esp in the scenes where he helps Krsihna in the kitchen with garlics and when he dyes his beard with surma.
    Has delightful songs as well.
    The beauty parlor lady's name is Gauri Malla. She's a Nepali actress - kind of tragedy queen of the Nepali film industry. Not sure if it's just coz of that, but I do find her a little like Meena Kumari -