4.5 Excellent

Ishqiya

Ishqiya is about two thieves Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi) and a forgotten widow Krishna (Vidya Balan). The two, after double-crossing their boss Mushtaq bhai for money, look for a hide-out to save their lives from their merciless boss. After trying their luck everywhere, they end up at a friend’s place in Gorakhpur only to find out that he is dead. However, his widow Krishna offers them to stay until they make all arrangements to leave the country.

However, Mushtaqbhai soon lands up there and threatens to kill all three if he does not get his money within the allocated time. Complications increase as Khalujaan falls head over heels in love with Krishna, while the Babban starts lusting after her, falling in love with her eventually, too. Krishna takes up a different act soon after leading to more complications. Who gets Krishna? Do all three manage to save their lives? Watch to find out.
Ishqiya Review

It would be unfair to compare Ishqiya with Omkara, for besides cosmetic resemblance, Ishqiya has a soul that is unique, edgy and riveting. The film is a rustic tale of an unusual love triangle, lust, deceit with a backdrop of crime. Filled with witty and saucy dialogues, it is a movie that is high on spirit, drama, romance, thrill and is very very foxy (Definitely not for anyone under 18).

Agreed, Ishqiya has a Vishal Bharadwaj feel to it, but débutante director Abhishek Chaubey is equally talented in creating an intriguing tale that has a reflection on his own and marks his credibility. Ishqiya gets to the act right from the first beginning. Although it takes us a while to get used to the dusty – rustic feel and lingo of the movie, the flavor is mostly urban, light-hearted and comical that doesn’t demand a lot of effort to understand. It has multi-layers of emotions and drama attached but it does not divulge too much into anything beyond needful. Be it the character introduction or the past to which they belong or sub-plots of gang-formation and kidnapping, it’s all in tone with the central plot and does not deviate much. Bharadwaj’s dialogues and music is outstanding. The dialogues are extremely effective and high on wits. Some simple yet classic lines that’s worth a mention are: “is duniya sab se gehri dushmani miya-biwi ke beech hai”, ” aap ka ishq ishq hai aur mera ishq sex”. Every song is a treat, especially ‘Dil Toh Bachcha Hai’ and “Badi dheere jali naina”. Its not the story but the dialogues, the sinless performance and to an extent the story-telling that has made all the difference.

Ishqiya is not without it’s share of flaws. The story definitely needs some patching and clarity of thought. Although the character portrayed are very impulsive and energetic, the pace is an hindrance. The first half especially was a drag. Chaubey’s effort is commendable, but the narration at times was inconsistent and the twist towards the end seemed a little far fetched.

Some scenes to look forward too:

1. The passionate lip-lock and lovemaking sequence between Arshad and Vidya has been dexterously captured.

2. Confrontation scene towards the climax between Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi.

3. Naseer’s expressions throughout the Dil Toh Bacha Hai Ji song.

Flaw-less performance by its ensemble cast is what works highly for Ishqiya. Naseeruddin Shah yet again delivers an impeccable performance. He gets into the feel of Khalujaan’s character and emotes more through his eyes and mannerisms. In scenes where he looks at Krishna longingly, he makes you smile and at the same time pity his condition.

Arshad Warsi is a delight to watch. He gets the meatier role which he performs with full justice. He shares great chemistry with Naseer and his interactions with the village lad Nandu too is hilarious.

Vidya Balan surprises yet again. She portrays the most complex character and pulls it of with ease, brilliance and simplicity. Kudos to her stylist, for she looks absolutely gorgeous and irresistibly sexy although covered from head to toe.

Overall, Ishqiya is an unique tale packed with powerful performances. But before you decide to go watch the film, be aware that it is not for everyone. Those seeking high on entertainment films would probably be terribly disappointed.

At the box office, such films rarely open to huge numbers and the lack of mass appeal too would restrict its prospects.