Issaq: Doomed love story
What director Manish Tiwary was trying to achieve in â€śIssaqâ€ť, his version of Romeo and Juliet, only he can say. If you didnâ€™t know you were watching a modern-day retelling of Shakespeareâ€™s classic, youâ€™d be forgiven for walking out halfway through the film.
The movie starts with a bizarre killing on a deserted bridge and then moves on to more bizarreness. â€śIssaqâ€ť is a disjointed effort, one that ceases to make any sense after the first few minutes.
Prateik Babbar and newcomer Amyra Dastur play star-crossed lovers from families at war. Director Tiwary stages the doomed love story (in more ways than one) on the ghats of Benares where Rahul meets Bacchi.
When Bacchiâ€™s family finds out about the love affair, the girlâ€™s uncle (Ravi Kishen) sets out for revenge. Itâ€™s a chain of events that leads to destruction and chaos.
Much of that chaos is in the script and the filmâ€™s execution. Iâ€™m not sure how any of the dialogue or scenes made sense to anyone during filming. There is a levitating ascetic who doles out advice to the lovers, a housekeeper who spouts strange homilies and a Maoist leader who only makes an appearance when someone needs to be killed and keeps shouting â€śLal Salaamâ€ť.
All this is compounded by the cast of â€śIssaqâ€ť, which leaves much to be desired in the acting department. Leading the way is Prateik Babbar, who plumbs new depths after mediocre performances in â€śEkk Deewana Thaâ€ť and â€śMy Friend Pintoâ€ť, a feat I didnâ€™t think possible. Babbar is like a rabbit caught in the headlights even while professing undying love.
The leading lady isnâ€™t all that better. Dastur tries hard to portray her rustic, smart-talking character but her urban demeanour fails her. Ravi Kishan twirls his moustache, fires bullets indiscriminately and pretends that qualifies as acting.
â€śIssaqâ€ť is hardly a film. It is a disaster that lasts for 2-1/2 hours and leaves you with a headache.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)