Issaq - Review

wogma rating: Switch channels if it's on cable (?)
quick review:

A long 140 minutes later, I still don't know what they were getting at. Oh dear...

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When you walk out of a film, whether or not you like it, you come out with a sense of what the film was about, what it wanted to say or do. That it succeeded or failed for you, in the way it was narrated, is a different matter. Issaq doesn't give you the chance to assess the latter bit. You just are left wondering what it was all about. Is it a love story with a backdrop of politics? Is it a family feud? Is it about Maoists? You'd believe it most if you someone said it wasn't about anything at all.

When a film is about something, it makes the "something" an innate part of its narrative. At the very least, In a romance, you'd feel like rooting for the couple. Instead, the crowd cheered when bad things happened to them, and not because they had grey shades in them. For me, it was worse, I was indifferent to what happened to them.

You have no clue why Rahul (Prateik Babbar) )and Bachchi (Amyra Dastur) are in love with each other. You don't know where their loyalties lie. Every time you feel you know what their next step will be, they do the exact opposite of what their character has been saying. That's not really the right kind of unpredictability. You just don't feel anything for them at all.

To top it off, there is barely any chemistry between the two actors. Prateik Babbar's dialogue delivery is at its worst. The pauses he takes in the sentence make you feel like you are watching a primary school play. Amyra Dastur, in comparison, seems like an ace-rate performer, which she really isn't. Except for one scene which has her read out poetry, which she does a great job of, her performance doesn't get your attention at all. Unfortunately, this scene seems rather out of context and the performance is wasted in the context of the film.

Similarly, a lot of things feel out of context. While it was disorienting enough to have South Indian Maoists in Varanasi, that they were portrayed as psychopaths and/or terrorists bothered me more. There was a disconcerting randomness about who they chose to kill. Prashant Narayanan, as the character who plays their leader, could walk through this one in his sleep. So, yeah, the film wasn't remotely about Maoism either.

That leaves the political angle which is the funniest bit. You know more about Tittas (Ravi Kissen) the lover than the supposedly political sidekick that he is. You know even lesser about the two gangster-politicians who you are asked to fear at the very beginning of the film. However, you are given nothing at all to fear them. In fact, more than once, they come across as meek, disable men.

When all else fails, you usually have something in the technical departments to keep you going. The music, the dances, the action. No hope here, either. All you are left with is, one botched up scene after the other. In fact, the entire film, quite literally looks like, scenes were shot and sewn together in pretty much random order. For example, it felt like they had Prateik Babbar jump roof tops just so there could be an action element in the film.

Oh well! Not that the world was expected from Issaq, so it's not like you come back disappointed. You just feel sad for the people who claim to take Romeo and Juliet to Varanasi.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of gun fights.
  • Language: A couple of abusive words used.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A few kisses.
  • Concept: Something about love, politics and supposedly Maoism thrown in.
  • General Look and Feel: An attempt at gritty, small town feel

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1
  • Story: 1
  • Lead Actors: 1.5
  • Character Artists: 1.5
  • Dialogues: 1.5
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 1.5
  • Lyrics: 1

Issaq - Movie Details

Issaq - Trailer

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Comments (4)

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Komal:

Haha.. was waiting for your preview and now I'm waiting for your review even more :D

Anup:

I was on my way to the theater on metro,,,,and then I just saw ue review and change my mind,,,,and lastly watched the wolvorine which was an awsome movie,,,,u save my money meetu

Manjulika Pramod:

Thanx for the review..looks like not a deserving one for time and money..

meetu:

@Anup good call, I say.

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