Mumbai, January 30 — The average-budgeted film “Ishqiya” directed by debutant Abhishek Chaubey seesaws the line between impertinent comedy and a madcap farce of a suspense thriller.
Crisp and efficiently directed, the movie has been stuffed with an uneasy yet right mix of slacker humor, language and adult relationships that does not border on the obscene because of the expertly crafted script.
The movie tells the story of 52-year-old Khalujan (Naseeruddin Shah) and 32-year-old Babban (Arshad Warsi), who are two thieves in Uttar Pradesh, united by despair.
Escaping with their boss’s money (boss played by Salman Shahid), and in a bid to get away, they end up at the home of an old friend in Gorakhpur, where they meet the widow, Krishna (Vidhya Balan). From here the film cuts into a complete mess centering on a love triangle, kidnapping and dare devil thrills mixed with deaths.
Ishqiya, which has an enjoyable plot, could have been a love triangle with good humor, but when the film teeters to the third act, where the key twists occur, it turns into unpersuasive situations and leads to a climax that is all coiled up.
However, a bold and different attempt, the key reason why the movie will work is the lead characters who are incredibly likeable. Moreover it is a real treat to watch them portray their rustic roles with perfect balance and genuine ease.
Vidhya Balan’s character is complex with negative shades. She surprises with her challenging role as the widow Krishna, who takes a fancy to the old man’s charms and yet tries to seduce both the men with her beguiling charisma.
It is obvious that she has matured as an actress and even manages to sashay through this role without ever compromising on her character’s susceptibility, making this her best work till date.
Arshad is spontaneous and performs with appreciable ease. However it is Naseeruddin Shah whose grace and charm as Khalujaan would be difficult for any woman to resist.
The film’s music (Dil to bachcha hai ji and Ibn-e-batoota) is already a hit across the country.