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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Benign Chaos

7/10
Author: akbarnali from United States
15 August 2005

'Ishq' is a wacky, off-the-wall, illogical romantic-comedy-cum-drama. It stands out purely because of the awesome cast assembled by Indra Kumar. Substitute any other actors in their parts and the film loses its appeal- substantially. Aamir Khan leads the cast with great gusto and charm typical of his naughtier-than-naughty streetsmart roles. Ajay Devgan provides a somber balance to Khan's antics, and he comes in strong in the second half when things go awry between the bosom foursome. Kajol is competent in her part, never really exciting to watch but gratefully present- her character is one of the plot points of the film. It is Juhi Chawla, however, who steals the show with her high voltage comic delivery that is, appropriately, screamingly funny. Even in the parts when Indra Kumar has seemingly asked her to 'stretch' to be funny, she carries the scenes off with aplomb and skill. Her chemistry with Aamir is undeniable and the most memorable portions of the film revolve around their I-Hate-You-But-I-Love-You relationship. It's kinda sad to say but there really is no other comic beauty in India currently. Juhi Chawla was, for the time being at least, the last.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Quirky all-in-one package

Author: hprill from Austria
28 August 2003

I guess that most Bollywood movies will strike western viewers as somewhat quirky in terms of storytelling structure and acting, but compared to other Bollywood movies I've seen so far, this one seems to be an exceptionally quirky one.

The story is fairly simple: rich boy (Ajay Devgan) and poor boy (Aamir Khan) are best friends, rich girl (Juhi Chawla) and poor girl (Kajol) are best friends. Rich boy falls in love with poor girl, poor boy falls in love with rich girl, and the two rich fathers will do anything to destroy the two budding relationships.

That's basically it. There is no real plot; instead there's a sequence of scenes where the two fathers devise a dirty scheme, which is promptly thwarted by the young lovers. On to another scheme, which again is not successful. The next dirty plan follows, which... you get the idea.

Still, the evil schemes become increasingly more devious, and their consequences more severe as the film progresses; along with this progression, the film makes its way through all genres that you can imagine: it starts out as a fairly silly slapstick comedy, turns into romantic comedy, then into romance, then into thriller and finally into a tragic melodrama. At one point, there's even a horror scene thrown in for good measure.

Plot holes and illogical character behaviour aplenty, but that's what you expect of any Bollywood movie, more or less.

As for the acting, well, don't expect stellar performances. Most of the supporting cast are somewhat annoying, especially in the slapstick scenes, although Johny Lever for once plays a fairly non-silly, likeable character.

The lead actors give solid performances, particularly Kajol and Aamir Khan, who manage to be funny (without overdoing it) in the comedy bits and believably serious/emotional (without overdoing it) in the tragic parts. Ajay Devgan has great onscreen chemistry with Kajol (they aren't married for no reason, it seems), but overall his character has a serious depth deficit and is just too gullible. Juhi Chawla is very pretty and good fun to watch, and it is her very energetic performance that drives the movie along much of the time. However, she is mostly really more of a pleasant diversion than a full-fledged character.

The music by Anu Malik has no real highlights and, like the film, probes its way around several genres. My personal favourite is 'Dekho Dekho Jaanam', a compellingly cute, slightly silly Kajol/Devgan love duet (sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik). 'Ishq Hua Kaise Hua', the corresponding Chawla/Khan duet (Udit Narayan/Vibha Sharma) is more romantic, much less successful, but comes at least complete with lots of Swiss Alps. The disco-inspired songs are, alas, not very inspired.

Overall, this is a 3-hour tour de force, an all-in-one package of all emotions and film genres that you can imagine; not really the best of Bollywood, but still fairly enjoyable. Not sure whether it's worth the trip to the cinema, but rent the DVD and watch this if you are in a quirky mood or if you have friends over for an Indian dinner.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A movie for the entire family

10/10
Author: Pgoel from United States
25 July 2006

I have watched this movie to the point where I have memorized it and am still enjoying it, which is surprising given how I feel about comedies. This is a Romance film, comedy film, a film about true friendship and family. In this one case, trust friends over family. Trust love and heart over bonds of birth.

Ishq is the story of 2 sets of friends Ajay (Ajay Devgan) and Raja (Aamir Khan) as well as Kajal (Kajol) and Madhu (Juhi Chawla). Ajay and Madhu are rich, whereas Kajal and Raja are poor. To complicate matters Ajay and Madhu's fathers hate poor people. They play dirty tricks to break the couples up and get Ajay and Madhu married.

The acting is heartwarming, it is rare to see a film with so many big names in it where egos do not come into play. Aamir and Juhi provide most of the comedy, with Ajay showing that he does have comic talent. Kajol, however, keeps the movie from devolving and the plot on track.

Great watch!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A good time pass film

5/10
Author: silvan-desouza from India
21 February 2009

Indra Kumar's films are never original, nor they have anything new DIL was okay though too OTT, while BETA was too melodramatic but good RAJA was crap, ISHQ is good too nothing great

The first half is spend with slapstick OTT scenes which are funny mostly like the pipe scene is too much though stupid,

The love angles too have their fun The Exorcist angle is unnecessary and too much

The second half gets too melodramatic and things get boring but they are some good scenes like Aamir- Ajay clash and some more

Indra Kumar handles comedy quite well and drama too Music is very good

Aamir Khan has done comedy in AAA earlier and here he is in comfort zone and makes you laugh the most in the first half stealing the show with his one-liners and expressions Even in serious scenes he does a great job Ajay looks too silly in some comic scenes and overacts in some and is decent in some but excels in dramatic scenes and his chemistry with AK is terrific, i wish they work again together

Juhi acts very well in the mischievous role though she overacts at places but it suits well Kajol is unnoticeable in first half but decent in second half

Dalip Tahil, Sadashiv Amrapurkar are too loud and play the clichéd villains

Johny Lever is loud too but makes you laugh at places

Deepak Shirke, Tiku Talsania have some funny scenes

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A good mix of everything

7/10
Author: wajeehkhan01 from United States
20 March 2015

The main reason I watched this movie is because of the great cast. Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgan, Kajol, and Juhi Chawla. That already gets you excited. The actors all did great, even Johnny Lever. This movie is a perfect one to watch with the whole family, because it has some great scenes and it's a totally clean movie. It has everything in it- action, drama, comedy, romance, and an overall good story that is told in true Bollywood style. I mean even though its a typical story filled with clichés and Bollywood masala, it entertains and is above average. And really, the movie has a great message, which is that all people are equal, rich or poor. Many people think that poor people are not equal to the rich people. The movie also says that there is nothing wrong in falling in love with a lower class person. The songs were also good as most of 1990s Hindi films had good music. This movie overall was pretty good.

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A Complete Masala Movie

6/10
Author: nmomin7187 from United States
23 February 2007

This movie has comedy, romance, drama, action, etc. All in all a complete Masala movie. But that doesn't mean its a great movie.

Thesecond half is almost unbearable. A complete flashback to the early 90s movies. Opposing family, drama, violence etc.

The first half was funny and very good. The actors were close to perfect. Aamir and Juhi set the screen on fire with their chemistry. Kajol was her usual self.

Juhi has a flair for comedy as does Aamir. Ajay was good too.

Bottom line, regular Bollywood viewers will enjoy. May be a bit too much for others.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Ishq can never be remade

10/10
Author: jahangirhussain74 from United States
17 April 2011

Ishq is an excellent film. No wonder why it was one of the biggest blockbusters of 1997 along with Dil To Pagal Hai.

This film has everything working in its favour. A superb cast, awesome music, good storyline and zany humour.

Ishq is the story of four lovers: Ajay (Ajay Devgan), Raja (Aamir Khan), Madhu (Juhi Chawla) and Kajal (Kajol). Ajay and Madhu are the offsprings of wealthy industrialists, Ranjit Rai (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) and Harbanslal (Dalip Tahil) while Raja and Kajal are poor. Ajay and Kajal fall for each other while Raja and Madhu take a rough route before giving their hearts to each other.

The twist in the story comes in the forms of the wealthy fathers who want their children married off to rich spouses. So together, they create a scheme to separate the love birds and then get their children (Ajay and Madhu) to marry each other.

But love always wins and that is the crux of the film.

I liked the casting in this movie. The four actors share a great chemistry with each other and not once do you feel that they are uncomfortable with each other.

Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla provide some light moments in the film and their antics are worth watching. Ajay Devgan and Kajol are likable as the brooding, intense lovers.

Anu Malik had an excellent timing with the music. 'Neend churayee meri' and 'Mr. lova lova' being my favorites in this film. The other songs are also good.

Overall, Ishq is a must watch! It made me miss me the golden era of the 1990s so badly.

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