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Touted as the Desi interpretation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Manish Tewary's (of the critically acclaimed Dil Dosti etc,2007)Issaq evidently seems to be an ambitious project but is punctured by haphazard screenplay and shoddy editing. Banaras, in all its seductive and photogenic glory, is currently the hot-spot of our Indie filmmakers and Tewary sets the love story in the hinterland with the backdrop of two warring families The Kashyaps and the Mishras ,whose quest for supremacy in the sand business proves fatal for the lives of the lovers , Rahul Misra(Prateek Babbar) and Bachhi Kashyap(Amyra Dastur).
Issaq has an interesting assortment of characters with potentially intriguing sub-plots but unfortunately none of them are exploited or explored with dedication. For instance, the lustful episode between Bacchi's trigger-happy uncle,Teetas(Ravi Kissan,with the only convincing chops) and her step-mom(Rajeshwari Sachdeva, equally vigorous) is not given due depth or the Naxalite intervention(Prashanth Narayanan , shouting 'laal salaam' to cheer his followers) which looks awfully forced into the narrative.The dynamics between the protagonists doesn't evoke the much-required emotions or empathy and lacks passion to abysmal levels.The dialogues and the diction sometime appear too incoherent and contrived in the semi-rural milieu. Tewary seems to compromise on the uniformity of the storyline with his obsession for stunning visuals and portraying the earthiness of the plot(Makrand Deshpande playing a caricatured Baba, high on the 'herbal' dope).Agree, that violence and gunshots are the need of the hour but they don't traverse through the celluloid passage to our psyche.
Both the lovebirds lack the mettle to carry off the serious scenes in the film. Prateek just doesn't fit into the bill. His diction is bad, acting is awful and he overdoes his love-struck act. Amyra is a damsel in distress,she looks pretty but has to improve substantially if she has to stay in the showbiz. Talented actors like Ravi Kissan, Rajeshwari,Prashanth and Sudhir Pandey don't get to sustain their hamming abilities.
While the editors of the film seemingly had a lazy outing, I just wished the 2 and hours to pass as swiftly as possible. It's such a tedious bore of a film Stay away from this Issaq. Only the title track,Issaq tera(beautifully rendered by Mohit Chauhan and Smita Jain)deserves repeated listening that's the only saving grace!
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