Tired of incessant dowry demands from would-be suitors, Parineeti, one day, decides to get even. Till then, along with her father, Anupam Kher, she ekes out a normal, humdrum, middle class existence as a Hyderabadi Muslim, complete with dreams of America. Inspired by a huge settlement in a local dowry case, she decides she will entrap some rich, dowry demanding family and then use the settlement money to fulfill her dreams. Off they go to Lucknow, under fake identities. And meet Aditya Roy Kapur, who runs, one of the city's most popular eateries. And then the plan changes. Or doesn't it?
Being a Habib Faisal movie, it obviously gets the milieu right – whether its that of a Hyderabadi Muslim (with their sing song dialect), or that of a wannabe middle class person (dreams of America while being a salesgirl at a local shoe store, wants a guy who speaks good English – even better if with an American twang), or even the scared/worried father, desperate to get his daughter married off. In fact, one of the more endearing sub-plots, which was briefly introduced but not really built on, related to Anupam Kher's job as a legal clerk, his own knowledge of the law and the court system yet, despite some egging from colleagues, his inability to fly – ie make the transition from being a clerk to becoming an advocate – despite retirement being just around the corner.
Aditya and Parineeti, both, did justice to their roles, making their slightly over-the-top characters come to life. I particularly liked Aditya's screen presence, he has this slightly gangly look but more than makes up with his expressions and a shy, disarming smile. Hope he doesn't take up any more drunk, suicidal roles. The supporting cast, including the various demanding parents and suitors, was fascinating to watch – their mannerisms, the way their 'requests for help' were communicated (since no one actually uses the word dowry) and also the communication between spouses.
All in all, a good film, a sweet love story, but one which doesn't really rise above the average Bollywood romcom and one where the title, Dawat-E-Ishq, seems like almost an after-thought, to differentiate itself from other films in this genre, without any substantial meat in the script
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