Director Habib Faisal’s latest offering “Ishaqzaade” is a movie which gives you a glimpse of good direction and some emphatic performances. It takes you to the rural India where the terrain is rugged and rough. The story is set at a fictitious town named Almor which actually is a combination of visuals taken in towns of Barabanki and Hardoi near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
The movie begins at a fast pace and the first half is so brilliantly done that you get worked up while sitting on your seats. It is the second half where the movie falters and takes the oft treaded route taken by any typical Bollywood masala flick.
In the very first scene we come to know the background of the movie. Two school kids from a small town are shown fighting and pelting stones which highlights the hostility between two communities. Zoya (Parineeti Chopra) is a daughter of the local Muslim MLA of Almor. She wants to be a politician like her father. Ajun Kapoor plays Parma who is the grandson her father’s opponent. They try to fuel the rivalry between them but end up falling in love with each other. This relationship is bound to have grave consequences which they face in the second of the movie.
The best thing about the movie is that most of the things depicted in the movie look real. The town looks real; people look real and even the main characters look real. Director Habib Faisal has successfully captured the life of an average north Indian town on celluloid which is commendable. He could have done even better if he had followed the course which he had undertaken in the first half. His narration looks compromised in the second half and in the end it turns out be an average film.
Performance wise Parineeti Chopra has done a remarkable job as a small town girl. Her crackling performance in the film has shown her potential as an actress. She looks vivacious and spunky in her role as Zoya. On the other hand Arjun Kapoor does not look convincing in his role. As a newcomer he has tried hard but he looks out of sync in several frames. Gauhar Khan as a village belle gives an impressive performance in her role. Her dance number ‘Hua Chokra Jawan’ is peppy and witty at the same time.
Music by Amit Trivedi has been appreciated by youngsters and his songs like ‘Pareshaan’ and Íshaqzaade’ have become chartbusters even before the release of the film. The movie in total is a good one time watch and deserves three stars.