Yash Raj Films seem to be getting newer, realistic and youth-oriented in their approach over the past few years and even their idea of romance has changed synonyms from chiffon saris, lush green landscape of Switzerland and gooey mush to seedy lanes of small town, cuss mouthing lead stars and gun-toting lovers. And the latest rowdy romance story is that of new bees Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra in Ishaqzaade. Whether these Ishaqzaade actually win the love of their fans or not remains to be seen.
Two defiants Parma Chauhan (Arjun Kapoor) and Zoya Qureshi (Parineeti Chopra) from Almore (a fictional small town, presumably in North India) are at constant loggerheads and possibly hurl all cuss words at each other. However, cupid strikes as Parma is left gaping, mulling and finally going head over heels on the dare devilry of Zoya who stares fearless at the gun pointed on her forehead by him. But there's a brooding scheming lurking around for the audience towards the interval and also the backdrop of Hindi-Muslim rivalry which plays truant for their love story.
Writer-director Habib Faisal tries to bring out a Shirin-Farhad, Laila-Majnu or even a Romeo-Juliet of today's times and gives it a Ek Duje Ke Liye twist in the end. However, unlike all the other films he has written which have been crisp, emotionally rich and intriguing, Ishaqzaade ends up being trite. Mired by the cliches of Bollywood, we have a love making scene, the aftermaths of it, a righteous mother, a prostitute (Played by Gauhar Khan) with a heart of gold etc.
The film has a brilliant start with the introduction of both Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra and also the built-up of the political setting of the film. Even the twist towards the interval brings quite a dramatic high in the graph. However, even a brilliant writer like Habib Faisal falls prey to the curse of second half and has his film falling to boredom and monotony soon after.
The funny part towards the climax is that in a town filled with gun-toting local goons, there's not a single man who gets his aim right in killing someone. For nearly about ten minutes, the men fire bullets in the end with not a single one hitting anybody. Maybe, it's the built-up of lack of focus on the emotional quotient; you don't feel for the yearning of the lead characters one bit neither relates to their issues.
The new rising star and son of filmmaker Boney Kapoor, Arjun gets a crackling platform to start his career. His rugged appearance and rowdy acting does full justice to his character. Whereas, Parineeti still manages to steal the limelight with her effortless portrayal of a fearless, bad ass girl.
Music by Amit Trivedi is just apt for the kind of backdrop the film holds and even the camerawork by Hemant Chaturvedi is brilliant.
To sum it up, Ishaqzaade had the potential to turn into a blockbuster but sadly, the opportunity got wasted.