Dedh Ishqiya ~ Review

Madhuri Dixit plays a beautiful and graceful widow in Dedh Ishqiya. Saurin Shah provides the low-down on the story, performances, direction and music. Find out if it is one to watch or give a miss.

Vishal Bhardwaj surprised audiences with the unusual story of Ishqiya in 2010. The lead characters were grey, mean, cunning but gullible and unpredictable.

Their lives were full of desperate ambitions, cruel intentions, conspiracies and desire.The plot was popular and the movie become a cult hit.

Madhuri Dixit

The second installment was awaited for so many reasons, and ever since Madhuri was signed to replace Vidya Balan, fans were eagerly awaiting her mega comeback and equally excited to see the duo of Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah again.

The story begins the same way as the last film; two notorious thieves dare to pick a very dangerous target again stealing from a hilarious Don who catches Babban (played by Arshad) after Khalu (Khalujaan, Uncle played by Naseeruddin) manages to escape.

Interesting with some twists and a little suspense keeps you curious until the end although narration could have been better.
Top-notch work by Naseeruddin and Madhuri, Arshad and Huma also deliver well. Vijay Raaz and Salman Shahid do subtle comic acts.
Director does well in presentation but in execution it feels dragged, stretched and the plot loses thrill.
Very realistic depiction of a ‘modern yet still frozen in time’ setting of Lucknow; feels like a period movie, Vishal can’t go wrong with his portrayal of this part of the country as seen earlier in Omkara (2007) and Ishqiya (2010).
Meticulous score by Vishal takes you into the 50’s with thumri and a classical feel. But the genre remains very niche and may not appeal to everybody.
Just an okay movie with some flavours of Nawaabi culture and lifestyle mixed with a quintessential criminal backdrop and a dash of suspense. Review Scores by Saurin Shah.

Babban finds Khalu disguised as a Nawab in Mahmudabad reciting Urdu shayris to win love of windowed Begum Para (played by Madhuri). How Khalu tries to woo the Begum who is woman of desire for many elites (including MLA Don Jan Mohammad), and who Para ultimately chooses as her man is what forms the story.

Madhuri made her come back in 2007 with Aaja Nachle where she was the protagonist and the only A-lister. Being a dance oriented film gave her ample opportunity to prove that her long hiatus had not eclipsed her dancing or acting.

After another equally long gap this time she faces much bigger challenge as Ishqiya is no Yashraj fairytale custom script and it’s interesting to see how well she fares with a powerful character, and that too against actors like Naseeruddin Shah.

The last time she was seen against an older actor was about two decades back in Dayavan (1988) with Vinod Khanna where she proved her mettle profoundly. She does a perfect portrayal of a window Begum looking for true love in a graceful manner.

One of India’s finest actors, Naseeruddin gives an enjoyable performance and looks convincing as a true poet and lover while Arshad is in good form as gullible, raw and somehow clueless Babban.

Special mention goes to Vijay Raaz who extends his getup of Delhi Belly (2011) but is not as comic, he has a more negative shade and plays the main villain. Vijay infuses light humor in parts with Manoj Pahva (played by Nawab Italvi) and with Naseeruddin and Arshad.

Abhishesk who excelled with all departments in Ishqiya this time lets a bit loose and makes the movie a slow, dim and a less intense affair. Even with all the ingredients and charisma of Madhuri, he doesn’t create magic and make the audiences spellbound as was expected.

Still the film is saved by an interesting plot, characters and a suspense that unfolds in the end. A long and pointless climax is also one of the things that work against the favour of the movie just like the song ‘Hamari Atariya’ (one of the highlights of the film), appears so late – the final credits, in fact – sadly playing to an almost empty cinema hall.

The entire art direction, costume and the way in which the director’s team have created Lucknow in it’s authentic and regal manner is commendable. Cinematography is good, the same as Omkara (2006) and Ishqiya, had it been a more crisp storyline and tighter editing it could have been a better film to watch.

Classical lovers will appreciate the effort in bringing some of the finest thumris after a long time. ‘Hamari Atariya’ is not as energetic as ‘Aaja Nachle’ but has the charm added by Madhuri’s unmatched dancing. ‘Dil Ka Mizaz Ishqiya’ is another great tune sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. ‘Horn Ok Please’ ft. Honey Singh is also proving popular.

As claimed at promotions, Dedh Ishqiya was supposed to have everything one and half times more than the last part (Dedh in Hindi is 1.5). This is true only up to a certain extent looking at the stars, lengthy story and twists.

Romance is in its most platonic (watch out for the 7 stages of love) form that meets with surprise in a rather bizarre twist. Dedh Ishqiya hence is watchable for Madhuri fans to see her in avatar of gorgeous Begum Para; the rest, story and screenplay makes it an average film.

Saurin loves watching movies strongly believing each movie is worth a watch for the sheer hardwork and passion. As a reviewer he is hard to be pleased and his motto is 'A movie must take you to a different world, a world with more beauty, colour, thrill and a lot of sense'