Star Cast: Nasseruddin Shah, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Arshad Warsi, Huma Qureshi, Vijay Raaj, Manoj Pahwa.
Direction: Abhishek Chaubey
Ever since the trend of dishing out sequels has emerged in Bollywood, nearly each and every cine franchise has emerged as more of a money spinner for its makers.
Anyhow, while juggling with a franchise, which has already fetched a top slot for itself, it’s always a challenge to match the legacy of the previous edition and even tougher than that is raising the benchmark with the present offering.
Dealing in sequels is no longer a distant trend among our cine logicians, but the factor which has by now taken the center stage is money making where our cine sorcerers prefer to dish out the sequels and at times even prequels of the movies with just a sole objective, i.e. is of raking in some big moolah. But at the same time there is another league of cine wizards who are least concerned about making money, and prefer to unveil some content driven cine narrations. And certainly Abhishek Chaubey’s recently released `Dedh Ishqiya` is one belonging to the latter ilk.
With a marvellous script at its core, and comprising a brigade sinewy performers like Naseeruddin Shah, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Arshad Warsi, Huma Qureshi and Vijay Raaj `Dedh Ishqiya` managed to fetch a decent foot fall at its opening.
The premise of Dedh Ishquiya is the story about two crooks Khalu Jaan (Naseeruddin Shah), Babban ( Arshad Warsi) and a middle-aged widowed women Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit Nene) who is scouting for a poet husband, in order to fulfill the last wish of his deceased husband.
As the frames roll ahead they showcase the advent of Khalujaan in a fictitious town of Mamudbad, where Begum Para organizes a ‘Mushayra’ in order to marry the winner of the competition. Khalujaan participates in the competition posing as the Nawab of Chandpur, and tries to woo the Begum, but everything changes with the entry of Arshad (Baban), who too fall head over heels for Begum’s aide Munniya (Huma Qureshi).
But the entire dream jaunt of Khalu and Babban starts wobbling, when the villainous Nawab Jaan Mohammad (Vijay Raaz) decides to contest Khalu for Begum’s hand over a round of Shayari and Target Shooting’.
So does Khalu succeeds in winning Begum’s heart? or the is it Nawab Jaan Mohammad who has the last laugh? To know book your seats now.
Challenging the set practice of retaining numerous reference points from the prequel, script of `Dedh Ishqiya` stands out as and ‘equal’ of ‘Ishqiya’ instead of being a sequel of the same. Ever-since beginning, narration of `Dedh Ishqiya` takes a flight like an altogether newfangled cine plot.
Although the two main characters i.e. Khaalu and Babban have been retained by the author, but at the same time the new characters have been subsumed in the plot with utmost prowess. Besides, it won’t be wrong to quote that with the script of `Dedh Ishqiya`, its author Darab Farooqui has conveniently succeeded in creating a standalone cine delight which no where makes you recall the prequel.
Interlaced in the thread of numerous twists and turns, script of Dedh Ishquiya is undoubtedly a delightful combo of intelligent humor, thrill and an engrossing plot flowing beneath the entire visual endeavor.
Besides this in the writing department it’s simple yet smartly tailored rib tickling dialogues weaved by Vishal Bhardwaj, and quintessential poetry of Dr Bashir Badr which further magnifies the overall appeal of the entire narration of `Dedh Ishqiya`. In nutshell it won’t be wrong to say that primarily it’s the writing domain which majestically magnifies the entertainment quotient of `Dedh Ishqiya`.
There are no doubts about the fact, when an enthralling script clubs with a dauntless screenplay the impact of the onscreen offering increases prodigiously. So seems to be the case with `Dedh Ishqiya` which is no less than a gratifying combination of Darab Farooqui’s enchanting script and impeccable screenplay of Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Chaubey.
From the very first frame the screenplay of ‘Dedh Ishqiya’ flows with such magnificence, that soon after the rolling of camera begins, you start splurging all your attention on the silver screen only.
Be it the first half or the post interval part, flow narration keeps you completely enveloped in the onscreen proceedings. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that the two major pillars i.e. script and screenplay are so majestically intertwined that you never realize that the this charming tale has reached its culmination.
And as far as other significant perspectives like editing, cinematography and production are concerned then there is just one word for all of them and that is ‘MAGNIFICENT’.
In production design Subrata Chakraborty has done miracles by creating a theme appropriate milieu, which steadfastly adds to the authenticity of entire narration. Be it about creating a feel of feudalistic kind of milieu, or an ambiance of ‘Mushayraa’, on every front Subrata has proved his brilliance and have quite conveniently succeeded in recreating that engrossing charm required to back-support the appeal of `Dedh Ishqiya`.
While being behind the camera even, Setu has done a terrific job. Even editing of Sreekar Prasad is top notch.
But the man who deserves the biggest sack of goodies is director, Abhishek Chaubey, who has not only succeeded in keeping everything pertaining to `Dedh Ishqiya` well within the proportions, but at the same time has set a new benchmark of excellence by his cinematic radiance.
Unlike its prequel `Dedh Ishqiya` somewhere down the line falls short on music front, with a bare minimum dose of musical carols, `Dedh Ishqiya` fails in emerging as an aural delight of a sort for all those who still have the traces of songs like ‘Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji’ vivid in their mind.
Well with an entire brigade of stupendous cine performers there remains very less scope for saying anything. And one thing which can’t be denied about the protagonists of the `Dedh Ishqiya` is that each one of them performs his/ her part with such a grandeur that it becomes next to impossible to pick best out of them.
Naseer as usual has been at his performing best, and by his astonishing excellence has once again proved that he is not only good in making each and every character which he plays look impressive, but also have such a prowess that whichever character he plays he can make it immortal.
While performing the character of Begum Para, damsel in distress of a sort, Madhuri has once again proved that she genuinely is the treasure-trove of talent, and knows how to slip under the robe of her character. Before saying anything about Arshad’s performance I would like quote that I am glad that this super versatile actor is back with a bang (after Mr Joe B Carvalho obviously). Be it his spontaneity or acting prowess everything pertaining to Arshad has looked top notch in `Dedh Ishqiya` where this brilliant actor has excelled in every manner. And on top of it, it’s his camaraderie with Naseer which makes you forget everything.
Besides all these sinewy performers it’s, Huma who surprises everyone with her standout performance and registers her presence with utmost gusto.
Another one of the most talented actor who conveniently succeeds in impressing you with his performance is Vijay Raaj. In fact it won’t be wrong to say that with his gaze grabbing performances ever-since `Monsoon Wedding`, Vijay has proved that he has got all the skill sets required to emerge as a sinewy performer.
Although, Salman Shahid has a limited performance scope but in both of his appearances in the movie, the man manages to prove his acting potency.
Certainly these days, commercial achievement at BO is the most adhered metronome to gauge the success of a movie. But at the same time there is no denying the fact that, there is an ilk of content driven movies like `Dedh Ishqiya` which despite lacking the potency of making it to elite 100 crore club have quality entertainment in the offering. In-spite of being out of that 100 crore race movies like `Dedh Ishqiya` thoroughly succeed in mesmerizing fans by their content. So probably `Dedh Ishqiya` may not succeed in making any earning records but in spite of that it deserves to be in the league of one of the most sought after movie list.
To sum up, undoubtedly comprising of some sinewy performances, intelligent humour, and an impressive plot, `Dedh Ishqiya` is one of the rarest cine gem which completely captivates you with its spell and that too without any obtruded cinematic garnishing. Or in other words sans any redundant ‘masala’ `Dedh Ishqiya` is a ‘Hatke’ cine chronicle which gratifies your thirst for entertainment. So I am going ahead with four stars for this engrossing cine tale.