Paramhans Creations and Dhaval Gada Productions’ Issaq (UA) is a love story inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Set in Banaras, it has Rahul Mishra (Prateik) and Bachchi Kashyap (newfind Amyra Dastur), son and daughter of two warring men, falling in love despite the families thirsting for each other’s blood.
Rahul falls head over heels in love with Bachchi but her father (Sudhir Pandey), stepmother (Rajeshwari Sachdeva) and maternal uncle, Teetas (Ravi Kishan), are unaware of this love affair. Teetas is livid when he gets to know about his niece dating Rahul and he wants to nip the romance in the bud at any cost because of the enmity between the two families. Both the families believe in the language of voilence and bloodshed, making the romance that much more dangerous. However, Bachchi’s Amma (Neena Gupta) is in favour of Bachchi’s choice.
Teetas kills Murari (Amit Sial), a member of Rahul’s group, when he confronts Rahul to ask him to stop meeting his niece. In retaliation, Rahul murders Teetas. Bachchi’s father now confirms her marriage with police inspector Pritam (Prashaant Kumar). Bachchi’s wedding preparations are on fast track but Bachchi is against this marriage. Meanwhile, Rahul is on the run as the police is after him for the murder of Teetas. Why, police inspector Pritam also enlists the support of the Naxal leader (Prashant Narayanan) to kill Rahul so that he can marry Bachchi without any hassles. And this, in spite of the fact that the Naxal leader and Bachchi’s maternal uncle were sworn enemies.
So what happens finally? Does Bachchi marry Pritam or not? Do Rahul and Bachchi live happily ever after?
The story, written by Manish Tiwary, Padmaja Thakore Tiwary and Pawan Sony, is oft-repeated and there is no novelty in it. A boy and a girl, from two warring families, falling in love and defying all obstacles to try and unite has been the subject matter of many earlier Hindi films and this one offers the same plot and story. The screenplay, penned by the trio, is very confusing because of several reasons – firstly, there are too many characters, most of them with names difficult to remember, and who have not been too well-established; secondly, the language spoken by the characters is a dialect of U.P., not pure Hindi, because of which the viewers have to make an effort to understand the drama; thirdly, the initial reels have so much happening that it takes quite long for the audience to understand what’s going on and who is on which side. Besides the above drawbacks, the film fails to involve the audience because the script simply does not touch the heart. Although it is a love story, the viewer’s heart never really beats for the two lovers because his sympathy doesn’t go out to them completely. This may be because the two characters – Rahul and Bachchi – don’t endear themselves to the audience. In other words, the romance is far from heart-warming. The film lacks in light moments because of which the action-romantic tale becomes a tension-filled ride for the viewers. Even the emotional appeal of the drama is weak. Yes, the climax has a shocking twist but that alone can’t salvage the film which bores almost throughout before that point. Dialogues, penned by the trio, are commonplace and, as mentioned above, have been written in a language which would greatly restrict the film’s appeal to just a few parts of North India.
Prateik does an ordinary job and plays the character of Rahul Mishra rather superficially. His acting leaves something to be desired and alienates the character from the audience. Amyra Dastur makes a confident debut. She looks pretty and is also a good actor. Ravi Kishan is his usual self as Teetas. Prashant Narayanan gets limited scope and he is good. Prashaant Kumar hardly has anything substantive to do in the role of Pritam, and he is alright. Makarand Deshpande (as Baba), Neena Gupta (as Amma), Rajeshwari Sachdeva (as Bachchi’s stepmother) and Sudhir Pandey (as Kashyap) lend able support. Evelyn Sharma (as Roza), Yuri Suri (as the minister), Amit Sial (as Murari), Malini Awasthi (in the role of Manorama), Ishtiyak Khan (as the reporter), Saurabh Yadav (as Paras), Vineet Kumar (as Bihata), Akhilesh Jha (in the role of Mahendar), Sandeep Bose (as Rahul’s father, Mishra), Pradeep Ghosh (as Mishrilal), Parvez Fazal Khan (as Surta) and Mehdi (as Nandkishore) pass muster.
Manish Tiwary’s direction is ordinary. His narrative style reflects his self-indulgence and makes the film boring and monotonous. On the music side, it is only the title song (composed by Sachin-Jigar) which is a hit number. The other songs (Sachin-Jigar, Krsna and Sachin Gupta) fail to weave the same magic. Lyrics of the title song (Mayur Puri) are rich but otherwise, the lyrics (Anil Pandey, Rajshekhar and Neelesh Misra) don’t add much to the music. Prasanna Sujit’s choreography is commonplace. Background music is quite nice. Vishal Sinha’s cinematography is very good. Parvez Fazal Khan’s action and stunt scenes afford some excitement. Ashwini Shrivastav’s production designing is alright. Manoj Kannoth’s editing is not sharp.
On the whole, Issaq is a dull and dry drama in spite of abundant violence and action in it. It lacks in entertainment value and will, therefore, fail to deliver at the ticket windows.