There were several things that pointed to Dedh Ishqiya being the rollicking, hilarious, entertaining, delightful movie that it turned out to be – firstly there was the quirky name – it’s a sequel called ‘dedh’ (one and a half) not ‘Part Two’ or ‘Again’. Then there was the star cast: while we saw the two old rascals Iftekhar and Babban (Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi) reprise their roles from the original Ishqiya, Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi being in the film alongside turned out to be brilliant idea as well. And with Vishal Bhardwaj helming the project we always knew that we had something extraordinary on offer.
Rating – ****
Dedh Ishqiya – Release Date 10th January 2014
Starring – Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah, Huma Qureshi, Vijay Raaz, Manoj Pahwa, Ravi Gosain
Production– Vishal Bhardwaj, Raman Maroo (Shemaroo Entertainment & Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures)
Director – Abhishek Chaubey
Story/Screenplay – Abhishek Chaubey, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gulzar
Music – Vishal Bhardwaj
Dedh Ishqiya – Review
The story is about two crooks Babban and Iftekhar who are constantly trying to pull a fast one on someone – this time they steal and make off with a priceless necklace. The story is also about Begum Para (Maadhuri Dixit) the widow of the Nawab of Mehmoodabad, who seeks a suitable man to remarry. The man whom she would marry also has to be a fine poet however. So we have local MLA Jaan Mohammad (Vijay Raaz) vying for the spot of the new Nawab – he has the poet Italwi (Manoj Pahwa) in captivity so that he may pen interesting shers and ghazals for him which he can then pass off as his own.
If one is not easily offended by profanity, this is an absolutely hilarious movie to watch. Each character in their respective way is uproariously funny, and rivetingly well etched. Through the movie, we see a lot of the faded glory of the world of Nawabs – the decaying grandeur of the palatial homes, the beautifully refined Urdu, the courtly manners, the stunning outfits and more.
Arshad Warsi’s portrayal of the earthy, foul-mouthed Babban is simply delightful – he ably shows us his prodigious talent; making us wish we saw him more often in roles worthy of his mettle. After the lamentable Jackpot, Naseeruddin Shah is in top form as Khalujaan (Iftekhar) – he is by turns irascible, besotted, vulnerable and wounded – each emotion so beautifully and subtly rendered that we are reminded yet again, why this man has long been considered one of India’s finest actors.
Madhuri Dixit is regale, refined, beautiful; she does an excellent job as Begum Para who is being courted and wooed so assiduously. Huma Qureshi is her friend/lady-in-waiting Muniya and forms a perfect foil to the Begum and is Babban’s love interest – she is by turns coy, forbidding, resolute, and steadfast – this is a talent to watch out for in times to come.
Sequels rarely outdo the originals; Dedh Ishqiya is a notable exception. The genuinely funny dialogue, the sharp editing, the first class screenplay, and the absolutely brilliant acting make this film even better than the original.
Dedh Ishqiya Music
Vishal Bhardwaj is not just a hugely talented filmmaker, he is also a hugely talented musician – this is something we’ve known since Maachis. He does an excellent job here as well. Some of Begum Akhtar’s best known renditions such as Hamari Atariya and a couple of her other Dadras/Thumris are heard repeatedly through the film. Bhardwaj has also presented an excellent reinterpretation of the classic Hamari Atariya.
Where on the one hand we see Madhuri Dixit dance exquisitely gracefully to the more traditional compositions, we also have the cheeky Horn OK Please. The qawwali, Kya Hoga is again a wonderful piece of Sufi music with some brilliant vocals. The music is indicative and representative of the movie itself – the juxtaposition of the refined and the courtly along with the earthy and the irreverent.
This review was a little late in coming, but I do urge you to go watch Dedh Ishqiya right away if you have not already done so. This movie is one of the reasons why it’s such a great time for Bollywood right now – this is a movie that pivots on a terrific story, hilarious dialogues, powerhouse performances and splendid direction and editing.
By – Reena Daruwalla
Images Courtesy – Dedh Ishqiya Facebook Page
Music Juke Box – Courtesy Shemaroo Official Youtube Channel