Directed by : Manish Tiwary
Produced by : Dhaval Gada, Shailesh R. Singh
Starring : Prateik Babbar
Music by : Sachin – Jigar
Background score : Prashant Pillai
Cinematography : Vishal Sinha
Studio : Pen India Pvt. Ltd
Release date(s) : 26 July 2013
Country : India
Language : Hindi
Synopsis & Review
The story of Issaq revolves around two lovers who are born to hate each other due to an arch family rivalry (how many times have we seen this before in Hindi Films ?). The story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo Juliet and set in Varanasi on the banks of the holy Ganges. The director hoping to replicate the success of the Gangs of Wasseypur and Omkara failed to impress.
Filmmakers have always fancied the idea of adapting or as we can say recreating the world of Shakespeare and his plays on celluloid. More than 410 feature-length film and TV versions of William Shakespeare’s plays have been produced, making Shakespeare the most filmed author ever in any language. Some are faithful to the original story and text, while others are adaptations that use only the plots and not his dialogue. Bollywood too had its brush with the world of Shakespeare. Over the years the notable examples are Vishal Bharadwaj’s classic adaptations of Othello and Macbeth; Omkara and Maqbool. The factor that draws filmmakers to the creations of William Shakespeare is the way he told his stories in his plays; his characters weren’t black and white, but were people with grey shades. These qualities made his plays timeless which find reverence in the 21st century as well.
Isaaq brings yet another adaptation of Shakespeare classic Romeo And Juliet to Hindi Celluloid. To begin with, casting Prateik Babbar or just Prateik (whatever way he likes calling himself) was a mistake. After the initial spark he showed in ‘Jaane tu ya Janne Na’ and stole the thunder from Imran Khan – he has somewhat fizzled out and produced a number of box office duds. The role required a particular dialect (which was necessary as per the setting) but with Prateik’s infamous British accent his character failed to connect – which begs the question – how was he cast in this role in the first place ?.
Tiwary sets the film in Benares, where the Kashyaps and the Mishras have a long-standing feud, presumably over common business interests. Their enmity routinely spills onto the streets when members of either camp encounter the other. Curses are exchanged, blood is spilled, and so it continues.
When Rahul (Prateik Babbar), the young son of the Mishra family patriarch, and Bachchi Kashyap (newcomer Amyra Dastur), the daughter of his father’s sworn rival, inevitably fall in love, her hot-headed uncle Teetas (Ravi Kissen) almost pops a blood vessel, and becomes determined to thwart their romance permanently.
As many as three editors are credited with piecing together this film, and yet there are chunks of vital information that appear to have been lopped off carelessly. Significant characters – like a minister who attempts to broker peace between the two warring factions, and a Naxal leader (Prashant Narayanan) who exploits their rivalry – get little screen time to justify their presence in the script. On the other hand, an intriguing subplot about a central character and his affair with a married woman never feels adequately explored.
The romantic sequences between the lead pair are tender and nicely put together which light up the movie, but movies are made by performances not sequences. The lack of effort by Prateik, left newbie Amrya to shoulder the responsibility for carrying the film – a tough nut to crack in anyone’s debut. Amrya does an average job, with good looks and some substance. The chemistry is sweet and warm but with lack of credible performances – it’s all glitter and not much gold. Meanwhile, dependable actors like Ravi Kissen and Neena Gupta ham through their scenes, while Rajeshri Sachdev gets a few moments to shine.
The music is not extraordinary, there is not one track that you would be humming while leaving the theater; ‘Isaaq Tera’ is a good effort but the rest of the soundtrack disappoints. The background score is pathetic and makes the screen time seem longer.
Romeo Juliet was a classic by William Shakespeare, with a preformed plot and storyline; For Isaaq – a tight screenplay and direction could have done wonders ; however, director Manish Tiwary fails to pack a punch, veteran actors don’t receive enough screen time to shine either. This half baked cake tastes sour and fails to deliver. A promising start that couldn’t reach its epitome.On the whole, Issaq is absorbing and convincing in parts, not in entirety. The final outcome could have been even more impact had it not been stretched.
Its best to avoid this one.