Remember PYAAR KIYA TO DARNA KYA? Kajol played a girl who comes to Mumbai to study and falls in love with Salman Khan, much to the disapproval of her brother, played by Arbaaz Khan. Well, ISI LIFE MEIN is PYAAR KIYA TO DARNA KYA meets DILWALE DULHAINIA LE JAYENGE, of course Rajshri style.
Most films of Rajshri Productions have a perfect world. Be it HUM SAATH SAATH HAIN, VIVAAH or EK VIVAH AISA BHI, the scenarios in them reflect how an ideal family or society should be rather than how it actually is. But ISI LIFE MEIN...! is certainly a hatke and modern film from the banner who gave us memorable films like MAINE PYAAR KIYA and HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN. It introduces Akshay Oberoi (Vivek Oberoi's cousin) and Sandeepa Dhar.
Rajnandini (Sandeepa Dhar) is a teenager from Ajmer, who has finished her junior college as a state topper. She wants to study further, but her orthodox father Rajmohan (Monish Behl) is strictly against sending her to a big city or foreign country. He believes that children there have forgotten their culture. With the help of her supportive mother Pratibha (Prachi Shah), Rajnandini somehow manages to come to Mumbai and takes admission in a posh college. She also joins a Dramatic Society in college, of which Vivaan (Akshay Oberoi) is the chairperson. Rajnandini is now RJ and she soon mingles with her new found friends. RJ and Vivaan soon come very close and share an unspoken bond of love. All this while, Rajmohan is made to believe that RJ is Mumbai to learn cookery. Trouble sets in the day Rajmohan pays a surprise visit to Mumbai and finds out the truth.
The initial minutes of first time director Vidhi Kasliwal's ISM gives the impression that one is watching a daily TV soap on the big screen. It's only when RJ moves to Mumbai that the narrative picks up. The first half is a breezy which shows how the group accepts RJ and work together for a play that they are about to perform. The brewing love between RJ and Vivaan is refreshing.
It's post the intermission that the film crumbles. It's hard to grasp why RJ doesn't have any objections when her marriage is fixed. Like in DILWALE DULHAINIA LE JAYENGE, Vivaan and his friends try to impress RJ's family members by helping in the wedding preparations. It drags to no end leaving you exasperated. The plentiful songs act as gusty winds in a thunder storm. There's a beautifully choreographed ballet towards the end, but you have run of patience by then.
ISM isn't exactly a pathetic film and has its moments. But they are not enough to hold the feeble script together. Music by Meet Bros' Anjan Ankit is passable while Aviram Mishra's cinematography is neat.
Akshay Oberoi makes a promising debut. He will obliviously get better with more films. Sandeepa Dhar is decent considering it's her first film. Monish Behl is good. Prachi Shah is impressive. Salman Khan's cameo is nice. All the other cast members play their part well.
Not exactly full of life, ISI LIFE MEIN turns out to be a mediocre effort in the end.