DEDH ISHQIYA begins on the wrong foot even though it has the right plot in place. Secondly, it moves at a languid pace, a second drawback.
For a film that is rustic in its setting and 'on the move', speed is of essence. Abhishek Chaubey had the right momentum four years ago in ISHQIYA. This time, he labours over his work, as if to gloat over it. In the bargain, he has lengthened it beyond its 'permissible' time limit in terms of a slick film. And that is what makes the difference from this being a great film, to only an average one. It turns out to be only of academic interest for the interplay between the terrific cast.
But then, a terrific cast does not always make a great film.
This is sad, because writer Daraab Farooqui had penned a nice plot with a neat twist in the end.
The opening scene with Musthaq their old boss, this time having just Babban (Arshad Warsi) in a grave dug up for him is lame. ISHQIYA had ended with the fate of Babban and Iftikar aka Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) being unclear. It is now clear that they managed to escape as Mushtaq's wife had dialed her husband's number just at the time he was about to pull the trigger.
After an insipid opening ten minutes where Babban once again escapes from the clutches of Mushtaq, the duo of Babban and Khalujaan get back to their business of conning people.
This time they end up in Mahmudabad, a fictional town in Uttar Pradesh. Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit) has called in the best poets from who she will select her future husband, who will be the next Nawab
. This was the dying wish of her husband. She lives alone in a mansion with Muniya (Huma Qureshi) who looks after all her needs. CHECK OUT: DEDH ISHQIYA songs lyrics
Unknown to her, Khalu enters the mansion posing as a poet and wins over her heart. Other suitors, especially the local politician and a man of extreme clout, Jaan Mohammad (Vijay Raaz) are threatened by Khalu. Jaan thrives on stolen lines to win Para's heart. Muniya on the other hand has plans of abducting Begum.
Khalu falls in love with Para but on the day the announcement is to be made, she chooses Jaan Mohammed. Khalu is heartbroken.
Babban, who has come in search of Khalu, who had vanished with a necklace they stole together, hatches a plan with Khalu to loot the mansion. But then, Khalu is in love and so is Babban, with Muniya.
Chaubey has the mood right in moments but overall, he lacks the solid flow he had maintained four years ago. What saves this film from being a disaster is the clever acting by the lead characters.
Arshad once again delivers in style after last week's JOE B CARVALHO, setting off from where he left off in ISHQIYA. Ditto Naseeruddin Shah. Huma Qureshi does a fair job of replacing Vidya Balan who was super terrific in the first instalment. Madhuri Dixit gets to showcase her dancing skills and Vijay Raaz his versatility. CHECK OUT: Huma Qureshi - Making me dance with Madhuri, Abhishek has sabotaged my career
DEDH ISHQIYA is a work of art but with too much of 'attachment'. It does not work when you don't know when to say ''cut''.
Having said that, the 'open ending' once again leaves room for another sequel with Babban and Khalu.