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Ishqiya Movie Review

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Without an iota of doubt, last year belonged to two highly respected names in the world of Hindi film music, and they were composer Vishal Bhardwaj and lyricist, Gulzar for their chartscorcher 'Dhan Te Nan' from their trendsetting crime classic, KAMINEY. The nation, especially the youth and children went rapturous and Vishal-Gulzar magical composition could be heard in every nook and corner.

Recently it was adjusted the most popular song of the year on a reputed TV channel and one is sure that the song will sweep all the popular awards this year. These two stalwarts of the Bollywood cinema have always come up with quality, soul engrossing music that has succeeded in striking a chord even with the common man, be it MAACHIS ('Chappa Chappa'), OMKARA ('Beedi') or KAMINEY ('Dhan Te Nan'). And no wonder expectations from their next album, ISHQIYA, is quite high, if not humongous. So, let us put the foot on the accelerator and delve deep into its music, rooted in the dark world of 'desi' crime, love and passion, in a movie directed by Vishal's assistant, Abhishek Chaubey!

When three geniuses like Vishal Bhardwaj, Gulzar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan come together on one platform one can be assured that the result will be a heavenly experience, and 'Dil To Bachcha Hai' is more than that. An enchanting romantic piece that has simple melody woven with intricate wordings that strike the heart – 'Aisi uljhi nazar unse hathti nahi, Daant se reshmi dor katti nahi, Umar kab ki baras ke sufed ho gayee, Kari badri jawani ki chhathti nahi'.

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And with sounds that are straight out of a Raj Kapoor-Mukesh era, (in the mould of 'Dil Ki Nazar Se' and also from SARANGA's 'Haan Deewana Hoon Main'), complete with the showman's favourite musical instrument, accordion, along with piano, guitar and keyboards, it does make for a masterpiece. Even Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is made to sound more like Mukesh and its an absolute delight to hear him render the number with the usual excellence and elan. The song has tremendous repeat value and will especially appeal to all who love the sound of the sixties. Vishal-Gulzar-Rahat and the whole team take a bow. The song is definitely worth every penny spent on buying the album.

'Dil To Bachcha-Remix' is a tastefully decorated composition and all credit goes to Clinton Cerejo, who apart from remixing the song, also supports Rahat as a singer. English lyrics by Ajinkya Iyer too are classy and intermingle with the Hindi lyrics and don't seem forced.

Sound of the starting of an engine and honking is a novel way to commence a very novel number indeed and 'Ibn-E-Batuta' sung by the two Singhs, the master singer Sukhwinder and Mika (who is slowly and surely evolving as an artist) certainly belongs to that category. The composition can be called a tribute by Gulzar and Vishal to the legendary Moroccon traveller known for his travails in the early twelfth century. However it's more than a tribute as the two male protagonists of the film, Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi are petty criminals who are on a journey and the song unravels their travails and adventure and therefore the comparison.

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It's not just a humorous number that has some funny words, as may appear from the promos, but therein lies the real philosophy of life which Gulzar conveys so effectively and interestingly. 'Agle mod per maut khadi hai, Marne ki bhi kya jaldi hai, Horn baja ke aa bagiyan mein, Durghatna se der bhali hai.' Also to a layman, the lyrics, 'Bagal mein joota' might sound strange but that's not so, as in ancient times, travelers used to travel on foot and when they got tired, they would keep their shoes in their sides and keep on with their journey and overcome foot fatigue. Much in the same way, Naseer-Arshad are undertaking a longish journey to their ancestral village and so the lyrics are drawing parallel to the history and present. The highly infectious tune relies more on 'desi' musical instruments like the harmonium, 'dholak' with a good dose of western too like guitar and bagpipes to give it that contemporary touch.

Producer, music director, screenplay and dialogues are all credited to Vishal Bharadwaj while Abhishek Chaubey is the first-time director. But there is no mistaking the distinct Bhardwaj impression on the presentation. The dialogues are witty, corny and peppy and at times even bounce over your head. This because the film has stayed true to its rustic setting in the interiors of Uttar Pradesh. The screenplay is just perfect with every object positioned in the right place. What's interesting is that the camera never misses even one expression from the characters in the frame to any given situation.

Bhardwaj has scored a hit with 'Dil To Bachcha Hain Ji'.Every scene is a delight and Vidya has proved once again that she will not shy from locking lips if the script demands. And the demand of the script here was huge. Her lip lock with Arshad Warsi is pure, animal passion. It captures the mood of the moment. Just like the lip lock with Madhavan in GURU, which was full of warmth. From GURU to ISHQIYA there have been many lip locks, but I guess Vidya is second to none.

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Every actor delivers and everyone involved in the making of this movie deserves credit. Adil Husain as Krishna's husband and Master Alok Kumar as Nandu, deserve special mention.

Rating – 4/5

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