Here is the latest song from Queen. Kangana Ranaut seems to be playing a very interesting character here and having a fun ride. Rajkummar Rao and Lisa Hayden also star in this film directed by Vikas Bahl.
Ishq ne Ghalib nikamma kar diya, warna hum bhi aadmi the kaam ke. This line from Ghalib's sher pretty much describes the escapades of adorable Khalu (Naseer) and Babban (Arshad Warsi).
Ishqiya was a riot. Raw, sexy, funny, cool, crazy. The characters of Khalu and Babban were etched with love and detailing. Their chemistry crackling. I had a ball watching them fall in love and lose their self and sense. And Vidya Balan, what a hearty and uninhibited performance.
Dedh Ishqiya picks up the opening from where the last one ended. Babban is looking for Khalu who has made good with the precious necklace and now to save his "Gilli" (ahahahahaha) he needs to get it back. His hunt takes him to Mahmoodabad in Awadh. Steeped in shairo-shayari, old crumbling Havelis, adab and aadabs, muqarrars and mausiqui and the lingering sounds of Thumri and Dadra. This is the city of nawabs and Begum Para (Madhuri) is looking for a Shair to marry, as per the wishes of her husband, the Late Nawab.
The story then is of Khalu jaan wooing the begum in his inimitable style and swoony baritone speaking chaste urdu, he had lost her decades back but is determined to get her this time. He makes Babban forget his anger and grudges and together they let their hearts take them on another adventure, with its twists and turns and "chutiyapaa" as they fondly call it. Add to this Madhuri Dixit who can out dance heroines half her age and a lusty Huma Qureshi as Muniya her confidante and much more, who uses her curves like a rattle to woo Babban. Vijay Raaz as MLA Jaan Mohammad is the one to look out for as he tries hard to be nawabi to get Begum Para who he has been eyeing and sighing for. The madness increases with Manoj Pahwa as the poet Noor Mohammad Italvi, with an Italian mummy to boot. Vijay Raaj needs to be seen more on the big screen and I fervently hope this film gets him some meaty roles in the future.
Vishal Bhardwaj uses urdu as his preferred language for love, poetry, lust, deceit and humor and uses it sharply. I can almost visualize him chuckling while penning the tongue firmly in cheek dialogues.
Abhishek Chaubey chooses his styles ranging from the nautch girl films Bollywood (reminded me of Pakeezah and Umrao Jaan) while the climax reminded me of the gun toting mayhem of Tarantino and Roderiguez. He creates a world where nothing is what it seems to be. Everyone is hidden behind a mask they have put on to get what they desire. Another delicious and daring layer of the movie is the relationship Begum Para and Muniya share (can not tell more).
Now coming to where the film disappoints. A film like this needed a stellar musical score, sadly the songs are a let down. The classical originals used in a few places do far more justice. Madhuri Dixit is lovely no doubt about it, but does she fit in the role of a pan chewing, urdu spewing Begum, not entirely. She is unmatched in her dance, special mention of the one choreographed by Pandit Birju Maharaj, but the lehza and command is somewhere missing. I also wish there was more of Khalu-Babban madness that one saw in Ishqiya. The film truly engages when they are on screen together.
End Note : Dedh Ishqiya is a mizaaj, a mood. You get transported to a world you may not be a part of, but if you can open yourself to its luscious labyrinth, you will be suitably satisfied.
I have given it 1/2 a point extra for just being such a film, away from the usual cacophony, a chance to breathe,..
Really liking the way the film is unfolding through its trailer and now this infectious Punjabi song. I had loved Kangana in Tanu Weds Manu and I have a feeling more of the same vivacity will be visible in Queen too.
Director Vikas Bahl who debuted with Chillar Party, a kiddie film now delves into a new territory. The exciting part for me is the woman oriented subject, of a bride taking off on a solo honeymoon trip post the cancelling of her wedding. Interesting.