Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra are scions of opposition political parties in some remote district out there in the cow belt of India. Love between them was impossible but they do fall in it, that too twice over, even as guns are blazing from all corners. Though a formulaic affair may warrant the call of 'all is well', it isn't as easy a ride for the young ones as their love is seemingly much smaller than the conflict that emerges due to them coming together.
The stage is set for 'Ishaqzaade' right at the beginning with the conflict between two opposing parties right in open. What further makes it an extremely arresting affair is the fact that over 70% of the film has been shot outdoors and that too in real locations. Not just it brings in a certain authenticity to the proceedings, it also gives 'Ishaqzaade' a character of it's own as is literally transported to a rough terrain.
Quite a few scenes stand out in the first half of the film. Arjun gate-crashing into a party and running away with a courtesan (Gauhar Khan - really adorable), the slap encounter at college, Arjun meeting Parineeti in the ladies washroom, the scenes depicting blossoming love between the two and most importantly, those 15 minutes leading to the interval point. Though one could see the twist in the take coming in from quite some distance, it is the execution that still makes you stand up and notice.
Even post interval scenes are shot well with each and every scene featuring Arjun's mother leaving its mark. The arguments that follow leave a solid impression and one also empathises with the shift that the storyline takes here. However it is at this point when the film starts dragging a little and also makes you a little restless. The chase sequences become a bit redundant while the scenes at the 'kotha' are stretched.
At a couple of points you do feel that a few scenes are unbelievable (Arjun stepping out to fetch water knowing fully well that Parineeti's life was in danger). Also, characterisation of Parineeti's father is a little hard to digest. However from the point where Parineeti visits her father again for Eid, 'Ishaqzaade' starts moving rapidly all over again right till the time the final shootout kick-starts.
What accentuates the film further is the soundtrack here. Practically each and every song is well placed into the narrative and the ones that remain with you long after the film is through are 'Pareshan' (very well shot), 'Jhalla' and of course the title song 'Ishaqzaade'.
However the ones who make the film their own are Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra. To carry off a rugged look with various shades to his character in the very first film is as risky as it gets. Still, Arjun gets it correct right through the film's length, hence ensuring a promising outing ahead in Bollywood. Parineeti Chopra is now definitely here to stay as she demonstrates the powerhouse talent that she is. Showcasing that she isn't just a comic actor (as seen in 'Ladies v/s Ricky Behl'), she makes 'Ishaqzaade' her own. It may seem like too early a call but let the declaration come in - 'She is the next Vidya Balan in the making'.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is being told even till date. Also, ever film lover would remember 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak'. When these two episodes are amalgamated and given a Vishal Bhardwaj setting, 'Ishaqzaade' is born. With numerous twists and turns in the drama and quite a few clichÃ©s being broken at regular intervals, 'Ishaqzaade' turns out to be a fresh new take on a subject that may be old as hills but still relevant. Go, have a dekko!