Monday, March 15, 2010

After Finally Watching 'Ishqiya'...

I finally watched Ishqiya - which I've lusted for since I saw the first promo on YouTube - on TataSky Showcase. I liked it, but yet, it was vaguely disappointing. For a movie that went so far, it didn't go far enough.

What I liked most, of course, was the strong female lead. Vidya Balan's character Krishna is the driving force - which is especially delicious given that one of the major male characters is the great Naseeruddin Shah himself. But instead of talking about what I liked - and don't get me wrong, there was much to like - I want to talk about what I didn't.

The one major thing that fell short for me was that Krishna starts off being enigmatic and manipulative - but then turns out to be the typical movie heroine, quite innocent and insipid after all. I would have loved it if she had continued to flirt magnificently with Khallu jaan while sleeping with Babban - but as soon as she sleeps with Babban, bang, the romantic triangle is resolved and she seems to be irrevocably with him now. The movie also does not attempt to subvert the old Bollywood dictum that if the heroine sleeps with (or even kisses) a man, she has to marry him in the end - or die. True, we don't know what happens after the movie ends and the trio walk off into the sunset... but I'd have liked a hint of a not-so-happy ending for the somewhat simple Babban and a much more sensible one for the forceful, intelligent Krishna.

The other stereotype the movie played into was that of the beauty parlour woman being the 'other woman', the 'loose' woman - even though it treated her more sympathetically than otherwise.

Also, her lover creeps out of the temple by a back door so that he can visit her unobserved and then his car is miraculously parked outside the house when he's done?
However, I did enjoy it. I wish I could have watched it on the big screen. Especially considering the last movie I watched on the big screen was Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.


Pallavi Sharma said...

I lusted after the movie ever since I saw the promo too, which is why I saw it the weekend it released :D I despised the sappy ending and for all the director's effort at making a good film, I seemed like an out and out Vishal Bharadwaj film. The director seemed to tread exactly in his guru's footsteps, not a mark of his own. Especially the ending sequence which was somewhat like the Priyadarshan-type ending of VB's last Kaminey.

Unmana said...

Sorry: I replied to you in my head and then forgot I actually had to reply, too.

You're probably right about Chaubey following Bharadwaj too closely - though I found Kaminey more enjoyable and consistent even though it wasn't, on the face of it, as provocative, and the only important female character was much more unconventional and interesting than Ishqiya's only important female character.

Usha said...

hey, that strange case of the car finding it's way to the beauty parlour! n I was wondering how could they have missed out on that. But then, Bollywood movies come with an unwritten disclaimer to please leave your brains at home, whether the film be 'hatke' or 'not hatke'. :/
though I loved the film for the fact that there's nothing more delicious than seeing a revengeful woman on lead. And a woman revengeful in love, at that!
n yes, i totally liked the way they treated the character of 'the other woman'.. without even attempting to judge or justify her.

Unmana said...

Usha: Yes, and I think Vidya Balan did that obsessive scorned-woman character very well.

I was also very annoyed that they implied the Khallu Jaan character didn't have a chance with her, just because he was older. I mean, who would prefer Arshad Warsi when Naseeruddin Shah was available?

dipali said...

Tragedy of my life- we were late getting to the theatre, so I missed the first half hour:(
Waiting to get the CD so I can catch the beginning. Yes, I'd opt for Naseer over Arshad any day!

dipali said...

Finally got the VCD, and thoroughly enjoyed the movie, warts and all! I think she was really pissed off with Khaalujaan when he implied that she was a whore, just before they kidnap KK.
Given her youthand passionate temperament, I suppose that opting for Babban made sense to her!

Perakath said...

Percy Jackson was SUCH a fail.

Unmana said...

dipali: Yeah, probably. But they didn't make as much of the sexual tension as they could have.

Perakath: Indeed! But I love the books!