Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review: Madhuri Dixit makes a
perfect comeback into Bollywood!
Expectations were sky high from Abhishek Chaubey’s second directorial venture Dedh Ishqiya (first one was Ishqiya), which releases today. Since the film marks the comeback of Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit, a lot is expected by the mass.
The film also stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi.
Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review
If you’ve been longing to see Bollywood’s queen of grace, Madhuri Dixit, on celluloid, this is your chance.With this week’s Bollywood release, “Dedh Ishqiya,” which roughly translates to one-and-a-half romance, the 45-year-old actress, who made her Bollywood debut nearly three decades ago, is back on the silver screen, Six years after her last film.
The Aaja Nachle heroine returns to 70mm after almost six years – and it was well worth the wait!
“Dedh Ishqiya,” which releases alongside rom-com “Yaariyan,” or “Friendships,” is a black comedy and a sequel to Abhishek Chaubey’s directorial debut “Ishqiya,” which opened to critical acclaim in 2010.
Dedh Ishqiya turns out to be far better than the first film, Ishqiya. With artistic cinematography and skillful editing, this Abhishek Chaubey film Dedh Ishqiya packs a punch. The film has a unique sensibility of wild West films, where death becomes just another joke. You sit around a table and talk for sometime with the goons and suddenly you feel somebody’s remark about you is so insulting, you drew a gun and bham! And nobody really cares about death or the death count!
Abhishek and Vishal Bharadwaj (co-writer and producer) brings that style of film making into a Bollywood movie, with playing tribute to their sources of inspiration through the Mexican music in some suspenseful yet funny scenes,
Vishal Bharadwaj’s dialogue keeps you in splits. The free usage of words like sex and chu**yapaa tickle the funny bone. Naseer is back in super-form after straying in outings like Jackpot. Ditto Arshad. Madhuri looks gorgeous but the dhak-dhak girl (now woman) falls short on the oomph meter, as compared to Vidya Balan in Ishqiya. Huma Qureshi is interesting.
The plot, with many interesting twists, is about the irrepressible team of crooks, Khallu and Babban (Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi respectively). When these two arrive in Mehmudabad, Naseer finds himself magnetically drawn to the local heiress, Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit Nene). And Arshad falls head over heels in love with the Begum’s aide, Muniya (Huma Qureshi). The uncle-nephew team chase their love interests and build castles in the air about sex, life and wealth.
The earlier film benefited from an element of surprise – astonishing the audience with saucy comedy, and unpredictable twists and turns – the new one invites you to settle into your seat to savor the delicious Urdu wordplay and the naughty lines, even as you wait for the rug to be pulled from under your feet.
After a fairly lengthy but enjoyable prologue in which they’re separated during a jewelry store robbery, the plot of Dedh Ishqiya kicks in with Khalujaan and Babban still on the run from their boss. Khalujaan is the man with a plan. He’s come away to Mahmudabad, intending to win a nawabi swayamvar for the hand of the beautiful widow Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit), who has organized a shayari competition at her palace.
The Begum is shadowed by her protective aide Muniya (Huma Qureishi), and Babban instantly falls in love — and lust – with this feisty girl. Khalujaan, who is himself smitten by the Begum, schemes with Babban to live off her inheritance once he wins her over. But to complicate affairs of the heart and estate, there’s the nouveau riche gangster Jaan Mohammed (Vijay Raaz), who’s desperate to buy some respectability by marrying the Begum and becoming a nawab.
The film’s crackling humor, set to Bhardwaj’s terrific dialogues, is its biggest strength. From laugh-out-loud punch-lines to cheeky repartee, Dedh Ishqiya has some of the most inspired writing you’ve seen on screen recently. In one of the movie’s best scenes, a stand-off between two factions that has lasted all night is interrupted by the shrill notes of a school assembly singing Hum ko mann ki shakti dena. Touche!
Gorgeously shot, crisply edited, and handsomely mounted, large portions of the film are evocative of a nawabi culture and lifestyle alas seldom seen in the movies now. As with Ishqiya, Bhardwaj’s lilting music adds character to the film, even without the presence of a ‘hit’ number like Dil toh bacha hai ji or Ibn batuta. Against this backdrop, Chaubey and his writers set up a story that packs in everything from a kidnapping plot and a love triangle to a violent shootout. But it’s a tad indulgent; no wonder the film feels stretched in parts, dragging where it should’ve moved briskly.
It’s Naseeruddin Shah’s character that suffers from these lagging portions, coming off almost tired in some scenes, yet convincingly earnest in others. Once the plot thickens, Khalujaan’s chemistry with Babban is potent. Arshad is particularly brilliant, pulling off nave and smooth with equal ease. Madhuri Dixit is heartfelt as the vulnerable, stunning widow, and yet, as you peel the layers, you have to applaud her sheer bravura. She’s offset by a fierce Huma, playing Muniya with such a sharp tongue and firecracker energy.
Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review
I honesty believe this film should get a larger audience because it is one of the rare well made movies we get in these times. A rich blend of good humour and cinematic artistry, film literally delivers. The film also very subtly portrays something that used to be portrayed in a ‘screaming from the rooftops’ style in Indian movies. Revealing it is not ethical for a reviewer, so you watch the movie yourself to get that secret.
The only error in Dedh Ishqiya is that it is a film set in rural India dealing with rural people but reflects the sensibility of modern world. It is solely made for the multiple audience and the values it represents are not rural at all, instead they cater to the torrents loving multiplex audience.
You can see why Dedh Ishqiya is such a great, refreshing treat.