Bollywood has had a bit of a shaky record when it comes to Romeo and Juliet adaptations. On one hand, films like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak are considered cult favourites, while on the other, movies like Ishaqzaade have been let downs. So we approached Issaq with some trepidation – not expecting much, but hoping to be proven wrong. Unfortunately, sitting through the film was a task more laborious than we could have imagined. Here are 5 things that made us go WTF while watching.
1. Prateik Babbar. What happened Prateik? Remember that guy who had a small role in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, and held so much promise that everyone had their eyes on him? Kind of hard to imagine that this is the same guy. His dialogue delivery is weak, he doesn’t emote well, and it felt like he didn’t care. On the flipside, newbie Amyra Dastur is endearing. Her acting skills could use some improvement, but the effort and sincerity shows.
2. The statutory warning. So with most films, you get the “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health” warning during scenes where a character is smoking. Strangely – and there’s a whole lot of strange in this film – Issaq carries the warning “Character is smoking herbs, not tobacco.” Oookay then… smoking ‘herbs’ is fine I guess.
3. The screenplay is a hot mess. There are too many angles and sub-plots happening for anything to really make sense. The scenes don’t flow well together, the characters appear and disappear at random, and the motives are not well understood. In essence, it’s one very disjointed film, and things just stopped making sense after a while.
4. Ravi Kishan. I can’t admit to being a fan of him in general, but he’s particularly bad in this role. He hams it up like there’s no tomorrow, and what he lacks in finesse, he attempts to make up for with noise. He’s extremely over-the-top, and seems to be bulging his eyes for the entirety of the film.
5. What love story? Issaq is supposed to be an adaptation of one of the most famous love stories of all time, yet it falls dead flat in this department. The focus is supposed to be on the romance, yet the “falling in love” part is so unconvincing that you just can’t bring yourself to care about this couple.
You know how Romeo and Juliet die at the end of the story? Well in this adaptation, you kind of wish they died right at the beginning. Avoid!