CAST & CREW
Umpteenth versions have been made of Shakespeare’s immortal play ‘ Romeo & Juliet’ into films of various languages. Even the films made in Bollywood on the same theme are countless, with a new version appearing every year, some making the grade on their own merits and some just being soon forgotten. “ Issaq” is the latest Indian adaptation, directed by Manish Tiwary, where the story is transposed to Banaras and its neighbouring areas.
Plot: The plot unfolds with the animosity between the two Banaras-based families – the Mishras and their rivals, the Kashyap's - both rival gangs at the two corners of the sand mafia in the city and adjoining areas. Their rivalries regularly result in violence in the affected areas. To add further fuel, Naxalite groups join the clashes. The ‘Juliet’ in the film is pretty 18-year-old Bachchi ( Amyra Dastur), the daughter from the first wife of Vishwanarayan, the head of the Kashyaps. Bachchi is romantic in nature though quite strong willed. On the other side, the ‘Romeo’ in the film is Rahul ( Prateik Babbar), the son of Manohar Mishra, head of the Mishra clan.
Rahul is a handsome youth, and as per the traditions of the clan, has little interest outside guns and girls. However, attitudes change as Cupid hits his arrows at the two youngsters of the two warring families. Rising above the enmity between their families, the young lovers decide to listen to their hearts, rather than bother about family concerns. This is the cue for the commencement of a series of action packed high-intensity drama, with the enmity between the rival clans rising in direct proportion to the determination of the romantic duo.
Review: The background events take a further turn for the worse when Naxalites, join issues with the sand mafia. On the acting of the two protagonists, the less said about Prateik Babbar, the better, as he seems totally lost both as the romantic lover as well as the chivalrous warrior. On the other hand, however, newcomer Amyra has put up a sterling performance, not only for her sheer good looks but also for bringing out her character portrayal excellently. The veterans in the supporting roles have also rendered their parts competently. Where the film falters badly is the poor screenplay and the equally poor editing, which makes the events appear unbalanced. In the process, the element of romance, an essential ingredient of any Romeo Juliet adaptation seems sadly missing due to a plethora of side incidents which in no way contribute to the main theme.
Verdict: On the whole “Issaq” fails to impress, even with its declared tag of being adapted from Romeo Juliet.
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