Ishaqzaade takes you far away from the glittering buildings of Mumbai and lands you in the midst of a political turmoil in a fictitious town known as Almore. The town is supposedly modeled after some similar places in Uttar Pradesh. Almore is plagued with political rivalries, honor killings and youth, males and females, that is happy to wield a gun than a pen.

Central to all the hullaballoo we have Parma Chauhan (Arjun Kapoor) and Zoya Qureshi (Parineeti Chopra). Parma hails from the Hindu family of Chauhans whose head Surya Chauhan is a political, religious and social rival of Aftab Qureshi, the head of the other major political family in the town.

Parma and Zoya have been brought up upon strict principles. The two are nonchalant about prettiness, are outspoken and fierce. Another aspect defines them – their mutual hatred for each other. Actually, this hatred is more of an obsession than a practice. The young birds do not know why they hate each other but just that they have been taught to do so by their respective families. Time passes by and certain things happen which lead the duo to come at loggerheads. While the Aafaton ke Parindey try to outdo the other, they eventually fall in love. While its love initially, we are introduced to a twist that proves otherwise and things take a different turn. After a while, we find the duo truly in love and on the run since both the families want them dead.

In a town where gun shots mark an event and murder is like slaughtering a chicken for dinner, the lovebirds toil through the by lanes in search of a solution and to have a life of their own, of peace and tranquility.

Yash Raj Films is just the banner you would want to work with if are debuting as an actor. Ishaqzaade marks the debut of Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, the female actor in her first major role after a small stint in Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl. Arjun does a fabulous job with his acting, dancing, expressions, small town diction and his overall attitude. After Ranveer Singh, Arjun should be the next big thing. Parineeti Chopra is a revelation. She outshines everything and everyone in the film. If casting directors could have an award for them then it could go for casting Parineeti as Zoya.

The film, although innovatively based in a small town with all the idiosyncrasies, minute details and everything that is completely believable, does not manage to become an epic film. Habib Faisal, who had impressed viewers and critics alike with his Do Dooni Chaar, could have fine tuned several aspects of the film. Some dialogues are pretty out of place and after the premise has been set and the story has been established, there is very little to keep you excited. Eventually, it becomes a case of head over heels lovers fighting their familial and social issues. The social issues are hardly given their due which is also where the film misses to score.

All said and done, Ishaqzaade is certainly a good onetime watch.


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