Wednesday 12 February 2014

Dedh Ishqiya [2014]

When a movie like Ishqiya that managed to be like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale industry gets remade, one can’t help but be concerned. To my utter delight, the cheekily named sequel Dedh Ishqiya (reminiscent of the titles of the Naked Gun series) managed to be a bigger, better and naughtier ride – a riotously funny, unapologetically ribald and gleefully serpentine crime caper that effortlessly fused elements of noir, gangster and black comedy. The lovable uncle-nephew duo of the cultured but scheming Khalujan (Naseeruddin Shah) and the libidinous and earthy Babban (Arshad Warsi) – petty criminals and thieves forever trying to out-maneuver others as well as each other – made a winning return with memorable effect. With the older Khalu slipping away with a prized necklace after a robbery, Babban gets a hilarious reprieve from the gaggling gangster Mushtaq (Salman Shahid) and traces his uncle to a lavish contest organized by the dazzlingly beautiful widow (Madhuri Dixit) of a former Nawab in order to choose a husband. Muniya (Huma Qureshi), the Begum’s voluptuous personal maid who might be her friend, her lover, a duplicitous femme fatale, or all, and Jaan Mohammed (Vijay Raaz), a wealthy, wily and antagonistic faux-poet with an incongruous mane competing against the love-struck Khalu to win Begum’s hands, played equally vital roles in this labyrinthine tale of love, lust and their myriad permutations. Beautiful Urdu poetry, marvelous cinematography, terrific performances by all, sizzling on-screen chemistries, easy alternations between soft and lilting on one hand, and sleazy and carnal on the other, and a number of superb set-pieces and sequences, made this a mischievous and devilish film a delectable watch.

Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Genre: Crime Thriller/Black Comedy/Post-Noir/Buddy Film
Language: Hindi/Urdu
Country: India

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