Ishqiya Naseeruddin Shah: Khalujan
Khalujan is a pure romantic at heart. He is a bit of an odd cookie in the world of crime. Sure, he has a sharp mind and body and has been toughened up over the years living in the world of guns and gangsters; yet, he is very emotional and tender at the core. He wants to go back to his village and wants to settle down in a quiet, peaceful country life existence. Only, life had other plans for him. Love happens to him. Krishna happens to him.
Arshad Warsi: Babban
Babban is, in more ways than one, the antithesis of the kind of man his uncle is. If Khalujan is all heart and soul, Babban is all flesh and blood. He is hot-blooded, lustful and scoffs at the idea of true romantic love. Babban is cynical, indifferent to finer things in life and tough as nails. Through the course of the film, Babban discovers what it is to love and to be betrayed. It makes the dormant softer side of him come alive. Perhaps for the first time in his life, Babban cares...for Krishna.
Vidya Balan: Krishna Verma
The femme fatale. The small town girl. The mysterious woman. The forgotten widow. Krishna is a bundle of contradictions. We see her as a woman madly in love. We see her as an object of desire. We see her as a vision of purity. We see her engaging herself in a lustful bout with another man. What is so attractive about her is that although we connect with her at many levels, a complete understanding of her eludes us. What does she want? Why is she the way she is? The answer lies at the core of the story that is Ishqiya.
Ishqiya is a story of romance between individuals caught in a web of crime, suspense, passion, and deceit. Two thieves, Khalujan and Babban, are on the run from their boss, Mushtaq. They seek refuge with an old friend, and instead meet his widow, Krishna. As they plan their escape, their time spent together draws the duo to her, Khalu with his tinted vision of old-fashioned love, and Babban with his lustful eye. The threat of imminent death forces them on a path of violence and betrayal. Set in a rural landscape, Ishqiya explores basic human emotions as influenced by desire, greed and revenge.