Sequels rarely match up the brilliance of the original film, but sometimes sequels outshine the originals. The Godfather 2 and Silence of the Lambs are solid evidences for this phenomenon. This time, it happens in an Indian film, too! Dedh Ishqiya turns out to be far better than the first film, Ishqiya.
With artistic cinematography and skillful editing, this Abhishek Chaubey film Dedh Ishqiya packs a punch. The film has a unique sensibility of wild West films, where death becomes just another joke. You sit around a table and talk for sometime with the goons and suddenly you feel somebody's remark about you is so insulting, you drew a gun and bham! And nobody really cares about death or the death count!
Abhishek and Vishal Bharadwaj (co-writer and producer) brings that style of film making into a Bollywood movie, with playing tribute to their sources of inspiration through the Mexican music in some suspenseful yet funny scenes, reminding us of Jack Robins and John Ford.
Abhishek Chaubey and his writers Darab Farooqui and Vishal Bhardwaj have rightly placed their story in a north Indian rural village dominated by Mughal palaces, which gives them the freedom to narrate an Arabian Nights sort of a story.
Dedh Ishqiya showcases the talent of large community of actors who should be noticed seriously by Bollywood. Even an actor, who did small role as an assistant to Vijay Raaz's Jaan Mohammad Khan, surprises you with his natural and apt performances. Madhuri Dixit is, very evidently, brought in for her star factor and director forced two unnecessary folk dance songs to please the fans of Madhuri Dixit.
Madhuri is convincing as Begum Para, but doesn't impress you to a great extent. Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi have become just the character. They don't even 'play' the character, but are being the characters. That's a difference. Actors like Naseeruddin Shah don't grow old. He looked young, spirited and absolutely charming in this film. It must be mentioned that all actor are given equal importance in this film.
I think it would be a grave sin if I forget to write about the cinematography of Dedh Ishqiya. Cinematographer Setu, who has won great accolades for his work in Taare Zameen Par and Kahaani, is one of the stars of the film. You cannot often see this kind of brilliant lighting and grading in Bollywood movies. In the scene where Babban and Khalu are made to stand at gun point by Jaan Mohammad Khan and gang, you can see the brilliance of the cinematography. There are no artificial lights used in the scene, but still the actors' faces are visible in a film-noir style. I am sure Setu used artificial lights to lit up the faces a little bit, but the brilliance is in hiding the sources and make it look very real.
I honesty believe this film should get a larger audience because it is one of the rare well made movies we get in these times. A rich blend of good humour and cinematic artistry, film literally delivers. The film also very subtly portrays something that used to be portrayed in a 'screaming from the rooftops' style in Indian movies. Revealing it is not ethical for a reviewer, so you watch the movie yourself to get that secret.
The only error in Dedh Ishqiya is that it is a film set in rural India dealing with rural people, but reflects the sensibility of modern world. It is solely made for the multiple audience and the values it represents are not rural at all, instead they cater to the torrents loving multiplex audience.
Through a good movie, it is not spared from cliches completely, and there are many scenes that look artificial just because of writers tried to show off. One of the scene being Huma's character telling Arshad's Babban about the kind of food she would like to eat in different part of the globe. Having heard those names only once, Arshad's uneducated village thief captures the names of those dishes and repeats the same to her in another scene. You won't notice or care one major plot hole towards the end of the movie because you are charmed by its design by that time.
When you blend the base spirit of Thelma and Louise into Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster and infuse the Wild West flavour of Ishqiya into it, you get Dedh Ishqiya!
Click on the slider to read critics review...
Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Abhishek Chaubey deserves colossal admiration for taking the story forward by retaining some characters and adding several new ones. The screenplay is capricious and unpredictable, imparting a flavor that's distinct and one you most certainly haven't experienced heretofore.
Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Ishqiya is an exceptional film that does not have to negotiate the kind of facile crowd-pleasing narrative formulations that most Bollywood flicks must necessarily wade through in order to get to the Rs 200-crore mark.
Deepanjana Pal, FirstPost
Arshad Warsi delivers a crackling performance as Babban, infusing great energy and effervescence into the film with his role. Qureshi and Dixit-Nene don't let the men steal the show. Director. Chaubey is two films old and compared to Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya is far more elaborate, complicated and ambitious.
Abhishek Chaubey's Dedh Ishqiya, true to its fractional title, lives for those half-lines, teasing and wheedling and coaxing its audience so that we fall in love even before the charms of the final act are upon us.
Suhani Singh, Rediff
Here's a sequel which is totally worth the moolah. That's because Ishqiya doesn't want to be a successful franchise, it wants to be a good movie which keeps the viewers entertained.
Dedh Ishqiya easily races ahead of the Vidya Balan starrer Ishqiya, as Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Huma Qureshi easily match the charm of leading lady Madhuri. Madhuri Dixit as Begum Para is sheer magic.
Dedh Ishqiya can come in the category of hard hitting films, which have left an indelible mark on Indian audience in last couple of years. The film rides on a good story, great acting performances, brilliant screenplay, interesting dialogues and a twist, which will leave you awestruck.