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Dedh Ishqiya Reviews - POST HERE (Page 6)

Dilwali89 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 07 January 2009
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Posted: 08 January 2014 at 10:02pm | IP Logged

Dedh Ishqiya movie review

 (Comedy, Thriller)
Saibal Chatterjee
Thursday, January 09, 2014

Dedh Ishqiya movie review

Cast:Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah, Huma Qureshi 
Director: Abhishek Chaubey 


For a Hindi movie critic subjected to cinematic trash week after week, the unenviable job is often an onerous chore.

Rare is a Bollywood release that one genuinely looks forward to. Dedh Ishqiya, for sure, is one such atypical film, and certainly not for its capricious title alone.

On account of several other worthy reasons, not the least of which is the presence in the cast of the still-incandescent Madhuri Dixit, it has got to be one of this year's most anticipated releases. Dedh Ishqiya measures up on most counts.

Co-writer and director Abhishek Chaubey delivers a delightfully droll thriller set in an upcountry feudal milieu where adorable rogues and unfettered tricksters have a field day.

In fact,Dedh Ishqiya is in many respects appreciably more enthralling than Ishqiya.

Thematically, the follow-up casts its net far wider and comes up with striking insights into the flaws and foibles of people who haven't lost their flair for the flashy despite their lives having hitting the skids.

The screenplay is laced with acidic wit, the comic touches are subtly sly, and the on-screen performances are marvellously modulated. 

Dedh Ishqiya entertains, but does so in a manner that does not trifle with the intelligence of the audience. 

In other words, here 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.

Dedh Ishqiya might not get there, but it is a triumph of measured craftsmanship and storytelling finesse. 

Shored up by producer Vishal Bhardwaj's razor-sharp dialogues and unusual musical score, Dedh Ishqiya looks, sounds and feels like nothing that the Mumbai movie industry has produced in a while. 

It is more an Urdu film than a Hindi one, with a majority of the characters speaking lines in a language and with the kind of mellifluence that have gone out of Mumbai cinema.

Much of the credit for the look and texture of the film must obviously go to both cinematographer Setu and the production designer duo of Subrata Chakrabarty and Amit Ray.

Working primarily with natural sources of light, Setu composes some truly remarkable images whose glow lingers long after they have played themselves out. 

The quality of the writing and the sharpness of the editing (A Sreekar Prasad), too, deserve an equally large measure of praise. Each neatly constructed sequence leads into the next flawlessly and without leaving any creases behind.

So, despite its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Dedh Ishqiya does not ever appear to flag.
Small-time thieves Khalujaan Iftikhar Hussain (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi) con a jewellery store owner and flee with an expensive necklace.

In flight, Khalu and Babban are separated. The latter ends up in a pit, with local strongman Mushtaq (Salman Shahid) and his men all but ready to bump him off.

But Babban talks his way out of trouble and goes in search of Khalujaan, who, the younger man has reason to believe, has pulled a fast one on him. 

The latter, now in the guise of a poetry-spouting nawab, walks into the swayamvar of the widowed Begum Para, the ruler of Mahmudabad (Madhuri Dixit). 

The lady has decided to remarry the best versifier in town and everyone is out to make an impression on her.

Even bigger trouble brews for Khalu and Babban as a smarmy politician, Jaan Mohammad (Vijay Raaz), throws his hat in the ring.

He goes to the extent of abducting a poet named Nur Mohammad Italvi (his nom de plume is derived from his Italian mom) so that he has a steady supply of lines to electrify the Begum with. 

But in Mahmudabad, nothing is what it seems, and the Begum and her lady-in-waiting Munira (Huma Qureshi) have a few tricks up their pretty sleeves.

Dedh Ishqiya is filled with many delights: the repeated banter between Khalu and Babban, Khalu's efforts to woo the Begum and bring her out of her self-imposed exile from dance, Babban's typically brazen attempts to win Munira over, and of course the dangerous cat-and-mouse game that they all play with the unrelenting Jaan Mohammad.

All of this works wonderfully well because the acting is of a consistently high order. The two spirited women in this male-dominated landscape play second fiddle to none and get their own back with ease.

If it is difficult to take one's eyes off the screen when Madhuri is on it, it is no less a joy to watch Huma Qureshi effortlessly matching strides with the veteran, move for move.
Naseeruddin Shah captures the essence of the worldly wise Khalujaan with the kind of acuity that only an actor of his proven calibre could have. 

Arshad Warsi, as always, is a livewire who injects full-on fizz into the proceedings without breaking into a sweat.

The director also extracts outstanding performances from the supporting cast. 

Vijay Raaz as the villain who is loath to take no for an answer, Manoj Pahwa as the poet in captivity who never tires of flaunting his Italian origins and Salman Shahid as the eccentric gang lord are first-rate. 

Notwithstanding the title, there are no half measures in Dedh Ishqiya

From dilkashi to junoon, the start and end point respectively of Khalujaan's take on the seven stages of love, the film has them both and everything in between and beyond. 

Dedh Ishqiya is a must watch. 

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Dilwali89 IF-Dazzler

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Posted: 08 January 2014 at 10:04pm | IP Logged

Movie Review: Dedh Ishqiya is a gripping fare

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Movie Name:
Dedh Ishqiya
Viewer Rating:
Critic Rating:
Release Date:
Star Cast:
Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah, Huma QureshiVijay Raaz
Abhishek Chaubey
Raman Maroo, Vishal Bhardwaj
Music Director:
Vishal Bhardwaj













There were too many reasons why everyone was looking forward to Dedh Ishqiya. Madhuri's comeback, talented star cast and interesting promos being a few amongst them.


Does the film manage to pull off over expectations?

Yes, it does and the credit goes to the director Abhishek Chaubey. 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.


What's the story?

The story of the film revolves around middle-aged Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit Nene), who organises a festival of poetry in her town Mahmudabad. She has promised to marry the winner of the competition as it was the last wish of her deceased husband.  Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah), posing as the Nawab of Chandpur, impresses the widow Begum, but everything changes with the entry of Arshad (Baban).


Is Dedh Ishqiya better than Ishqiya?

If Ishqiya was rustic, Dedh Ishqiya is royal. Just like the prequel Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad have given an outstanding performance. Dedh Ishqiya is fractionally better than its prequel.


How is the acting performance?

Dedh Ishqiya is backed by great acting performances.  Madhuri has again proved that why she is the undisputed queen of Bollywood. Young divas should buckle up as they have to compete with the diva, who is all set to take the box office by storm in her second term in Bollywood. We can say Madhuri is back and with a bang'.

Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad might have given disastrous films recently, but their performance in Dedh isqiya will re-establish their fans' trust in them.

One man whose performance has overshadowed everyone is Vijay Raaz. He is definitely the best performer amongst the talented star cast of the film.


How are the dialogues?

There are some intresting dialogues in the film. "Yahan libaas ki kimat hai adami ki nahi. Mujhe gilas bada de, sharab kum kar de." You are going to love the dialogues.  


Watch it or not?

For all the cinema lovers, who prefer acting and story over masala, it's time to book your seats.

Dedh Ishqiya review: Madhuri, Naseer churn out a deliciously dark film by Deepanjana Pal Jan 9, 2014 #Arshad Warsi #Dedh Ishiya #Huma Qureshi #Madhuri Dixit #Naseeruddin inShare 4 CommentsEmailPrint Early on in Dedh Ishqiya, there's a face-off between Babban (Arshad Warsi) and Khalujan (Naseeruddin Shah), and the villainous Jaan Mohammad (Vijay Raaz) and his henchmen. It's dark and desolate where they are. Babban and Khalujan are outnumbered, they've been beaten up and Babban is on his knees, but they've got pistols that are trained upon Jaan Mohammad. When it becomes clear that no one's lowering their weapons, Babban cheerfully observes they can keep this up all night. Cut to the next morning: everyone's precisely as they were in the earlier scene, only now they're yawning. The face-off has lasted all night, literally. At this critical moment, a chittering noise reaches the men's ears and they turn towards the source. A school's morning assembly begins and the children start singing a song that has rich resonance for the men who have been pointing guns at each other all night " "Hum ko mann ki shakti dena." Courtesy: Facebook This is the kind of mischief and humour that sparkles throughout Abhishek Chaubey's Dedh Ishqiya. Set in a decadent and picturesque North Indian heartland that's filled with loveable criminals, this film has everything you could ask for in exchange of the price of a movie ticket. There are love triangles, a bromance, a delicious villain, multiple twists, car chases and, of course, lots of humour. And there's Madhuri Dixit-Nene, looking luminous. She's still capable of keeping an audience glued to their seats when the credits start rolling, all because she's dancing on screen. Shah and Warsi first played the roles of the two petty but charming con men, Khalujan and Babban, in Chaubey's debut film, Ishqiya. In this sequel, Vidya Balan's Krishna is history and the two men have new targets. Rather, Khalujan does. Khalujan has set his sights upon Begum Para (Dixit-Nene), the gorgeous widow of a nawab. Begum Para has announced her intention to remarry, but according to her deceased husband's directives, she is to marry the man who can win a shayri contest. It's a swayamvara with a difference and Khalujan shows up as a contender, pretending to be the mysterious but poetic nawab Iftikhar (if you can it say the name in breathy seductive tones the way Dixit Nene does, give yourself a cupcake). Thanks to Dr Bashir Badr, whose poetry has been used in Dedh Ishqiya, Khalujan has the verses to win the contest, but he also has some serious competition in the form of Raaz's Jaan Mohammed. Jaan Mohammed is a local politician who is smitten by the Begum and ready to do whatever it takes to claim her as his own, including kidnapping a poet and killing Khalujan and Babban. Fluttering through this central plot are a prized necklace that is worth a fortune, a plot to abduct the Begum, the sly stratagems of Begum's companion Munniya (Huma Qureshi) and a shayar named Italvi (because he's from Italy. His mum and Sonia Gandhi went to school together). It doesn't matter if you sniff out the twists in advance or aren't particularly keen on the Urdu poetry that glints like the perfectly-cut gems in the aforementioned necklace. Dedh Ishqiya is an absolute delight because all its parts fit beautifully. The cinematography, sets and costumes are exquisite. The editing is sharp. Most importantly Darab Farooqui's story is plotted wonderfully by Vishal Bharadwaj and Chaubey's screenplay. Bharadwaj has also written the dialogues and they're stylish, witty and a wonderful change from the awkward khichdi of Hindi and English that we usually hear in Bollywood films. Of course, it helps to have actors like Raaz and Shah delivering Bharadwaj's lines. It's obvious how both these brilliant actors delight in the dialogues and roles they've been given, but they're not the only acting stars in Dedh Ishqiya. 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. In terms of acting, chemistry and plot, the women are often the scene stealers. The greatest praise, however, must be reserved for the director. Chaubey is two films old and compared to Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya is far more elaborate, complicated and ambitious. Like a skipping stone, the film touches upon a variety of genres " action, comedy, romance, social critique " and Chaubey handles them deftly. He uses his actors expertly and gives even minor characters the kind of arc that is usually reserved for heroes. Compared to the half-baked stories that Bollywood subjects audiences to, Chaubey's film is nouvelle cuisine that uses its ingredients with sophistication and inventive flair. There's an insightful look at feudalism, both in terms of its old-world charm as well as its potential for brutality, in Dedh Ishqiya. The film contains an ode to the lyricism of classic Urdu poetry, mobsters as well as the familiar two-against-the-world formula that has powered so many legendary films. Chaubey weaves all of this together to create a fictional India in which you'll love losing yourself. And when Dedh Ishqiya ends, all you can say is irshaad.

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SunoNa... IF-Sizzlerz

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Posted: 09 January 2014 at 4:16am | IP Logged
Dedh Ishqiya

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Madhuri Dixit, Huma Qureshi, Vijay Raaz, Manoj Pahwa, Salman Shahid

Director: Abishek Chaubey

4 Star Rating: Recommended4 Star Rating: Recommended4 Star Rating: Recommended

Bollywood doesn't have a fabulous track record when it comes to doling out sequels. In most cases, they seem as excuses to make more money than to tell an engrossing tale, show character development or paint a new, vivid world. Director Abhishek Chaubey accomplishes all of the above and thereby makes a compelling case that sequels are not redundant. 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.

In part deux, Khalujan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi), the partners in crime, fools in love and uncouth crooks, are back. Their humour-laden, bullet-ridden misadventures this time unfold in Mahmudabad, a town in Uttar Pradesh. Khalujan has betrayed and deserted Babban and moved to the twon's feudal setting to participate in a swayamvar. At stake is the opportunity to wed the graceful Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit). Through rounds of romantic, witty and eloquent shayari and a shooting contest, men including Khalujan, who has adopted his original name Ifthekhar for his pursuit, try to woo and impress her. Meanwhile, Babban in the midst of a sexual escapade overhears the voice of Khalujan on TV and promptly arrives to the town to ruin his soiree.

However, after a brief squabble, the down-on-luck, good-for-nothing duo patch up. They soon meet their match in Para (Madhuri Dixit) and her foxy, loyal accomplice Muniya (Huma Qureshi), both of whom have a plan up their sleeves. Also keeping Khalujan and Babban on their toes is Jaan Mohammad, the flamboyant MLA and aspiring nawab who has kidnapped a poet (Manoj Pahwa) to make him win the rustic edition of the Bachelorette.

Dedh Ishqiya's success can be attributed to the taut story of Darab Farooqui which is aided by Chaubey's fine screenplay, Vishal Bhardwaj's rib-tickling, naughty dialogues and Dr Bashir Badr's lovely Urdu poems. Chaubey conjures a quaint, lyrical and extravagant world, which he uses to highlight the waning wealth of feudal society. The film is at its best when characters poke fun at each other. Subrata Chakraborty's production design recreates the enchanting mehfil-like atmosphere and mushaira, transporting you to another world. Setu's camerawork captures the old-world charm beautifully.

In an ensemble film in which every actor gets moments to shine, it's Vijay Raaz who stands out most. This isn't the first time he has done so. From Monsoon Wedding and Ragu Romeo to Delhi Belly, Raaz has demonstrated the ability to win audiences over with his talent. Equally impressive is Salman Shahid as Mushtaq, who shines in the two scenes he features in.

Even though Mushtaq initially equates Khalujan and Babban to Batman and Robin, audiences have the modern-day equivalent of Jai and Veeru in the two. They lure trouble but they are MFEO (made for each other). Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi make for an awesome twosome yet again. Their camaraderie is more noteworthy in this film and both sink their teeth into their respective parts. Warsi in particular is a riot continuing with his rambunctious ways. Qureshi impresses as the feisty aid.

Dixit fits like a glove as Para, the gazelle-like beauty trapped in a mansion. Only this the damsel in distress, with a shadowy past, doesn't need a knight in shining armour; she plots her own freedom. We stayed back till the credits rolled only to see Dixit dance, often with her face alone. Dixit adds more essence to the credit song. With "Hamari Atarya Pe", she creates the real Dhoom. That too with effortless grace.

Last year we saw two disappointing part three of two popular action films. But if Chaubey and Bhardwaj can pull off the magic they do in Dedh Ishqiya, we don't want to stop them.

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Johnny.Balraj IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 09 January 2014 at 7:20am | IP Logged

Film review: Dedh Ishqiya

The dark, sardonic and funny film goes one-up on Ishqiya

Ishqiya, Abhishek Chaubey's debut film, was spunky, stylish and quirky, and marked Chaubey's promotion from screenwriter (for Vishal Bhardwaj's films) to assured filmmaker. Yet, it's with Dedh Ishqiya - the sequel to the 2010 sleeper hit - that you get a real sense of Chaubey's command over craft.

Dedh Ishqiya has its problems, best dealt with at the beginning of this review so we can then delve into the (many) good parts. A threadbare plot is one - it's largely one-dimensional and straightforward, and to some degree recycles events of the first part.

Babban (Arshad Warsi) and Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) are still small-time goons on the run from the dreaded Mushtaq bhai, and are as foolish in love as they were earlier. As opposed to falling in love with the same woman in Ishqiya, they fall in love with two different women this time - Khaalu with the widow Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit-Nene), and Babban with the wily Munniya (Huma Qureshi). The slightly irksome similarity between the two films appears in the form of a far-fetched kidnapping plot, and when unconvincing motives of some characters come to light.

It's the story (by Darab Farooqui), then, that's the only mediocre aspect about Dedh Ishqiya. But the storytelling sets it apart. Chaubey and co-writer Vishal Bhardwaj's screenplay is filled with masterfully written scenes, which are staged to perfection by the director. The writing is consistently poetic - which goes well with the old-world Lucknowi royalty setting - and every scene is executed with equal lyricism. Chaubey's staging of the scenes is outstanding, and his ability to get the best out of his actors seems like the handiwork of an accomplished filmmaker.

Beautifully aiding Chaubey's cause is some fantastic, and largely Urdu, dialogues by Bhardwaj, replete with charming analogies and irony. It's a brave move, commercially - the liberal use of Urdu dialogues in a mainstream Hindi film - but it goes a long way in establishing the right mood and flavour. You'll probably want to watch the film a second time, only to soak in the atmosphere and to play the dialogues over in your head again. Also worthy of praise is Subrata Chakraborthy's production designer and Satyajit Pande's cinematography. It's these elements that make Dedh Ishqiya a modern film even as it keeps its old-world charm intact.

Chaubey and Bhardwaj pepper the film with delightful movie references. From a dialogue about the need for the Batman and the Joker to co-exist so both have a purpose in life, to the one where Babban refers to the Japanese mafia custom of slashing fingers off (a hat-tip to Bhardwaj's favourite filmmaker Takeshi Kitano's films). My favourite is the throwback to the famous "When you have to shoot shoot, don't talk" line from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, transformed into "Jab bandook haath main ho na, toh sher padha nahi, maara jaata hai".

The actors lift up the written material. Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi carry forward some of the fantastic chemistry they displayed in Ishqiya, both playing off each other's strengths. Madhuri Dixit-Nene fits into the role of a nawabi begum like a hand to glove. It should be mentioned here that the makers don't seem awed by her presence; she gets to portray everything we associate with the actor - grace, charm and those fantastic dancing skills - without it ever weighing down the film. Huma Qureshi plays feisty better than most young female actors today, and makes a wonderful impression once again. Manoj Pahwa needs all of three-four scenes to ensure he leaves a mark.

But it's Vijay Raaz - who we incidentally first noticed in another Naseeruddin Shah film, Monsoon Wedding - who steals the show. The long-haired villain stood out in the Delhi Belly cast, and he does so again in Dedh Ishqiya. He plays hopeless lover, clueless shayar, evil egotist - all with charming ease, and gives us a delicious villain, so missing on the Hindi cinema landscape at the moment.

Right from when the first trailer of the film released - the one about the seven stages of love - Dedh Ishqiya has been a movie to feverishly look forward to, and it more than meets expectations. After Rajkumar Hirani's twoMunnabhai films, each of which stood out for their individual brilliance, it's the two Ishqiya films that achieve the feat (incidentally, Warsi has acted in all four). It's dark, sardonic and funny. Don't miss 2014's first great Hindi film.

Edited by LangdaTyagi - 09 January 2014 at 7:18am

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loveyoupreeto Goldie

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Posted: 09 January 2014 at 8:34am | IP Logged
Love Madhuri and glad to see good reviews..

Want this to be a hit for madz, arshad and huma.

about time humz and arshad talent gets noticed

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Raja Sen gives 5 stars!

Review: Madhuri Dixit dazzles with Dedh Ishqiya

Last updated on: January 10, 2014 08:52 IST

Madhuri Dixit in Dedh IshqiyaRaja Sen feels Dedh Ishqiya is a genuinely smart film.

Public recitation is as fine an art as poetry itself, and -- like in a magic trick -- so much depends on the reveal, on teasing the audience into expecting a certain completion to the thought, a certain rhyme, and then to deny them that (but with a flourish.) 

It is this taunting of the listener that makes shayri so special, the wizards of Urdu repeating their half-lines over and over, forcing those present to fork over applause even before the punch line. 

And when that final line falls into place just right, surprisingly and cleverly, the abracadabra moment is one of rapture. 

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. 

Calling a film "One and a half" instead of "Two" could signal varied intent -- including tributes to Federico Fellini and/or the Naked Gun franchise -- but I'd like to believe Chaubey's superb sophomore effort shies away from the obvious name because it'd rather be called an equal than a sequel. 

Rarely is a Hindi film as mischievously besotted with wordplay, but one look at Chaubey's co-conspirators confirms that no syllable has been picked accidentally. In this sleight-of-hand tale where gangsters point with iambic-meter before pointing with guns, Chaubey has master wordsmiths Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar alongside him, making for a script that balances words as deftly -- and, crucially, with as much nervous energy -- as a knife-juggler with a case of the hiccups. 

It's a marvel.

(It's also a marvel we may not have been able to understand. Most of us, even those who drop stray Urdu words into conversation, could scarcely navigate the many nuances on offer without the sharp subtitling job. Having the lines present in spirited (and non-literal) translations helps enormously, and it's a very wise decision to keep the subtitles around even for us Hindi-speaking philistines.)

Set in the fictional town of Mahmudabad, the film sees returning anti-heroes Babban and his dear Khalujaan Iftekhaar back and, as ever, on the run. 

The two ignoble opportunists are, in a way, like a very amoral Asterix and Obelix: one shrewdly has his eye on the prize while the other frequently squanders his menhirs in the name of love. Questing thus for inaam and inamorata, the leads -- played by Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah -- wade through increasingly muddy waters.

Yet is it fair to call these lovable oafs the leads? For this is the tale also of an enchantress, a bonafide beauty whose gorgeousness and fortune brings forth many a suitor from across the land, poetry-lined notebooks in hand. 

Because, you see, this winsome widow wants to be charmed by couplets, swept away by sentences, ribbed by rhyme. And thus we have a swayamvara where instead of bows and arrows -- as her sassy handmaiden explains -- a line must be tossed into the air and a challenger must shoot it down with a lyric. The one and only Madhuri Dixit is the suitably unattainable lady in question, with Huma Qureshi as her first mate, so to speak.

Speaking of challengers, however, Dedh Ishqiya may perhaps be the story not of the first-billed impostors or either woman, but of the yearning lover who kidnaps poets to furnish his chance at romance. 

A slaphappy politician who is a bully, one suspects, because brooding isn't considered macho enough. A plum role played masterfully by the scene-stealing Vijay Raaz, this gent too is part of the mix, then, putting the verse' in adversary.'

Voila, what an ensemble. 

Unlike the first Ishqiya which was -- even to those like me who loved it -- at best a glorious mess, the plot this time, while rollicking enough, is fiendishly simple. The focus, instead, is on the characters. 

And, as mentioned, on what exactly they say.

A fair bit of the film admittedly takes its time staring at Madhuri, and this is no complaint for the legend gleams brighter than we're used to seeing in our movies nowadays. 

She's old-world, breathtaking and so utterly graceful it's like someone draped a saree around a Rolls Royce. Her performance -- one that demands small, precise shifts in tone instead of showy histrionics -- is pitched perfectly. And it's a privilege to see her dance the classics.

The actors are uniformly smashing. 

Naseeruddin Shah is great, wistful and dreamy and unashamedly wicked, chewing luxuriantly on the dialogues as if they came wrapped in betel-leaf. 

Arshad Warsi has always been instantly loveable, but he equips his character with a flammable fury that makes him very compelling indeed. Huma Qureshi uses her fiercely intelligent eyes to great effect as she keeps things unpredictable, while Manoj Pahwa and Salman Shahid make themselves impressively indispensable with mere scraps of screen-time.

And then there's Vijay Raaz. Too often do we Hindi cinema audiences unfairly sideline villains and comedians, but here is a gem of a part, a truly meaty role -- the kind of character that, in a Hollywood film, would have been played by Christian Bale or Javier Bardem -- and Raaz sinks his teeth into it magnificently. 

A lanky man given a leonine mane, Raaz here looks disconcertingly like the director himself, and it may even be this doppelgangering that sees his character so well-etched. 

He performs with an all-knowing weariness so masterfully that he emerges not just a memorable villain, but, like the most memorable villains of all, impossible to root against.

This is a rare joy. 

It's a genuinely smart film. It's beautifully, lovingly shot. 

The music aids the narrative instead of distractingly taking it hostage. It's the most quotable Hindi movie in years.

It's a sequel that leaves even a highly original first-part far behind. 

And, for a film so accessible, it's armed with the most cunning, most delicious twist. It's terrific -- and a half. 

Dedhriffic, then.

Rediff Rating: 

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