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Movie REVIEW- 

DAAWAT-E-ISHQ

Written and directed by Habib Faisal, this Yash Raj Films production stars Aditya Roy Kapur, Parineeti Chopra and Anupam Kher in lead roles. This comedy drama was released on Sept 19th 2014 and received mixed reviews, many saying that the first half was detail oriented while the second half loses its appeal as well as the director's magic touch.

Mid-Day had reported earlier this year that Parineeti, who is playing the role of a Hyderabadi girl, received formal training from actress Elahe Hiptoola to get the required deccani accent.

Haibib Faisal has previously worked with Parineeti in 'Ishqzaade'.

(Photo Credit: Photo taken from the movie's Facebook page.

Video Credits: YRF)

Here's what we thought the movie has going for it-  

#1. The Cast

 I first saw Aditya Roy Kapur in 'Guzarish' (2010). I thought he was a natural, he reminded me of Zayed Khan (remember 'Shabd' from 2005?) and I left it at that. I saw him next in Action Replay (2010)- again, saw him, noticed that he was good, but didn't think much about it. Then came 'Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani' (2013), I loved him, he reminded me of Yuvraj Singh and I had to look up who he was. Haven't seen his Aashique 2, but I think Aditya Roy is one talented young man. Even if you agree, you would still be surprised at the level of talent you will realize he embodies. He is the absolute star of the movie. His body language, his clothes, his talking style and walking style- all screamed of a high school drop out running a famous 'dhaba'-style restaurant known for its scrumptious 'sheek kabas' and the most delectable desi deserts! 

Anupam Kher is awesome- doubt if the man would know how to be anything less than that. 

Coming to Parineeti Chopra. The role seems to be tailor made for her. She plays an average looking girl, raised by a father who is a clerk, is a topper herself so dreams of finding a English speaking smart life-partner. She plays the role to perfection, both in mannerisms and clothing again.


#2. The Details:

You should just sit back and soak in the details in the movie- the greedy 'ladke wale' (groom's parents), the office-clerk, the sales girl, the nosy neighbors,  the Hyderabadi- accent, the facial hair on Aditya and Anupam's characters, the tables, the chairs, the plates, the glasses. Or perhaps, as 'desis' away from 'des', we tend to observe and soak in these details so much more. Even the names (Gulrez Qadir, Tariq Haider, etc.) seem to add character to the movie.


#3. The Locations:

The movie is shot in Hyderabad and Lucknow. Locations from both cities make you want to stare at every detail. Again the streets of India, the cars and the crowd everywhere, the two-storey buildings, the dhaba-style restaurant- all work to stir up nostalgic feelings from years of living in India for us so-called NRIs (Non resident Indians).


#4. The Outfits:

Every single outfit worn by one and all perfectly suits the character being portrayed. Again loved Taru's (played by Aditya) shirts - the colors in it and the style reflected his personality. Parineeti's characters is seen in beautiful modern print suits in the later half and simple suits and sales- girl uniform in the first half.


#5. The Educational Value:

The movie revolves around the theme of dowry. For our kids who are born and raised outside of India and so read about the dowry system in India only in their textbooks, the movie provides an excellent education on the topic from various different perspective- the girl's, the girl's family, the boy's, the boy's family, the girl as the victim and the boy as the victim. Even though the movie does not show the extreme tragedies that the 'pratha' (tradition) often results in, it does try to educate the viewers on the facts on dowry deaths on more than one occasion, while maintaining the light nature of the movie, never leaving the comedy aspect without making light of the issue.

Here's what is NOT so hot- 

The theme is good for educational purpose but like my friend put it, you cringe seeing the girl hatch a plan to get back at the 'dowry-seeking-boys'-parents' even though you enjoy hating them yourself. This is because almost everyone in India knows someone closely on both sides of issue. Last thing you want to encourage is the misuse of the very law, IPC 498A, that was put in place to protect women from this very predicament.

Parineeti Chopra, though plays her role to perfection, fails to add anything new to her personal resume from this movie. At this point of her career, she needs to move away from doing similar roles and prove that she can do roles that people can't visualize her doing. 

Aditya Roy Kapur, again looks perfect, except for the eye liner! Not sure if men in Lucknow are in the habit of wearing it, but felt like erasing it right off of his eyes.

Overall- 

I would term the movie as a 'good family watch'! Songs composed by Sajid-Wajid are good. You'll probably enjoy some good discussions with your kids on the way back home. When my high school-er daughter, who couldn't watch the movie with me, heard the plot, she said she regretted missing it because she really wanted to know all about the dowry system in India as they were learning about it in the contemporary world history subject at high school. She wanted to know about how dowry affects the common man, the wealthy, parents of a daughter and those of a son. Oh yes, this would have been a perfect movie for her to watch as it covers all of these in a manner that is not morose and yet conveys the related facts and figures.  

If you watch the movie with your friends, you would be discussing all the cases that you have ever heard of on dowry. I and my friend certainly did, even while the movie was going on- much to the annoyance of our neighbors in the theater, I'm sure. We talked of the horror tales and we talked about the stories we have heard where the girls have misused the anti-dowry law. We talked about how our in-laws never asked for any and we discussed at length how we got married. So if you are one of those 'ladke wale' (boy's family) who never asked for dowry, in fact insisted on not wanting even 'gifts', or 'help', or 'car' or 'some basic needs'- know that you might not have gotten any materialistic gains, but you helped in setting an example for the betterment of the society, you showed due respect to the girl, her family and above all- your son, and in the process, won your daughter-in-law's and her family's respect for life.

(By Sonal Kulshrestha, a movie lover from Dallas, Texas)

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