Abhishek Chaubey undertook his career as an associate director and co-writer with famed film director, Vishal Bhardwaj. He, in particular, went on to assist & co-write Vishal's ensuing films. He afterwards, adduced a bucolic zany ride titled ISHQIYA (2010), which was set in the hinterland, and the audiences overcarried the risque comedy cum suspenseful noir due to its enthralling screenplay and uncompromised direction. The immensely entrancing predecessor preludes to the majestic sequel, DEDH ISHQIYA, which continues the escapades of Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah)and Babban (Arshad Warsi), the two romantic thieves. This time love takes them through the seven stages of love... with the beautiful and dangerous Madhuri Dixit as Begum Para and Huma Qureshi as Muniya. While the former was a love triangle, the latter entwines disparate worlds of two love stories, running cheek by jowl. Dedh Ishqiya is no different from its prequel, when it comes to the complexity, which is notch ahead this time, with impulsive characters, a storyline taking a somersault every few minutes and the truth, which is verily shocking. This time around, there's a profusion of poetry, music and hues to prettify the narration (screenplay: Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Chaubey), embellished with chaste Urdu, vivid mellifluence (production design: Subrata Chakraborthy and Amit Ray), unostentatious humor and seething sexuality. The layered story (storywriter: Darab Farooqui) will bemuse the audiences, in the interim. The characters are more perfidious and the traitorous game's even more precarious.
Vishal Bhardwaj, the dialogue writer and the DoP Satyajit Pande deserve pats on their backs, for acidic witty and subtly impish dialogues, discreetly mixed with Urdu and for the stunning visuals of the old-world charm captured stupendously, respectively. Ditto for A. Sreekar Prasad, the editor. Clocking in at nearly 2 hours 30 minutes, the movie neither topples nor leaves any loopholes at all, while constructing sequences with unflagging resolve. Payal Saluja and Ankita Jha's costumes are in sync with stately mood of the film, teetotally. Remo D'Souza and Birju Maharaj's choreography is seemingly rorty. As the emphasis is on poetry this time, the background score by Clinton Cerejo is electrifying. Honey Trehan, the casting director has done the unthinkable by doing a namable job in bringing together such dexterous bunch of actors. Naseeruddin Shah is the soul of the film, cognizably. He pulls off his role to near perfection. The viewers could not simply take their eyes off from him, every time he comes in the frame. Dr Bashir Badr's untamed & glinted verses have been used in the movie, which are gems indeed. Arshad Warsi is a live wire and a powerhouse of talent evidently, infusing his indomitable vivacity into the film with his role. The repeated banter between Khalu and Babban are a delight to watch from commencement to conclusion. Huma Qureshi's acting would take the audiences' fancy with utter surprise. What a scorcher she is! High hopes are being pinned on Madhuri Dixit-Nene, who's returning to the silver screen after a hiatus of 6 years. She is an unmitigated magic, no two doubts in that. Though she falls short on the oomph meter, as compared to Vidya Balan in Ishqiya, but this time, her lucent smile conjures, her dance infatuates and her puckish glance bewitches the viewers. Her choice of opting for an unostentatious, avant-garde character is sure to win laurels in times to come. Vijay Raaz is transcendent, as ever. His acting will be lauded, much after the conclusion of the film. Salman Shahid (in a cameo) as the whimsical gang lord and Ravi Gosain are first-rate. Manoj Pahwa as the poet in immurement, who never pans out flaunting his Italian origins, is top-notch.
On the flip side, the music by Vishal Bhardwaj fizzles out, as compared to the predecessor. The movie lacks even a single entrancing score. The stunts by Pradyuman Kumar are inoperable.
On the whole, director Abhishek Chaubey takes a leap by picking up the baton and deserves colossal praise for handling action, comedy, romance and social critique with dexterity. The astuteness, jibe, silliness and sophistication, all brought together are a treat to watch. The viewers will love themselves losing from dilkashi to junoon. A deliciously nouvelle continuation, that is strictly *not-to-be-missed*!view less