This weekend officially belonged to KGF who set the theatres on fire. But Bollywood has two releases next weekend. The interesting bit is that both of them are remakes. Jersey is the official Hindi remake of the Telugu film of the same name. Along with it, a lesser known Hindi film Operation Romeo releases which is the official Hindi remake of the Malayalam film Ishq. I did watch the trailer of Operation Romeo and it was quite intriguing. And that prompted me to visit the original which was lying in my watchlist for a very long time. With that I finished watching the Malayalam film Ishq on Amazon Prime. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Ishq follows the story of two youngsters who are harassed by a couple of men while spending some quality time together on a fateful night. This is typical of Malayalam cinema – Take a simple yet interesting premise and weave a complex and layered screenplay around it. The story is a one liner if you just look from the outside. But the moment to begin to dwell deeper in the narrative, you realize how this is so much more than harassments. The screenplay moves at a break neck pace here. It is quick to introduce you to the characters and soon get to the eventual event. This is when the screenplay prompts the audience to be a silent spectator to the whole proceedings. It is able to take you into the psyche of the victim and the perpetrators. The entire sequence is spine chilling yet there is a thread of masculinity attached to it. The fact that the guy asks his girlfriend on what did he do instead of if she was okay, speaks volumes of the road ahead.
The second hour is when the revenge begins after a couple of predictable twists and turns. The tables turn here and this is an equally harrowing experience, similar to the one in the first half. But I was more interested in how things would end considering that the two halves were similar. It was heading towards a meek end and this is where I thought that the film made ado about nothing really. But boy was I wrong! The open ending is one of the most terrific endings which I have seen recently. It hit him at a point where it hurt the most, yet where I least expected it. It was a phenomenal ending to a great film and this is the reason why Malayalam films are way ahead of any other industry. They are willing to take risks and they ensure they are pulled off well!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but they are so engaging that they pull you right into the drama. The music is good and I loved the way they used the BGM and did not over depend on it. The cinematography is excellent and ensures that you are a fly on the wall observing the shocking proceedings. The uncomfortable closeups are enough to send a shiver down your spine. Director Anuraj Manohar has done a splendid job. His direction keeps you on tenterhooks throughout and that ending surely deserves some brownie points.
The performances are excellent. Jaffer Idukki as Mukundan is excellent and his performance will leave you with mixed feelings which is a great thing here. Leona Lishoy as Mariya is exceptional and you will begin to pity her character after a while. Shine Tom Chacko is a prolific performer and if you need any proof then watch him here as Alwin. His character is creepy and will send a shiver down your spine in what was a towering performance. Ann Sheetal as Vasu had to internalise a lot in her role and she was outstanding. That end will make you applaud her character apart from staying with you. Shane Nigam as Sachy is quietly charming yet there is an inherent patriarch in him for which you will dislike him. He is simply outstanding in a character with many layers.
Ishq is shockingly brilliant with a final act that will stay with you for a long time. Needless to say that the hindi remake has its work cut out. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Recommended.