'Daawat-e-Ishq': Habib Faisal misses the plot
Star Cast -
Aditya Roy Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra and Anupam Kher
Music Director -
By Subhash K. Jha
There are two different films tucked away into this one big under-cooked biryani of a film.
"Daawat-e-Ishq" is not as inviting as the title or the film`s promotional events suggested. Food is important to the plot, yes. And hats off to writer-director Habib Faisal for tempering the texture of the tale with a culinary flavour.
You wish food were the driving force in this freewheeling tale of love during the times of biryani. But no, this is not really a film about food. It`s about a Muslim girl`s search for a life beyond finding a suitable match... At least that is what the plot seems to suggest.
Faisal`s special gift as a filmmaker is to portray the Indian middle-class in all its squalid glory. He doesn`t sweep the murk under the threadbare carpet. He takes on the quirks guilt and the conflicts of the `muddle class` headlong.
Till a certain point the narrative in "Daawat-e-Ishq" tells us some pungent home truths about the over-educated` unmarried middle-class girl`s plight as she is forced to squeeze into an arranged marriage.
Anupam Kher and Parineeti Chopra are so convincing as father and daughter looking for a suitable groom that you tend to forgive the film`s aggressive indiscretions that prop up prominently and intrusively in the second-half.
Yes, there are two films here. The `Hyderabad` film in the first-half is charming effusive and endearing. The second movement takes us to Lucknow where father and daughter put up a big con show to trap an unsuspecting `dulha` for Parineeti.
As the plot progresses, it is tragic to see the film`s early excellence fall apart piece by piece to reveal a plot with little character accommodating characters with a big plot up their sleeve.
Everyone behaves as if he or she is part of a high school play based on H.S. Rawail`s "Mere Mehboob". They run around exchanging giggle, kebabs and qawwalis.
Is Sajid-Wajid`s music homage to the sound of Laxmikant-Pyarelal in the 1970s or a straight rip-off?
The purpose and intention of doing a film that involves dowry and deception cannot be doubted. Faisal means well. Alas, his storytelling doesn`t convince us of his intentions.
Performance-wise Parineeti and Anupam are a delight. Parineeti again proves herself a natural-born scene-stealer. That`s relatively easy when your co-star is hell bent on being a caricature.
Aditya Roy Kapoor with his kohl-laden eyes and pseudo-Lucknowi drawl is a disaster. His painfully self-conscious performance reduces the film to a pantomime of good intentions.
I came away with the `baap-beti` relationship rather than the love story. As for food, I craved for more.
Burp re burp.