With any Vishal Bhardwaj film, we have learnt to expect three things: intense plots, rustic settings and very raw language. Ishqiya too, is no different. The movie is set in the backdrop of a village in Bihar and the story revolves around two protagonists, theives Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi), who are on the run from their boss Mushtaq. They land up at their friend’s house and come face to face with his widow, Krishna (Vidya Balan). Thus ensues a rocky tale of love, lust and lies, where both thieves set out to win the heart of one woman.
Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi share excellent chemistry while the relationship shown between Warsi and Vidya Balan is flawless as well, focusing mostly on the sexual aspect. Balan and Shah, on the other hand share a subtle, old world kind of romance with old Hindi classics playing in the background. Balan plays both men commendably with her seductive, feminine charms, only to form a conspiracy to kidnap an industrialist for ransom, leading the audience to an intriguing climax.
The movie usually stays in the present, going into flashback only when required. Abhishek Chaubey displays a fresh approach to filmmaking with a good hold on humor, giving a witty, light-hearted feel to the movie. The language used is mostly crude Hindi-Urdu dialect that adds originality to the storyline. The narrative is crisp and no-nonsense, making the story simple to comprehend.
The music of the film is serene with singers like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Gulzar’s poetic verses weave magic. Shot by Mohana Krishna and edited by Namrata Rao, the movie is totally performance oriented with Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan easily giving in their best! The story tells us that sometimes the simple life is not so simple after all. Ishqiya is very easily a film you can fall in love with.