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Ishqeria review: You're better off without this love disease

Release Date: 21 Sep 2018 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 58min

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Keyur Seta

The film stars Neil Nitin Mukesh and Richa Chadha. The wait for something substantial to happen turns out to be long due to the amateurish screenplay and dialogues.

Commercial Hindi cinema is known for its formula based films. One formula that never gets old is where a boy and a girl fall in love, part ways and then reunite in the climax. Decade after decade, these love stories are churned out every now and then.

Needless to say, such films come with the risk of being repetitive fare. So, the biggest challenge is to ensure that the audience enjoys the predictability. Debutant director Prerna Wadhawan’s Ishqeria (another name for Loveria) is the latest formula based romance film which had to overcome this challenge.

Ishqeria is based in Mussoorie where Kuhu (Richa Chadha), a girl from a small town in Punjab, takes admission in a college in the first year. Her nervousness of being in a co-ed atmosphere is relatively less after she makes four friends (Bani J, Gurbani Judge, Mrudula Seth and Juby Devasia).

Kuhu comes across the simple and serious Raghav (Neil Nitin Mukesh), the headboy of the college and her senior, and gets interested in him. Ever since his mother passed away, Raghav has been staying with his father (Raj Babbar), whom he hates for wanting his wife to abort the child. Meanwhile, Raghav and Kuhu fall in love and enter into a relationship. However, they fall apart due to an unexpected event in their life.

Ishqeria's story takes place completely in the hill station of Mussoorie. The film portrays not only the picturesque mountains, but also everyday situations with simplicity. The film had been in the making for years, but the colourful presentation and sleek editing avoids making it look dated. In other words, Ishqeria had a perfect setting for a modern romantic film.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you enjoy the predictability right from the start itself. We are told in the very first scene that Raghav wants to divorce Kuhu. This makes it obvious that the two fell in love and got married. But we are made to go through the entire courtship even when we already know the outcome.

The wait for something substantial to happen turns out to be long due to the amateurish screenplay and dialogues. Kuhu and her friends behave like primary school students, which gets annoying after a point. For example, dialogues like, ‘Teri tat*i ka colour kya hai?’ are passed off as humour.

The twist at the interval is more unusual than intriguing. But at least it brings some interest in the proceedings. However, the film then moves into a confusing zone. Giving company to Kuhu and her friends, now other characters too start behaving and reacting like kids and you just stop caring about the outcome.

Fathom this – A character misses her period, she starts panicking as she believes she is pregnant. She just gets married to her boyfriend.

Has nobody on this film heard of a pregnancy kit?

Good quality songs become a must for such a film. Ishqeria has only one memorable song, 'Assalatul'. It’s good enough to take back despite the quality of the film. Even the cinematography and background score departments show little creativity.

Before coming to the performances of the lead pair, it is necessary to point out that neither Neil Nitin Mukesh nor Richa Chadha appear like college students, even if the film was shot five years ago. The two are okay, but it is the writing that doesn’t let them rise and makes them look immature.

Manish Anand, as Raghav’s friend Amit, is quite talented. Raj Babbar is memorable despite having just a couple of scenes. Bani J, Gurbani Judge, Mrudula Seth and Juby Devasia are affected due to silly characterization.


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