Manish Tiwary Adapts Shakespeare's Ever-Appealing Romeo & Juliet, with his latest directorial film 'Issaq. Fortunately, despite its flaws, this Love-Story appeals in parts. The madness as well as the violence in the narrative, leave a mark.
'Issaq' Synopsis: A contemporary adaptation of Romeo and Juliet set in the backdrop of Varanasi in the UP heartland, complete with naxalism, sand mining mafia and of course the timeless love story.
'Issaq' isn't impressive entirely, but some parts of the film, are genuinely interesting. Note the portions when our desi Romeo & Juliet meet & fall in love, or even the violent scenes, where the warring families go head to head with each-other. These portions stand out!
But, there are flaws. The Writing isn't solid, it does engage, but it lacks sharpness in the second-hour, specifically. Also, the excessive running time over a 140-minutes, acts as a deterrent.
Tiwary's Screenplay needed a tougher attitude, but he induces craziness in the Love-Story, which appealed to me. His Direction, on the other-hand, is satisfactory. Cinematography captures the rustic mood of the film well. Editing needed to be crispier. Music by Various Artists, is excellent.
Performance-Wise: Prateik delivers earnestly, but he can work on his expressions & styling. Debutant Amyra Dastur is extremely photogenic & confident. Given the right roles, she can go places. Ravi Kishan, Sudhir Pandey, Amit Sial & Makarand Deshpande are marvelous in supporting roles. Rajeshwari Sachdev enacts the Grey shaded character with brilliance.
On the whole, Issaq' holds some appeal.