Feel like having Biryani? Watch Dedh Ishqiya

Agar batman mar gaya to joker kya karega. Aata goondega?

Agar batman mar gaya to joker kya karega. Aata goondega?

Dedh Ishqiya is a delightful movie. Flows like water, grows like wine.

If you had a doubt that Babban and Khalu’s chemistry won’t be the same the second time over, worry not. The sparks still fly as you continue to marvel at the real undercurrents of their relationship. Naseer and Arshad continue to razzle dazzle you with the best bro-act. You don’t get to say this often- Ghaaghre Ka Pissu Babban stands taller this time, even though the movie belongs to the Nawab of Chandpur Khalujaan.

If you thought Mushtaq Bhai was funny only the first time, think again. He delivers one of the finer Batman moments of the movie right at the beginning

Instead of one, there are two ladies – but it’d be unfair to Vidya Balan to say that they score over her. I am an ardent Madhuri admirer, but Begum Para is only a shadow of the Madhuri of Mrityudand, Beta, and many more. Huma Qureshi almost sleepwalks through her role which doesn’t make her do anything beyond her Wasseypur shades. In her dancing moments, Madhuri continues to be the gold standard. In the Humri Atariya sequence, one cannot but notice the remarkable difference in the grace, style and expressions with which she dances, and Huma is almost an eyesore in that song. However, Vidya Balan, in the previous edition, had a level of evil and vixen-ness that is clearly missing from the leading ladies this time. That said, if the trailer of Gulaab Gang is anything to go by, I have a feeling we are getting closer to the Madhuri Dixit of yore.

The surprise package of the movie (not so much, really!) is Vijay Raj in the role of Jaan Bhai. I have never really written on how brilliant his comic timing can be. Remember Raghu Romeo. Better still, remember the only watchable parts of that horrible movie “Run” ? Vijay Raj is amazingly awesome as the local MLA/ suitor of Begum Para.

Moving on to the non-people parts of the movie – the star of the movie, like the last time, is the quality of screenplay and dialogues. The chemistry of Khalu and Babban would be only half as explosive if not for the dialogues. However, one most not forget the beautiful use of Urdu – the language of the nawabs. The ingredients – nafaasat, adab, tehzeeb aur salika – are all present in their glory, only to be immediately replaced by Khalu and Babban’s Bhopali Hindi with consummate ease. The English subtitles (forced upon me in Dhanbad, of all the places!) destroy the beauty of those dialogues. But if you can avoid getting burnt by the subtitles, Dedh Ishqiya has one of the best written dialogues in the recent times. . I am glad that they enlisted Bashir Badr as the writer for the Urdu ghazals/ nazms. Bulk of the poetry/ selection is exquisite.

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Khalu to Babban: Zara lihaaf hi maang lo

One cannot but marvel at the mini salute to Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf towards the end, and the various mini allegories thrown every now and then. Noor Mohammad Italvi (Manoj Pahwa of Bhatia Saab fame) being one of them – kyonki humari ammi Sonia ji ki badi achi dost hain. Munira’s Kaagzi Begum reference, and Jaan Bhai’s quest to be a true nawab.

Dedh Ishqiya’s music isn’t as big a chartbuster as Ishqiya’s music was. That does not mean it is not as soulful. Dil ka mizaaj ishqiya may not be an equal of dil to bacha hai ji, but stands tall as a beautiful ballad. The problem with it is that it’s too similar to the earlier one. What one misses is Mika’s ibn-e-batuta anchor, which Honey Singh fails to provide. Humri Atariya, Zabaan Jale Hai, and Jagaave Saari Raina are good parallels to the music of Ishqiya. Unfortunately Begum Akhtar’s Atariya is probably more touching than Rekha Bhardwaj’s. The music blends as effortlessly as any other good soundtrack you’d remember. The qawwali, which does seem out of place when you hear the audio compilation, also merges well with the movie.

The movie runs at a very even pace, and does not slow down anywhere. A copycat moment of sorts is towards the end, where an action sequence has a traditional “Wo Jo Hum Mein Tum Mein Qaraar Tha” by Begum Akhtar (written by Momin) playing in the background.

To sum it up, Dedh Ishqiya, is like Awadhi biryani. Cooked to perfection, each morsel exploding like a million flavors in your mouth.

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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