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Daawat-e-Ishq: Dowry-e-Ishq

Posted on the 19 September 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Daawat-e-Ishq

Director: Habib Faisal

Cast: Aditya Roy Kapur, Parineeti Chopra, Anupam Kher, Sumit Gaddi, Karan Wahi

Rating: **

Can an embellished intercultural romance that serves to manipulate a social menace like dowry, be a worthy film ? The brains behind Daawat-e-Ishq believe so. In fact, they could’ve done themselves a lot of good, had they managed to convince the tourism departments of Lucknow and Hyderabad to co-sponsor the film. They tease us with the intricate details surrounding Lucknowi Kababs, Hyderabadi Biryani, hiding the hollowness of an underdeveloped core, whose only target is to focus on the possible misuse of the 498 (A) section of the IPC . The result is a predictable,  semi-preachy and a half-hearted con drama.

Gulrez Qadir (Parineeti Chopra), as determined as her cinematic cousin Bobby in Hyderabad,  is fascinated about anything that’s barely American. She calls their accent ‘yum’. She rejects a marriage proposal of a guy who pronounces blue like ‘bilue’ and film like ‘flim’. Survived by her modest-paying job at a footwear shop and a father (Anupam Kher), who’s a small-time clerk in the High Court, she has tall aspirations of taking up a fashion designing course in New York. But for the region, she’s a conventional Konkana or a Vidya Balan in the making. And the guy ? He (Aditya Roy Kapoor) is a surprise, just because of his ability, to travel beyond her generalization of  men. He doesn’t manage to pass his 12th grade, but, nevertheless charms the girl. Do we need another film to prove that opposite ends are bound to meet ? And to take the disclaimer against dowry seriously or savour the visuals of Charminar and Lucknow’s forts ?

Habib Faisal, moves beyond Delhi this time, and sans any suspicion is in love with the places he shows us. Films like Ishaqzaade (intercultural fondness) and Do Dooni Chaar (correctness, values and moralities) are pointlessly pinned together here. The determined girl in a full-on vengeance-mode against a patriarchal society, turns finicky later and regrets her inhumane shades. This is as good as a notification that reads, “We’re extremely sorry of fiddling with the legal proceedings surrounding dowry and making a mess of it. Can you just forget that part of the story and get back to the romance ? I am a very good girl.”

The title cards make sure that the film takes off on a promising note, with the names of the actors, being displayed as dishes in canteen menus. The care for the ‘Good Bye’ note behind the girl’s auto in her escape bid is also well-done. Yet again, where’s the content to justify the symbolism ? The character sketches are lazy enough, to an extent that it doesn’t permit us to credit the performances of an otherwise dependable cast boasting of names like Parineeti and Anupam Kher. Daawat-e-Ishq, in all its attempt to make a cocktail,  ends up serving a water less coconut.

Review by Srivathsan N. First published in Cinegoer.net

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