Ever been for a meal to a place known for its quality fare and come away disappointed? We all have occasionally. Daawat-e-Ishq is one example of just such an outing. (YRF…some consistency will do wonders).
The story-is of young Hyderabadi Gulrez (Parineeti Chopra in a too pink lipstick) whose prospects for “jahez” are limited and thus she gets no suitable boys-even when they seek her out and fall ostensibly in love with her. An indignant Gullu then hatches a plot which involves snaring a prize catch with promises of much dowry, conducting a false wedding ceremony and then slapping the anti-dowry Article 498 A on them to get them to cough up huge sums as damages-in or out of court. This with the help of her doting but dithery dad (Anupam Kher).
Guls however reckons without the rustic but honest charm of Tariq Haider “Taru” (Adiya Roy Kapoor in shirts which would put Govinda to shame) from Lucknow. He is loud, brash and not much to look at but has great insight and also actually wants to marry for love and not money alone. He is also the scion of a family which owns a highly popular restaurant and thus the way to this woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach. Between kababs, biryani, shahi tukda and phirni, their jalebi of a love story ferments and soaks up in the “chashni” of friendship and mutual liking. And throws her off her balance…
The acting was mediocre across the board. Parineeti was bland and mechanical and did no justice to the chatpata role she had. The only surprise was Aditya Roy Kapur who thankfully for once was NOT a washed up drunk and even conveyed a fair amount of emotion through surprisingly warm dark melted chocolate(though kohl rimmed) brown eyes.
The Hyderabadi accents were ok but the Lucknow portrayals were not. Also, for some reason there was a surfeit of pink in the film-from lipstick to an all pink holi.
Two of the songs are lovely-the title track and the Sonu Nigam number-Mannat. Kausar Munir’s lyrics impress yet again. Lovely words to be wooed with.
The story or rather its enactment lacked depth and was oversimplified. (Excuse me a bit while I go plan my own heist—anyone know where I can get a fake passport made?). There are a few sizzling moments between the lead pair but not enough to make us go “yum”.
What are missing are the accurate characterisations of people and places as in “Ishaqzaade” or the unaffected spontaneity of “Do Dooni Chaar”. These comparisons, though irksome, will be made as the quality of these films is unquestionable.
With all the ingredients of a delicious meal (actors, director, producer, music) kahaani mein namak daalna reh gaya.