Ishq Review: a peculiar thriller you shouldn’t miss
We have seen a lot of movies in the recent past in which the moral policing was a part of the narrative. Debutant director Anuraj Manohar’s Ishq is a movie that lingers around this subject but what the script has on offer here is something that is unique and politically hard-hitting. Through Ishq, writer Ratheesh Ravi addresses the short term and long term solution to this social evil that is a product of male ego.
A young couple, Sachi and Vasudha, are our main protagonists. They are in love with each other and at one point Sachi decided to spend a night with Vasudha on her birthday and they decided to go for a really long drive. But that plan went downhill when two men decided to harass them accusing them of immoral conduct. The impact of this harassment on the couple and the way they react to this situation is what Ishq showing us.
This is not a film that is investing fully on the harassment. The escape from the harassment is not the ultimate aim of the script. The script looks for closure to the event and the mentality. The first half effectively shows us the dreadful situation. It is in the second half where the cinematic interpretation and politics starts to play. Just when you start to root for the hero for his reaction, the script throws the most important question at you and that to be honest shifts the gears of the film. Ishq thus ends on a highly thought-provoking note which was quite essential for a movie that dealt with a topic like this.
Sachi is a performance platform for the actor in Shane Nigam. The character of Sachi mainly has three shades in this film and the young man uses his arsenal of emotions smartly to stay true to the character. Ann Sheetal promises to be a quality actress with her natural performance as Vasudha. The extreme situations were emoted neatly by the actress. The show stealer, by the way, was Shine Tom Chacko whom as the venomous villain just nailed it. He makes the character so raw and grounded that you can assume that such a character is not a fictional creation. Leona Lishoy was good and so was Jaffer Idukki. Mala Parvathy and Swasika are the other two familiar names in the cast and they were also pretty real.
Anuraj Manohar is a director who appreciates the sense of the viewer. The script constantly views the vent from the audiences’ perspective to give it a foolproof look. The script that Ratheesh Ravi claimed to be a loud word against moral policing was minimized smartly by Anuraj. The Sachi we see in the second half is perhaps the most practical way anyone can react to an incident like that. The male perspective of asserting purity to a female body gets scrutinized here. If you look back at all the minor details in the character development there is a social critique happening within the film. Ansarsha follows the footsteps of his guru Rajeev Ravi and you can sense that in the frames. The music blended with the mood the movie created. Kiran Das’ edits for the second half is a really terrific work.
In a nutshell, Ishq is a preachy movie. But that preach here is not at all loud. The lack of spoon feeding in the making was made possible because of riveting performances and along with writing that has so much of detailing, Ishq is a peculiar thriller you shouldn’t miss.
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