Film and TV serial makers seem to have suddenly woken up to the charms of the Indian heartland. Ishaqzaade is based in the town of Almora in UP where everyone seems to be born trigger happy.
And if we are talking UP heartland, can elections be far behind? Zoya Qureshi (Parineeti) is the daughter of one ministerial berth hopeful while Parma Chauhan (Arjun) is the grandson of the other. They are naturally extremely hostile towards each other as they canvass for their respective parties. Parma is crude, boorish and Zoya is a slightly more refined version of the same animal. He burns down the local diesel store as punishment and she trades in her jhumkas for a pistol.
After yet another encounter, which ends with Zoya slapping Parma in front of their college mates, things take a different turn. Parma begins wooing the impulsive Zoya who falls for him and secretly marries him too. The story takes a twist here just before the intermission.
After a fairly interesting and fast paced first half, the curse of the second half strikes. The story degenerates into a mish-mash of conventional love story, communalism and honour killings. Parma's character easily seems to swing between conflicting extremes while Zoya's capitulation seems terribly stupid. The director seems suddenly unsure about which thread to follow and how to proceed logically. The tone of the movie veers between amusing and 'dead' serious leaving one confused about what to feel. Quite a waste of solid potential.
The acting was adequate with Arjun Kapoor almost pulling off an Abhishek in Yuva. Parineeti's acting is very good of course but the I-am-a-spunky-babe acting in her second outing too is repetitive.
Be warned: the 'Pareshan' song will stick in your head.