Movie Review: Issaq (2013)

Box Office: Flop

The story of Issaq revolves around the two lovers who are born to hate each other as their families are arch rivals of each other. Progressing as how they eventually fall in love with each other, the plot is set in the background of Varanasi as story on the banks of the Ganges and revered as holy in Hinduism. This story based on Shakespeare novel of Romeo- Juliet.

In this original Indian adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet directed by Manish Tiwary, we see the story transposed to Banaras and its neigbouring areas that are witness to violence unleashed by sand mafia controlled by urban elite and equally violent retaliation by Naxalite armies. The sand mafia is run by two influential Banarasi families, Kashyaps and Mishras, who are at brutal feud with each other.

Kashyap has an 18-year old, pretty and innocent daughter Bachchi from his first wife, Bachchi’s role is played by Amyra Dastur who marks her debut in this film. On the other hand, Mishra’s son Rahul (Played by Prateik) is a good-looking teenager with predictable interests for a boy of his background – Girls & Guns!
Things change when the battle-hardened and pleasure-seeking Rahul and romantic yet head strong Bachchi fall in love. Disregarding the consequences, the young lovers choose go ahead with the dictats of their hearts. What follows is a high octane action-filled drama.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
4.0 “This is one of the most innovative adaptations of Romeo & Juliet in any language.”
Sify: Subhash K Jha
Average Reviews
2.5 “The film neither narrates a great love story nor offers any brilliant performance.”
One India
Negative Reviews
2.0 “ISSAQ is absorbing and convincing in parts, not in entirety. The final outcome could’ve been even more impactful had it not been stretched.”
Bollywood Hungama
2.0 “More style than substance, this is one of the few films you wish you could recommend in its entirety.”
Sify: Sonai Chopra
2.0 “Issaq was indeed a thorough waste. With such a promising idea, the film’s pseudo-artistic style of narration is half baked and dishonest”
2.0 “Do let the bard rest in peace, guys.”
Deccan Chronicles
1.5 “What Issaq projects is a completely Bollywoodized view of Benaras. Nothing in this portrait rings true.”
NDTV Movies
1.5 “Issaq sounds like so many of the other recent UP-as-badlands films, without a singular voice of its own. Finally, it drowns in its own noise.”
Indian Express
1.5 “Issaq will challenge your patience and drown you in your own misery!”
DNA India
1.0 “Issaq is an insultingly bad film.”
1.0 “ISSAQ is being touted as the Indian adaption of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”
1.0 “If you are looking for Shakespearean tragedies set in UP, stick to Vishal Bhardwaj.”
1.0 “Issaq is an overcooked film with bad screenplay; horrendous acting by the lead cast and hence happens to be devoid of any reason to watch. “
1.0 “It is a disaster that lasts for 2-1/2 hours and leaves you with a headache.”
Blog Reuters
1.0 “Give this film a miss.”

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