Movie Review: 'Ishk Actually'
Director: Anish Khanna
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Neha Ahuja, Rayo Bakhirta, Ann Mithchai
When a film is trying to be different, it has to know at least what it wants to be. If it doesn't, the entire project seems directionless in spite of the efforts put in. This particular uncertainty looms over all Ishk Actually because you really don't get a grip on most of the situations showcased in front of you. On top of that, the non-linear narrative only makes things complicated -- unnecessarily so. The film could have been much simpler and much more enjoyable.
Constantly shuttling between India and Thailand, the story hovers around four individuals. Two of them are engaged and all set to marry each other. The other two enter the scene and then the earlier equations change drastically. No, in fact, it keeps changing till the moment the movie ends and the credits roll. There's confusion all across the screen from a guy who is too proud to express his feelings to a girl who simply can't make up her mind. The other guy and girl belong to a saner lot but that doesn't stop them from -- wittingly or unwittingly -- messing relationships up.
In other words, the whole setup lacks depth. You never get to know the reasons behind the self-imposed anguish in each character. Their past is kept a secret leaving a lot to imagination and a lot less to narration. The makers evidently took mistaken cues and went ahead with the flow. It'd have helped if the storyline didn't pause for too long at times. Besides, there's nothing exceptional happening in terms of camerawork either. No surprises there. The background score is catchy though. Some dialogues with a poetic touch are memorable as well.
In terms of onscreen performance, only Rajeev Khandelwal has a clue about what he is doing. The rest are merely giving free lessons in hamming. Rayo Bakhirta's idea of emoting is restricted to staring into blankness. Neha Ahuja is admirable as long as she keeps her mouth shut. Ann Mithchai's accented Hindi works in her favour but for a little while.
If the gist of the film was to spin a yarn around the pursuit of true love, then it surely missed the target by a mile. By the time you leave the cinema hall, the question "why" starts jogging in your head. That's exactly what should have been running in the brains behind this endeavour. Well, actually.