By Shevaal Singh
Love as the philosophers say is a many-splendid things. You can look at it as an occasion for stress and heartbreak which is why we fall, never rise, in love or love can be a celebration of life. Director Prem Raj`s debut flick “Main Aur Mrs Khanna” took a old-fashioned capricious look at love during times of adultery. In `Ishkq In Paris`he takes flight in a Parisian heaven where two strangers both single attractive and commit-phobic spend the night together that they’d never forget…ever!
No- not doing what you think in your dirty minds. They roam the cobblestoned enigmatic lanes of Paris in pursuit of a good time and then decide “never” to meet again. If you`ve seen how Kareena Kapoor touches the sober, staid and repressed Shahid Kapoor in “Jab We Met”, you`d know that feminine energy is a hard aphrodisiac to resist especially if you are a closet-romantic like Akaash (Rhehan Maliek) who in no time at all first five minutes of this crisp and delightful slice of love-life comedy is eating out of Ishkq`s lovely hands. Ishqk! She is that kind of a girl who is half-French and fu100% desi, Ishqk fills up the frames with an unrestrained joie de vivre. I can`t think of a role better written for Preity Zinta. Missing from the screen for a couple of years- she simply recoils back with a performance that originates its zing and sparkle from the actress inbuilt zest for life.
Preity takes her character Ishqk beyond her own personality. At the beginning we see Ishkq as a girl imprisoned by self-deceptions that leave her gratuitously suspicious of relationships. Ishkq hides her real emotions in romantic indifference. This is not the first time Preity plays a repressed character. In Nikhil Advani`s “Kal Ho Naa Ho”, Preity had to make a `spectacle` of her character Naina to bring out her commitment phobia in the absence of a father who abandoned her when she was young.Here in this Parisian reverence to all things romantic Preity`s character blooms before us without props and yet looking hugely fetching. It is a non-accessorised performance very basic and unconventional from the regular nonsense. Preity brings out the highs and lows in her emotional character without taking flamboyant leaps of on-camera conceit. It`s a beautifully written and directed part, replete with restrained qualities that give the actress a chance to show her skills in subtle ways. Rhehan is confident yet not cocky and appears self-assured for a satisfactory innings in Hindi films. They make a perfect pairing -one wonders if this big-hearted romantic-comedy would have worked with any other two actors!
Prem Raj allows the couple plenty of space to let their feeling breathe freely and easily into the narration. The two characters may be in a hurry to get somewhere but the film is not. The exquisite cinematography by Manush Nandan arcs seductively through the neon-lit night-life of Paris and the daytime bustle of the street side cafes without getting into a ‘tourist’ style.One shot where Preity treats Rhehan to the wondrous sight of all the lights coming alive in the Eiffel Tower stays with you. If only love could be captured and frozen in its most regal appearances! Interestingly the narration is fashioned like a fable with the legendary French actress Isabelle Adjani telling us about Ishkq`s brief encounter with Akaash and its outcome without letting us in to her own role in the romance. It`s a cute little secret kept away from us for a while in a film where the main characters play out their emotions in full view. Salman Khan charms fans with a surprise item song that leaves your feet tapping…
Preity, Paris and Prem Raj whip up a soufflé romance. Fresh, bubbly feel good and heart-warming zenith “Ishkq In Paris” which makes you appreciative for that thing called love. The tone of narration is unmistakably European. Ishkq in Paris gets a deserving 7.5/10 for its simple tale of French love portrayed by a dimpled beauty… Welcome back Preity we have missed you!