"Arre, yeh to apni story thi [Hey, this was our story]," I heard one guy tell another as I walked out of a theatre choc-a-bloc with teenagers who appeared to have enjoyed every moment of the campus flick Ishq Vishk.
I couldn't agree more; the film is like that -- unpretentious and heart-warming.
Remember the first time you fell in love, held your partner's hand in public, announced to your gang you were 'seeing someone'; how you enthusiastically rooted for your college in inter-college festivals, dressed up for traditional day, hung out with buddies in the canteen, did last minute cramming for exams, gave proxy attendances for friends, were named on the dreaded blacklist, ogled at the college 'item', begged parental permission for overnight picnics and were perennially short of money?
Well, that's Ishq Vishk for you.
Produced by Kumar and Ramesh Taurani of Tips Films, Ishq Vishk stars Pankaj Kapoor's son Shahid as Rajeev, Amrita Rao (The Legend Of Bhagat Singh) as Payal and former MTV veejay Shenaz Treasurywalla as Alisha.
The story revolves around Rajeev and his group, his childhood friend Payal and college hot property Alisha. Payal has always been in love with Rajeev who doesn't reciprocate her feelings because she is simple and therefore not 'his type'. All he wants is to do is date the hottest girl in college. And he does. The only problem is, he then finds himself wondering who his true love is!
The story may sound pretty trite but, believe me, watching the film is a different experience altogether. Ishq Vishk is uncomplicated, has no villains and very few clichés. The new faces are totally refreshing.
Ishq Vishk may have been written by a bunch of people who are over 30, but the dialogues won't remind you of that fact. The one-liners are young, snappy and hilarious. The costumes and sets are hip and Anu Malik's music is catchy. What I enjoyed most was that the 19 year olds in the film lead very, very believable lives.
While Shahid plays his role well, Amrita portrays Payal with sensitivity and charm. Shenaz, on the other hand, is a bit of a let down. Yash Tonk as the college love guru is good.
Ghosh could have easily edited out a song or two, but Ahmed Khan's enjoyable choreography offsets their extraneous presence.
In an interview to rediff.com published today, debutante film director Ken Ghosh said anyone who had attended college would identify with his film. Full marks to you, Ken. You were absolutely right.