Cast:Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Roy Kapur, Anupam Kher
Whenever you hear about a movie which has its titled borrowed from the culinary nomenclature it is quite obcious for you to get stitched up when you get to know that in reality it has nothing in accordance with your perception. And up-till great extent same holds true for Habib Faisal's latest cine offering "Dawat E Ishq" starring Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Anupam Kher, which opened amid a jam-packed opening at the multiplexes.
Well this as far as Bollywood's association with culinary nomenclature is concerned then it dates back to Hrishikesh Da's era when this ace cinematician apprised the masses with his cult cinematic creation "Baawarchi" where despite the presence of other cinematic additives "kitchenette" and culinary skills also had a major part to play. But unlike other cine making obsessions of that era this scrumptious cine concept of Hrishikesh Da's never turned into a full fledged obsession for our Bollywooders. Thus we have very few cine portraits like "Chini Kum", "Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khuranna" and even "The Lunchbox" in this ilk where kitchenette and culinary skills played a role at par with the movie's leading protagonists. If we talk about aforementioned cine flicks then there is no denying the fact that in these stories besides heart warming story, culinary art had a major part to play. But if we talk about "Daawat E Ishq" then after seeing the feasty promotional stint it is quite deplorable to say that it turns out to be a wrongly christened cine yarn. Well that doesn't mean that "Daawat E Ishq" is vapid of entertainment. It certainly touches your heart while exposing you to socially relevant issues like dowry, a heart warming father daughter bonding and recourse a savory selfless romance.
Anyhow let's get hold of the premise first... Premise of "Daawat E Ishq" narrates the story of a Muslim girl Gulrez Gullu Qadir (Parineeti Chopra) who lives along with his simpleton and righteous father (Anupam Kher) in Hyderabad. Gullu's father is in search of a perfect match, but often has to face the rejections from prospective groom's family because of latter's high "dowry" aka "help" demands. Vexed up with these rejections Gulrez decides to trap a rich family that would demand dowry from them and plans to record the entire negotiation proceeding on camera to later blackmail them for hefty alimony under article 498 A so that she can move to US for higher studies. In order to make their plan a reality Gulrez along with her father changes their identities and reaches Lucknow in search of the prey.
Soon after reaching Lucknow Gulrez has a rendezvous with Tariq Haider (Aditya Roy Kapur) who incidentally is the owner of one of the most popular restaurants of Lucknow. The two families meet and Gulrez along with her father records the dowry discussion on a hidden camera. With story proceeding further, Gulrez marries Tariq and as per her plan gets the money too, but on her way back to Hyderabad she realizes that even she has fallen in love with Tariq. So what follows next to know watch, this feast of love kinda cine cantata...
Well as far as story-line of "Dawat E Ishq" is concerned then as stated in the beginning, the premise of the movie will certainly astonish you because after spending nice forty five or fifty minutes in the cine arena you start realizing that it is something thoroughly paradoxical to your expectations. The message which "Daawat E Ishq" carries is certainly noble, but even that spirit of the story-line starts losing its captivating potency after a specific point of time.
In fact it won't be wrong to say that had Habib Faizal (who in the past proved his writing excellence with movies like "Do Dooni Chaar" and "Ishaqzaade") tried to keep "Daawat E Ishq" a message driven film then probably it would have turned out to be better end product. But as all of us know that our Bollywooder are the ardent supporters of "...and they lived happily ever after philosophy" hence it is next to impossible for them to eschew from their "Romance Ka Tadka" fascination.
But truly speaking this this fascination of Habib not only made "Daawat E Ishq" look like a million dollar mess but also depletes the crispiness of his cine enterprise. Well it's not that this is the only flaw with the plot of "Daawat E Ishq, right from the onset till the consummation you come across many such sequences which not only look obtruded but also look quite bland in taste.
Despite the presence of a few such "dump in lap" sequences in the first half the pre-interval part up-till some extent succeeds in keeping your attention stationary on the celluloid. But then the disaster happens when Habib pours the puree of "Bollywoodian romance" in the smoothly flowing narration. As soon as this necessary evil of Bollywood occupies the driving seat the premise of movie not only becomes highly predictable but also ends up being tedious affair for the viewers. Although when Gulrez cons Taaru you start expecting a mild dose of thrill in the offing, but when you realize that your expectations are being trampled you become a helpless tacet listener of this lecture on dowry and article 498 A. In nutshell sans logic and with tons of obtruded poppycock ingredients, premise of "Daawat E Ishq" is just like a half baked soggy cookie which you are bound to swallow after taking it in your mouth. So no brownie points for Habib for scribbling this jejune narration.
Even the flimsy screenplay of "Daawat E Ishq" has got nothing very praiseworthy in it. With some bankable names like Anupam Kher, Parineeti Chopra and Aditya Roy Kapoor, Habib could have easily compensated for the blunders which he committed on the narration front. In-fact I don't have any trepidation in saying that after seeing the initial teasers and trailers of the movie I had a very high expectation with the movie, but after spending almost fifty minutes on my seat all my expectations came down shattering. Although initial part of the movie flows at a better pace and looks mildly engrossing (probably because of the optimism that some thing great is waiting ahead) but as soon as the flow of the narration starts sinking in the morass of slowness and high predictability you start loosing your hopes too.
Editing of Meghna Manchanda Sen is good in parts, but over all just like story-line and screenplay even it looks like something done halfheartedly. Action sequences are not many, but whatever is there on the name of action could have been far better in quality.
Music of Sajid Wajid up-till some extent emerge as grace saver for the movie with title song and "Meri Mannat Tu" track emerging as two captivating carols.
Well as far as performances are concerned then here again Habib badly failed in extracting the best out of his protagonists who are are otherwise some of the best performers which Bollywood has. Although Parineeti up-till extent succeeds in portraying the character. But if we compare her Gulrez avatar to some of the characters which she played in the past then Gulrez looks a bit underplayed and that's surely not because of her performance incompetence rather because of the the poorly defined character which makes her look a bit befuddled.
On the other hand it's Aditya who totally takes away the show as a "Luckhnowi Khaansaama". Although Aditya steps on the screen quite late but the moment he does, it's he and his stupendous acting prowess which at once grab your attention. Even versatile acting icon Anupam Kher seems to be loitering in a state of perplexity and could not add anything great to this bland cine cantata but whatever he does certainly leaves a mild impact on you.
To sum up, "Daawat E Ishq" certainly has a worthy message at its core, but because of misleading christening and inapt packaging and garnishing with some redundant condiments it looses its appetizing potency. In nut shell "Daawat E Ishq" is not an epicurean cine curry, but it is not bland either. So I am going ahead with two and a half out of five for this quotidian cine chow which could have been a scrumptious delight.