Expectations were sky high from Abhishek Chaubey's second directorial venture Dedh Ishqiya (first one was Ishqiya) mainly because it marks the comeback of one of the most successful actors in Hindi cinema - Madhuri Dixit, and also because the first part of the franchise was a critically acclaimed film.
Chaubey couldn't afford to go wrong with this one, and he did not."Dedh Ishqiya's success can be attributed to the taut story of Darab Farooqui which is aided by Chaubey's fine screenplay, Vishal Bhardwaj's rib-tickling, naughty dialogues and Bashir Badr's lovely Urdu poems. Chaubey conjures a quaint, lyrical and extravagant world, which he uses to highlight the waning wealth of feudal society," writes Suhani Singh, India Today.
The director who has written screenplays of films like Omkara and Kaminey deserves a round of applause for making this sequel better than the original.
"Dedh Ishqiya is in many respects appreciably more enthralling than Ishqiya," says Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV. In fact, Dedh Ishqiya offers a different flavour that the viewers might like to savour.
"Ishqiya was sharp, spicy and volatile, with impulsive characters and a storyline taking a somersault every few minutes. Dedh Ishqiya is no different. It transports you to a diverse world, but like the first part, this one focuses on love and deceit as well. Also, it's far more complex this time around... and the truth hits you like a ton of bricks!" writes Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama.
If you are planning to watch the film for Madhuri, you should go ahead and book your tickets as the director has elicited a brilliant performance from the actor. The actress has made a scintillating comeback, and clearly still has the potential to rule the industry for another decade.
"A fair bit of the film admittedly takes its time staring at Madhuri, and this is no complaint for the legend gleams brighter than we’re used to seeing in our movies nowadays. She’s old-world, breathtaking and so utterly graceful it’s like someone draped a saree around a Rolls Royce. Her performance -- one that demands small, precise shifts in tone instead of showy histrionics -- is pitched perfectly. And it’s a privilege to see her dance the classics," writes Raja Sen, Rediff.
If you are among those people who don't believe in mindless entertainment, this one is not a bad idea. "Dedh Ishqiya entertains, but does so in a manner that does not trifle with the intelligence of the audience. In other words, here is an exceptional film that does not have to negotiate the kind of facile crowd-pleasing narrative formulations that most Bollywood flicks must necessarily wade through in order to get to the Rs 200-crore mark. Dedh Ishqiya might not get there, but it is a triumph of measured craftsmanship and storytelling finesse," adds Chatterjee.
The film works at numerous counts - editing, cinematography, sets, costumes. "Dedh Ishqiya is an absolute delight because all its parts fit beautifully. The cinematography, sets and costumes are exquisite. The editing is sharp. Most importantly Darab Farooqui's story is plotted wonderfully by Vishal Bharadwaj and Chaubey's screenplay. Bharadwaj has also written the dialogues and they're stylish, witty and a wonderful change from the awkward khichdi of Hindi and English that we usually hear in Bollywood films. Of course, it helps to have actors like Raaz and Shah delivering Bharadwaj's lines," writes Deepanjana Pal, Firstpost.
Coming back to the performance front, Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi's portrayals have won hearts again. "Naseeruddin Shah captures the essence of the worldly wise Khalujaan with the kind of acuity that only an actor of his proven calibre could have. Arshad Warsi, as always, is a livewire who injects full-on fizz into the proceedings without breaking into a sweat," says Chatterjee.
"Having performed tirelessly for four decades, in mainstream films, art-house films, international assignments, local theatre, sensible television, it’s remarkable to see an actor looking so enthusiastic in a role that makes it seem like it could well be his first. Arshad Warsi, a phenomenally talented actor who can be so inconsistent under lesser directors, finds his mojo yet again as Babban. As he did playing the other kickass sidekick Circuit in the Munnabhai series. Between these two stars and a heavily twisted plot, the film exudes tremendous amounts of confidence and wit." writes Mayank Shekhar.
So if you are planning to watch a movie this weekend, Dedh Ishqiya is strongly recommended. In the words of Taran Adarsh: "On the whole, Dedh Ishqiya is a worthy follow up to the widely admired Ishqiya. Powerful writing, superb direction and outstanding performances make Dedh Ishqiya a must watch. Just don't miss it!"