Ishq-e-Nadaan(Streaming On JioCinema)
Rating: ** ½
There are films that are destined for glory even when released under the worst of circumstances. Then there are those films which are doomed even before they are seen by the audience.
Director Avishek Ghosh’s directorial debut has the seeds of a beautiful love story told in segments that somehow merge at the end .There was no need to bring the three stories together. But then Ghosh’s well-wishers must have warned him that the audience likes to go home with a neat ending. Little did he know they would be watching his breezy labour of love at home only
As a home release Ishq-e-Nadaan is a welcome addition to the cluttered OTT platform. It has a heart but misses the soul by millimeters , probably in the futile quest of a happy ending, more likely because the first-time director(Ghosh has earlier directed a Bengali shortfilm) got too close to his characters to preserve a detached distance.
And we really can’t blame Ghosh for getting so close to his characters. They are charming and winsome in their search for companionship. This reviewer’s favorite character is Ashutosh, played by one of the more underrated actors of our cinema Mohit Raina .He plays a widower with a little daughter who with heartbreaking honesty, tells her father from boardingshool, “How long will you waste your life just waiting for me to take your calls?”
In walks Lara Dutt as Ramona,the insanely attractive celebrity guest at the hotel where Ashutosh is a desk manager. You want the sparks to fly between them, and they do…until Ramona makes a big revelation.
Somehow you feel these characters deserve a better send-off than what the screenwriter(Sudeep Nigam) has in store for them.
In the second segment we have the Saans pair , Neena Gupta and Kanwaljeet Singh still attractive together, playing an unlikely pair seeking companionship discussing lost opportunities in life, and going that extra mile to try and reclaim what was rightfully theirs.Again, a thoughtful take on a love relationship.
Gupta is so much more at-home here than she was as the bullish grandmother in Lust Stories2. Kanwaljeet’s character is meant to be over-the-top , and the actor cannot really handle that.
The third and weakest story has a stubborn single and pregnant Siya( Shriya Pilgaonkar) using Piyush(Suhail Nayyar,so much more believable here than in the recent Jee Karda) as a buffer and punching-bag.
The performances are likeable in this love-story. But the plot development is way too preordained to surprise us even remotely.
Ishq-e-Naadan is far from flawless in depicting the mysterious ways of destiny in a love relationship.But the treatment resonates with the themes .The actors demonstrate a level of maturity that perhaps the characters don’t always deserve.