Ishq Review: Not A Regular Love Story!
Teja Sajja, the child actor who turned into lead actor made his debut recently with Zombie Reddy and received great applause. He showed great promise with the film and he is now back to the theatres with Ishq: Not A Love Story. This film is a remake of the critically acclaimed Malayalam film titled Ishq and co-incidentally has Malayalam actress Priya Prakash as the female lead. The filmmakers opted for aggressive promotions and despite the film being postponed because of the COVID-19 second wave, they stuck to the theatrical release. That showed the confidence of the makers on this film and grabbed everyone's attention. Whether the film has lived up to those expectations or not? Let's find out in our review.
The film begins with the love story of Siddhu (Teja Sajja) and Anu (Priya Prakash). Siddhu plans a long drive on the latter's birthday to surprise her and they end up sharing a great moment in the car. However, a troublesome man who names himself a police officer (Ravindra Vijay) causes a lot of trouble to the young couple. How the love story of Siddhu and Anu takes a drastic turn from there forms the rest of the story.
Teja Sajja has put forth a commendable performance despite being just a film old actor. He oozes confidence and has a terrific screen presence. He is definitely an actor to watch out for. Teja Sajja almost managed to reach the level of Shane Nigam's performance from the original. On the other hand, Priya Prakash does not do enough justice for the role which was terrifically performed by Ann Sheetal. Her character needed a lot of emotions to be displayed and the climax sequence was supposed to elevate the role. But sadly, that doesn't happen in Ishq: Not A Love Story because of Priya Prakash's average performance.
Ravindra Vijay, who plays one of the key roles in the movie has given a decent performance. He plays his role to perfection but the role itself has nothing much to do except for showcasing excessive toxic masculinity. There are not many notable characters except for these three.
Coming to the story, it had a lot of potential to be an intense romantic drama with progressive topics like toxic masculinity and feminism. However, the makers tried a bit too much to make it more dramatic and ended up making it a boring experience to the viewers. With such a wafer-thin storyline, it is tough to make an entertaining movie so the director should have made it a little more engaging than what it is now. If only he could repeat the intensity of the original instead of remaking it shot by shot, this film would have been on another level. For what it is, Ishq offers decent entertainment to those who have not watched the original and can be watched once by others without any expectations.
On the technical front, Ishq is more than decent with contributions from Mahati Swara Sagar and Sam K.Naidu. With the setup being so realistic and under tricky situations, Sam K.Naidu had a lot to do when it comes to cinematography. He managed to do a terrific job while music director Swara Sagar impressed everyone with his amazing background score. Editor A.Vara Prasad should've trimmed off at least 15 minutes from the film to offer a more engaging experience.
Finally, Ishq turns out to be a boring experience for those who have watched the original already while for others, it can be watched if they have nothing else to do. Despite having a strong subject at the center, Ishq fails to throw some light on the same and ends up as a half-baked remake.