Verdict: A romantic comedy that falls short.

The Indian film industry has made several strides in the past decade, with filmmakers trying different genres, having strong female leads, and reducing the number of unnecessary songs to soundtracks. However, for the film-going audience, a masala-filled movie will always be a classic hit. Rajiv S. Ruia’s Direct Ishq may not match up to expectations, but it certainly provides mindless entertainment.

The trailer had made it clear – the movie was a senseless comedy, with an additional dose of dhinchak-dhinchak and dhishoom-dhishoom. The story revolves around the tenacious rockstar Dolly Pandey (Nidhi Subbaiah) from Banaras, who is wooed by two starkly opposite men. On one side lies the rational and humble Kabir (Arjun Bijlani), who wants to help Dolly with her career. On the other hand, the local Banarasi goon Vicky Shukla (Rajneesh Duggal) is smitten with the fiery Dolly. Throughout the movie, Dolly is forced to choose between the level-headed Kabir and the obsessive Vicky, who will not take ‘no’ for an answer. She is also hoping to make a mark as a musician – a longstanding dream of hers and her father’s – which gets complicated by the constant distraction of her two suitors.

While Dolly Pandey‘s aggressive and intolerant characteristics are prominent in the beginning, they tone down later as the two men take precedence in her life. She tries to live up to her fierce reputation, but her character barely matches up to the antics of Vicky Shukla, who in spite of being completely full of himself, is the star of the movie. You may hate him, but you cannot ignore him in the film. Naturally attention-grabbing Rajneesh Duggal’s charisma will also keep the audience entertained till the very end.

While the script and the actors failed to impress, the interesting bit about the movie was the depiction of Banaras. Right from the ‘Ganga maiyya‘ mentions to the religious references, the city was embedded in the story. The picturesque shots of the holy Ganga add a beautiful touch to the story. Mumbai, in contrast, was shown as a gloomy, mundane city, devoid of any real action, which is far from its depiction in other movies (like Wake Up Sid). It was clear that the movie tried to sell Banaras more than the story.

The film was not short of musical numbers, mainly performed by the lead actress. When Dolly Pandey took the stage, you couldn’t help but rock along with her. The title track can be quite catchy, and if you’re a fan of Bollywood music, some of these songs are going to remain in your playlist for a while.

Direct Ishq did provide inane entertainment , but failed to live up to the expectations of the audience. The melodramatic acting did not help and the feeble attempts at humor barely elicited a ‘meh’ from the audience. But if you’re a Bollywood entertainment lover, Direct Ishq may just be the thing you’re looking for.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Catch a late evening show on a weekday, when you need to get away from your daily conundrums and engage in some mindless entertainment. Banaras looks beautiful and the stunts remind you of a Rohit Shetty film. 

– By Delnaz Divecha