There are a few cardinal rules filmmakers must abide by. Naming a film after a famous Bollywood song and mercilessly torturing the audience are not counted among them. In Ishq Wala Love, director Renu Desai gives us a love story-turned-social commentary-turned-sob story, which overstays its welcome.

We have the classic tale: Boy meets girl, boy loves girl, girl loves boy, and they are a match made in heaven. But things get tense when the boy asks the girl for her hand in marriage, and she suggests a live-in relationship instead. This happens just before the interval, so you can care about what happens to them from this point on. Unfortunately, you don’t.

Ishq Wala Love starts off on a very promising note. In the form of Ajinkya (Adinath Kothare) and Ovi (Sulagna Panigrahi), we have an adorable couple. Each of their characters is nicely constructed, where one is grounded and the other is carefree. The film is also visually appealing, thanks to its use of lighter tones and classy locales. This works up to a certain point, after which it just gets on your nerves.

Frankly, this film seems way too artificial for its own good. Ajinkya and Ovi both live in huge bungalows, drive fancy cars, have the coolest family members and great jobs. As such, the only major hurdle in their life is whether or not to get married. Go figure. The breezy romance in the first half is traded in for an endless barrage of debates on the choices of the modern generation and women’s empowerment. Renu Desai takes a decent concept, and blows it way out of proportion.

Ishq Wala Love does have a decent soundtrack, though. But considering how everything has to be done in excess in this film, the title track is played every time the hero’s phone rings. After a point, the main idea behind the film is lost, and you can see the ending from a mile away. The only person who fails to do so, is the director. The movie could have benefited from a lot of editing and tighter scripting. In the end, it is nothing but an extended soap opera.

Why should you watch this film?

Ishq Wala Love has earnest performances by Adinath Kothare and Sulagna Panigrahi. They are quirky and compatible, and in the presence of a good script, could have worked wonders. The first half of the film is particularly enjoyable and the set pieces are exquisite. Watch this film to witness the love story of an offbeat couple who value each other more than anything else. However, if you are looking for a well-rounded film, you will be disappointed.

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