Directed by: Prem Raj
After popping up in random cameos and small roles for a number of years, Preity Zinta returns to the big screen in a self produced and written film, Ishkq In Paris, directed by Prem Raj, who also directed Main Aur Mrs. Khanna, but under the name Prem Soni. Preity’s co-star is Rhehan Malek, who also has done other Bollywood films, (Woh Tera Naam Tha, Zinda, Kajraare), but then his name was Gaurav Chanana. It seems like a project a lot of people seem to be trying to reinvent themselves with.
The first half of the film is essentially Before Sunrise, the 1995 Richard Linklater film starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Two people, in this case, Ishkq (Zinta) and Akash (Malek), meet on a train to Paris, and the guy manages to convince the girl to keep him company till his next train the morning after. The second half is just your typical Bollywood film, which I don’t feel the need to synopsize. I’m all for actors and actresses producing and starring in their own films, but then those films they makeshould be something of significance, have a story that actually needs to be told, not one that’s already been told, and then typecast yourself in a role you’ve been doing for years. This is essentially what Preity Zinta has done here. The role of Ishkq is the character we’ve seen her play many times before, right down to the point that the last time she played the lead female in a film, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, the first half of the film had pretty much the same set up.
Despite being pretty much unnecessary as films go, it’s not bad to actually watch. Preity has done the role so many times, she’s pretty good at it. It isn’t really enough to save the film though, which no doubt will do fairly badly. Rhehan Malek (God knows what’s going on with that name and it’s spelling) is alright as well. Why he’s trying to reinvent himself, I don’t understand, since no one is actually going to remember him from his previous work. French actress Isabelle Adjani plays Preity’s French mother, Marie. Since she’s an established French actress, I’m going to put her bad performance down to a language barrier. It’s a nice touch having a French actress play a French role in the film, but if anything her performance and the badly dubbed Hindi dialogue made the film a little worse. The change in voice is so obvious, they can’t honestly think it’s believable that she’s speaking Hindi.
I feel like I’m being incredibly harsh, but when a film is so ‘meh’ I can only really remember the things I disliked about it. Apart from a few editing issues here and there, from a technical point, it’s well made. The music, by Sajid-Wajid, is alright, but nothing I even remember properly only a few hours after seeing the film. Better music could have made the film more fun. Salman Khan’s special appearance will probably have the desired effect on his fans, but to me it was a bit pointless.
If someone really wanted to, Before Sunrise does have potential for a Bollywood remake, but this most certainly was not the right way to do it. I really do want Preity to do well, but I can’t help but wonder if she had to make this herself for herself, no one else must want her for their own productions, which is quite sad.
Ishkq In Paris is out now.