It’s rom-com season guys! And boy, am I ready for some giddy heart-flitting palpitations right about now. Thankfully, there are a few films on the horizon that hold the promise of romance, the summer heat kindly brings. To start us off, is mega movie star turned cricket team owner, Preity Zinta‘s PZNZ Media’s freshman project Ishkq in Paris.
The title is a play of the word “ishq,” which holds dual status as a translation for the word “love” and the name of the protagonist, therefore being literal in locale and action—we hope. The word “ishq” is used (expressed) differently in several cultures and languages but here, it’s safe to say, the ideal usage is for romantic love, however, it’s for the film to prove, whether that “romance” is predicated on a pure sensation that could lead to longevity or it’s passionate but fleeting form.
Synopsis: Two single strangers spend the day touring Paris together, then part ways. Several months later, they meet again and one confesses their love.
Cast: Preity Zinta, Rhehan Malliek, Isabelle Adjani, Shekhar Kapur, Salman Khan
Though Zinta has been filling her time with cricket matches or random interviews with her famous and fabulous male co-stars, over the last few years, she’s also been busy putting together this film. She’s put her management skills into her “day job,” by being completely hands on, every step of the way, as producer and writer. This role also will be nothing new for her, for her portrayal as the “modern Indian girl” is what has made her a Hindi film fixture. Even my personal Zinta favorites, are riddled with some facet of the “independent woman” characterization, whether it be in lifestyle(Salaam Namaste, Kal Ho Naa Ho) or progressive thinking (Dil Ne Jise Apnaa Kaha, Veer-Zaara). Therefore, it’s no surprise, this is the type of role she’d write and then star, for she is this character’s poster child.
I won’t say, that she’s a solid actress but rather, her performance is usually based on the caliber of the project. Like most actresses, what draws the greatest attention and favor is her real-life persona and personality, which is intelligent, straightforward and genuine, with a readied willingness to speak her mind sincerely.
Rhehan Malliek, known as Gaurav Chanana, is only four films old, this film being the highest in profile in range and popularity. In a recent interview, Zinta spoke about choosing Malliek stating, “He gives her a fresh look.” Believing, using a newcomer was the best for the movie all around, whether budget, tone or success.
Salman Khan makes a brief cameo in a dance number, which gives me hope that item songs won’t just be relegated to beautiful women but men are willing and able to be showcased in the same fashion. And oddly, I actually consider Preity, the female Salman, for they have a similar acting style, that at times springs up and surprises you. Also, Khan is by far my favorite Zinta, Khan co-star where solid consistent romantic chemistry is concerned. (Shoot, I wouldn’t even mind a real-life hook-up!)
Thoughts: Let’s call this film, the happy, non-thriller, romantic version of Strangers on a Train, which immediately makes this film an old favorite, with new shine. Though, love stories often use the strangers to lovers premise, a transport journey is shrouded in summer whimsy( which I love!). Though this film was originally slated for a Fall 2012 release, the premise, is much more conducive for warmer weather, when audiences are more open to snappy but light fare. Therefore, there won’t be anything at all original about IiP but in this genre, no one’s expecting any new discoveries, like the wheel or bread slices, just serviceable acting and tons of cuddly cliche Parisian moments.
Meet Ishkq in Paris now, in a theater near you.
[all stills courtesy of respective labeled sites]