A charming film that may go unnoticed among the vast OTT libraries, yet offers a delightful effort.
Last Updated: 06.45 AM, Jul 14, 2023
When Ashutosh (Mohit Raina) meets Ramona (Lara Dutta) at his place of work, the hotel, everything changes for him. However, Charulatha (Neena Gupta) befriends the film director Subhash Kapoor (Kanwaljit Singh) and confides in him.
Having Mumbai as a character can be shown in a positive as well as a negative way. But when heartwarming stories weave amid the city, it's palpable to watch. Ishq-e-Nadaan, a film by Avishek Ghosh, is set against the backdrop of Mumbai. The film is an anthology that showcases three stories.
The first one features Neena Gupta and Kanwaljit Singh, the Saans actors who have reunited and sweetly showcase the bonding of senior citizens. The second one is about a much younger couple, Shriya Pilgaonkar and Suhail Nayyar, who unintentionally meet and become that comforter. While the last but not the least is a story revolving around two people in their 40s, played by Lara Dutta Bhupathi and Mohit Raina.
It's the story of three generations that starts on a very beautiful note with a meet-cute. Although the film doesn't draw you in at the start, you look forward to knowing what will happen next. However, the intentional sweetness of the film loses its plot mainly due to its performances. The film stitches well to bring the three stories together, and that suspenseful reveal can leave you surprised in the end.
Ishq-e-Nadaan is that kind of film that is smaller in budget, and by the looks of it, even actors don't give their 100% due to its scale. For example, Shriya Pilgaonkar, who plays a single pregnant woman, is seen as a woman who is ambitious but also wants her partner to be the same. She can't stand men who don't take their jobs seriously and then want them to maintain a work-life balance like she does. Full marks on these expectations, as they're entirely right. But it's her performance that lacks depth and doesn't look like the sheer performer that she is.
Meanwhile, Suhail Nayyar, who is just out of Jee Karda, seems to be in a similar element in the film. He is shown as a man who can fall head-over-heels, and a woman is the alpha here too. However, I loved the fact that her pregnancy was not a topic of concern while coupling the characters together.
My favourite among the three stories was between Mohit Raina and Lara Dutta. I kind of had a preconceived notion that I would like their track more, and I wasn't surprised either. Although a short story, the plot had more nuances and landed better, keeping a surprise towards the end.
Both the actors brought maturity to the story with their performances, which was amiss. However, the whole storyline, although done and dusted, felt fresh, thanks to the lack of films being made in this genre. Lara is a lovely catalyst, and Mohit handles the plot well, but the latter makes it watchable.
On the other hand, Neena Gupta and Kanwaljit's plot follows the usual trope of finding companionship after losing their partners. However, most slightly, the film reminded me of the Lovedale segment from Dus Kahaaniyan, which was also based on long-lost lovers.
Sudeep Nigam, who has done the heavy-lifting writing for The Test Case and Avrodh: The Siege Within, has penned the screenplay of Ishq-e-Nadaan. It's a beautiful attempt and a lighter watch amid the intense content created around it.
Ishq-e-Nadaan can be a hidden film among the libraries spread over OTT, but it's not entirely a gem but a delightful attempt, so to speak.