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Feels Like Ishq: A few shorts stand out in this Netflix anthology about love

The six shorts averaging a runtime of a little less than 30 minutes is all about love

Source: SIFY

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3 /5

Monday 26 July 2021

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Movie Title

Feels Like Ishq: A few shorts stand out in this Netflix anthology about love

Director

Anand Tiwari, Ruchir Arun, Tahira Kashyap, Sachin Kundalkar, Jaydeep Sarkar, Danish Aslam

Star Cast

Rohit Saraf, Radhika Madan, Tanya Maniktala, Amol Parashar, Neeraj Madhav, Simran Jehani, Kajol Chugh, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Skand Thakur, Zayn Marie Khan, Saba Azad, Mihir Ahuja

Anthologies seem to be the flavour of the season, and we have a new one on Netflix about love. With six shorts averaging a runtime of a little less than 30 minutes, Feels Like Ishq gives us a few gems and an equal number of average watches.

Save the Da(y)te – Convoluted and simplistic at the same time

A story that perhaps intended to make a deeper statement about love, but ends up being convoluted and simplistic at the same time.

A woman runs away from her own marriage as she is overwhelmed when someone calls her ‘Pranav ki biwi aur Chopras ki bahu’. Best friend Avni (Radhika Madan) ropes in wedding planner Jay (Amol Parashar) to look for her before the baraat arrives. In doing so, the believer-in-love Avni and cynical Jay debate on love and relationships. Directed by Ruchir Arun and written by Monisha Thyagarajan, the film also dismisses the bride’s valid reasons for getting cold-feet.

Meanwhile, Avni is the sort of person who will throw someone’s phone into the sea because it’s “cute”. She does exactly this when they are on the jetty to find the runaway bride. Enough said.

Quaranteen Crush – Sweet story but doesn’t stir deep emotions

This film has director Tahira Kashyap Khurrana and writer Ghazal Dhaliwal whip up a simple, sweet teen crush story. Teenager Maninder (Mihir Ahuja) who is dealing with an overbearing mother, finds a ray of sunshine when he notices next-door neighbour (Kajol Chugh).

Since this cute neighbour is under a 15-day Covid quarantine, he lies to everyone so he can get to meet her every day. It’s a decent watch but you don’t care enough about the characters to invest in the story beyond a point.

Star Host – One of the stars of the anthology

One of the best films in the anthology, the story has Aditya (Rohit Saraf) come up with an idea to pay for his travel dream. When his parents go for their vacation, he converts their beautiful villa into an Airbnb to earn some extra bucks.

He’s expecting a couple but Tara (Simran Jehani) arrives having just broken up with her boyfriend. Directed by Anand Tiwari and written by Saurabh George Swamy, this film is elevated by superb performances.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not – A lovely queer romance

The title is exactly the crux of the film. When Muskaan (Sanjeeta Bhattacharya) who describes herself as “23 and bisexual” falls for glamorous Tarasha (Saba Azad), she’s in awe. A friendship develops as Muskaan secretly stalks her on social media.  As their equation deepens, the question ‘she loves me, she loves me not’ arises.

The film has crackling dialogue like— ‘What’s worse than falling for someone straight? Falling for someone queer who is out of your league.’ Great performances are the other highlight of this film directed by Danish Aslam and written by Sulagna Chatterjee.

Interview – Deep and heartfelt!

The film, directed by Sachin Kundalkar and written by Arati Rawal, begins with two people waiting to give an interview for a sales job. They get friendly and being a master at cracking interviews, Shahana (Zayn Khan) begins giving tips to Rajeev (Neeraj Madhav). He is grateful for the tips and even changes his shirt on her suggestion.

They chat over tea and samosas while waiting to give the interview, when we are told that Shahana’s fiancé has been missing for 10 months. How that connects to her present, forms the crux of the story.

The mind works in mysterious ways. How Shahana’s past trauma connects to her unexpected behavior towards the end is beautifully explored. Some wonderful performances and a sweet romance here.

Ishq Mastana – Synthetic romance

Director: Jaydeep Sarkar writer Shubhra Chatterji

We see the privileged Kabir (Skand Thakur) talking about making an ex jealous by going on a date with Meher (Tanya Maniktala). Unknown to him, the date is happening at a protest. She’s an environment activist and is keen that he joins in the protest. He’s aghast but reluctantly goes along leading to unexpected events.

To the best of my knowledge, we don’t know what exactly the protest was for—there are tons of environmental issues. All you see are cops, barricades, and young people in trendy clothes. The fact that we don’t even know what exactly she feels so strongly about (enough to protest), is disappointing. We see things like a random poster that says: ‘justice justice Skanda for all.’

It’s a shallow, caricaturized depiction of student activists. The reality is student activism is full of young people who are knowledgeable, sharp, and determined towards their cause.

The romance seems improbable as reluctant characters have a change of heart after a couple of conversations. The film is not rooted in realistic details so the entire romance also feels synthetic.

Feels Like Ishq is streaming on Netflix

Sonia Chopra is a critic, columnist and screenwriter with over 15 years of experience. She tweets on @soniachopra

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