Made of six short films that have duration of around 30 minutes each, Feels Like Ishq is a mixed bag. A couple of them do really well, a couple of them are decent enough and then the remaining two are absolutely forgettable. What’s common amongst these six stories is the fact that each one of them is about two strangers coming together, some in likely and some in unlikely circumstances. Did anyone say ‘Jab We Met’? Well, you bet!
Surprisingly, it’s the start and the end of Feels Like Ishq which is the most uninspired. There is Made In Heaven deja vu in the way Richie Rich girl Radhika Madan meets wedding planned Amol Parashar, and together they are off to the beaches and the lanes of Goa to hunt for the ‘runaway bride’. The core concept of the story is so wannabe and seen before, and the manner in which Ruchir Arun directs Save The Da(y)te, and Radhika Madan acts on screen is not engaging at all. The one who tries is Amol Parashar but then his single expression act doesn’t help.
The story that follows, Quaranteen Crush, is better. There is some sort of deja vu that one gets of a 2011 Hindi film Bubble Gum which I am sure you wouldn’t have seen. That was about teenage love, albeit in different circumstances, and here it is about Mihir Ahuja and Kajol Chugh as the two kids who explore love over daal-roti, guitar, bra straps and allergy to soya. Tahira Kashyap Khurana does use some quintessential tropes to get the story moving and ensures that there are occasional smiles and rapid heartbeats that come in.
The best of the lot is Star Host by Anand Tiwari which has Rohit Saraf [Ludo] and Simran Jehani coming together. This is the story with the best depth to it, and conveys as much in 30 minutes as one would expect in the entire first half of the feature film. Of course, the manner in which it proceeds, it has the end credits rolling in the midpoint of the story. No wonder, you want to know more about this love story between the host and his guest would unfold. Boasting of good cinmatography, dialogues and some touching moments, this one works quite well.
Unfortunately, the story that follows is the kind which has already seen many variations, especially during last couple of years with the advent of OTT. Titled She Loves Me She Loves Me Not, this one is about a young ad agency woman Sanjeeta Bhattacharya knowing that she is a bisexual and then ends up falling for her boss Saba Azad. The usual characteristic traits associated with those working at an ad agency are thrust down your throat all over again, something which has been a passé for a decade now. An average show by director Danish Aslam.
Things get slightly better though in this roller coaster ride with Zayn Marie Khan (seen earlier in Mrs. Serial Killer) getting into the plain Jane but street smart act in The Interview. Director Sachin Kundalkar narrates the tale of two lower middle class youngsters who find themselves being pitched opposite each other for a job interview. However, the treatment here is realistic, and good credit for that goes to Neeraj Madhav (seen as a villain in the first season of The Family Man) who brings on a simple and innocent person on screen. The end is clichéd, but works.
The worst is reserved for the end though and one wonders why it was commissioned in the first place. A bizarre story about a couple falling for each other during an environment related protest, Ishq Mastana by Jaydeep Sarkar just doesn’t work at all. In fact while Taniya Maniktala has some sort of screen presence, one can’t say the same about Skand Thakur who is plain average. Moreover, there is absolutely no chemistry between the two in this talk-heavy story that is best left skipped.
Just a few days back came Ray which was about the deep rooted emotions that play in a person’s mind. It was generally dark and was also made for a rather heavy viewing. Now Feels Like Ishq is a bit better and could well have been a Valentine’s Day release. Not that the entire running duration of three hours makes the heart flutter. However, at least there is some decent engagement for those in love as this one makes for a nice ‘let me hold your hand in mine’ kind of affair. Well, at least for half its duration!