Ishq (1997)

Ishq (“Romance”) is all over the place – even for a masala film. It is part slapstick comedy, part socio-political diatribe, part violent melodrama.The story is time-honored – a rich boy and a rich girl fall in love with a poor boy and a poor girl (respectively); the rich family disapproves, and plots and schemes to separate them.The first half of the film is full of slapstick silliness as the romances develop.

Cast: Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgan, Juhi Chawla, Kajol

Ranjit Rai (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) and his close friend Harbanslal (Dalip Tahil), are two wealthy men who want their children, Ajay (Ajay Devgan) and Madhu (Juhi Chawla) to marry each other.Unfortunately for them they are in love with not as wealthy Kajal (played by Kajol) and Raja (Aamir Khan).

Each parent deceivingly get their children to sign a marriage certificate which declares them married to each other. Both the lovers refuse to back down, and their parents try everything to separate them. They eventually accept their choices and they prepare for the engagement.

Unfortunately at the party, pictures are shown of Raja and Kajal acting very intimate with each other. It turns out that the whole thing was an act set up by Ajay and Madhu’s parents. Raja and Kajal are willing to prove their innocence but Ranjit Rai and Harbanslal are determined to keep them away.

In the second half, the story turns dark, as the family’s aggressive plans and the kids’ desperate responses take violent shape.The last half hour, in particular, was so over-the-top that it pretty much wrecked any enjoyment I might have taken in the first two hours of the film.You may be getting the impression that I didn’t much like Ishq.It does have some redeeming features, notably its principals, Aamir Khan and Kajol (as the poor kids) and Ajay Devgan and Juhi Chawla (as the rich kids), who are all adorable and funny.And the songs were fun – bad, but fun.

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