Dedh Ishqiya Review

Ishqiya which released back in 2010 was like a breath of fresh air. It gave us the delightful on screen pair of Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi, and presented a film that showcased the raw hinterland of Hindi India. It had funny dialogues and a tehzeeb that most Hindi cinemagoers are not used to anymore. But a sequel of Ishqiya? Sounded like dicey territory when it was first announced as most of us thought that the makers were just trying to cash in on the success of the first film. Does Dedh Ishqiya end up as just another run of the mill sequel or does it rise above its prequel? Let’s dissect.

Story: Khalujaan (Naseeruddin Shah) and Babban (Arshad Warsi) are still conmen in the Hindi heartland. They dupe their former boss and go their separate ways. Khalujaan ends up at a place called Mahmudabad in Uttar Pradesh to woo the widowed queen of the local palace – Begum Para (Madhuri Dixit-Nene). She is always accompanied by her assistant-cum-chauffer Munira (Huma Qureshi). Begum Para is going to remarry and has organised a Swayamvar to choose her new husband. The local MLA Jaan Mohammed (Vijay Raaz) throws his hat into the game and a funny game of thrones type of a situation between Khalujaan and him ensues over poetry. In the meantime Babban has also joined Khalujaan in their new place (or place!) of conning. The plot then moves forward with various new twists and turns and finally climaxes in a very good set-piece which is both hilarious and thrilling.

Dedh Ishqiya
Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review

Screenplay and Direction: Vishal Bharadwaj and Abhishek Chaubey clearly know their work very well and make a very good team. The screenplay co-written by the two works a lot like a Mickey Mouse cartoon but set in the world of Nawabs and Palaces. Dedh Ishqiya never meanders from its point mainly because of the astute writing they imbibe into the script – filling it with crazy situations and aching dark humour. Abhishek Chaubey directs the film with a firmness in his vision and inspite of the film boasting of a rather tangential screenplay, Dedh Ishqiya never gets confusing and is almost always entertaining. The victory of the film probably lies in the seamless mixture of comedy and suspense.

Miscellaneous and Music: The technical aspects of Dedh Ishqiya take the film up a notch. Setu has shot Dedh Ishqiya with a lot of love and delicacy. The detailing and layering in some of the shots is astounding. Much like the poetry being spouted on screen, the camera work also carries a lot of tehzeeb. Another high point of Dedh Ishqiya is the great production design by the duo Subrata Chakrabarty and Amit Ray. Their work brings these utopian characters and settings to life. The editing is also of very good quality. The music by Vishal Bharadwaj doesn’t boast of any chartbuster songs but they suit the flavour of the film just right.

Acting: Ishqiya rested firmly on the shoulders of Arshad Warsi, Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan. Here too the film works because of the terrific acting of the main leads. Naseeruddin Shah doesn’t have to overdo his lines to show his genius. He greatly downplays his part and still manages to give a fine performance. Madhuri is back in theatres again and it is always a delight to see her face lighting up the screens! She looks her part completely and manages to show the conniving nature of Begum Para the way only she could have. Unfortunately, her acting is not as effortless as we would have expected. Arshad Warsi takes a back seat in this sequel. He is not the focal point of the film but retains the same tenacity and mischief in his performance. His antics as Babban are hilarious. More Ishqiyas and less Joe B Carvalhos please, Arshad! Huma Qureshi keeps growing as an actor with every film. She matches all the experienced actors in the film scene for scene. Beneath that sophisticated chauffer Munira lies a bumbling con and Huma manages to capture that with aplomb. Vijay Raaz is simply fantastic in his role. It is a travesty we don’t get to see more of this fabulous actor in Hindi films more often. He embodies all shades of a Hindi film villain that can be shown by any actor there is.

Conclusion: The first major release of 2013 (Dedh Ishqiya) has also set the bar particularly high for all films to arrive in the next 12 months. Dedh Ishqiya is hilarious with its poetic banter, dark humour and is also an astute thriller which manages to entertain the audiences from start to finish. Start your year with a cinematic high by watching Dedh Ishqiya.

Box Office: Dedh Ishqiya is likely to take a slow start at the box office because of the low buzz it is carrying. However, the collections are sure to improve when the good word of mouth gets out. Still, it will require the jump in business to be exceptionally high to earn a ‘Hit’ tag for itself. Expected business: 35cr to 45cr.


  • The hilarious and thrilling screenplay combine to make Dedh Ishqiya very engaging
  • The direction by Abhishek Chaubey keeps the film and its various layers together
  • The acting by the ensemble cast led by Naseeruddin Shah and Madhuri Dixit-Nene
  • Vijay Raaz is a standout performer
  • The technical aspects of Dedh Ishqiya are almost flawless


  • The low key promotions don’t do this great film any justice
  • Lack of chart buster songs in the soundtrack

Rating: ★★★★☆



  • Wow great reviews for Dedh Ishqiya all over across the board. Hope the movie does great

    What is required for the movie to do well? It was made at 17 crore odd, how much should business be for a hit tag?

  • Madhuri Dixit is back but i doubt its bo collections.January begins on a good note but will end with a sad note by the superhero movie

  • Dedh ishqiyaa is the best film of the month. .other films which will come this month are the same masala south remake. .lol

  • DI got superb review from critics,lets see what audience thought about the movie,i think this will be the first successful film of this year. Happy Birthday to India’s first SuperHero (in films) Hrithik Roshan, hope this year will turnout better than previous year for his personal life while in professional life concern he will raise his stardom this year hope so. @indicine i remember last year you also not given a single update on Hr’s birthday,lets see today will you update any. My only request if you update for khans than also update for Hr,akshan,ajay as they are also superstars.

  • hello! there @indicine I am a very big fan of your unbiased reviews.your team is having more audience type thinking capacity and less critics I have watched dedh ishqiya and yes I agree that it is cool but not enjoyed that much because I loved ishqiya very much it is a film which totally changed my life.till ishqiya iwatched movies for laughs but after ishqiya I started to watch films for life.however dedh ishqiya lies on 4 shoulders and you know that which are those 4shoulders I am talking about.but the thing I loved the most was its equilibrium from start to finish.
    it has same graph from the start.anyhow it manages you to glued to your seat,but you start to miss something and that is nothing else than bagal main jootah,dil toh baccha hai ji and other highly original songs.for me they are not only songs they are something like a sum it up I doesn’t enjoyed dedh ishqiya as the previous one.i have a very emotional and personal memory with ishqiya which I cannot forget and also cant share with I am going with ***1/2 stars .
    I have some personal problems with this film due to my attachment with the prequel.but it is worth the moolah for you people.go watch it ,don’t miss it.

  • @nipin You must be confused again or drunk as usual- I dont think Rohit Roshan is releasing an old school Amit ji remake this month like he did in Jan 2012 so really dont know what you harking on about kid…

    Jan will be a big month again due to Dhooms bumper collections and Jai Ho… DI is a bonus and way better than your crappy lunchbox and lootera nonsensical movies…!

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