- BOTTOM LINE
- A Poor Reboot of a Popular TV Show
|Platform: ZEE5||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
A first of a kind spin-off from a television show onto the digital stream, Ishq Aaj Kal is the story about three youngsters Alia, Faraz and Munmun who look for answers to their mysterious past as they join as interns in Manali’s Grand Mountain resort. While Alia is off to dig deep into the reason that drove her father to kill her mother, Faraz wishes to clear the air surrounding his father Wasim’s supposed-affair with Heena. Munmun, meanwhile, is caught in the crossfire between her heart’s true calling and the harsh realities of life.
Most of its lead actors Angad Hasija, Ankitta Sharma, Paras Kalnawat, Roshmi Banik and Kavita Ghai are familiar faces in the television space and it’s natural that their melodramatic acting style rubs onto the digital space. Ankitta Sharma, in the role of Alia, is the face of the series in many ways; she’s the only actor who appears relatively assured about her screen-presence and is quite composed in her portrayal of a troubled daughter who excels at hospitality management.
Ishq Aaj Kal is a disgrace in the name of a digital series. Though claiming to be a spin-off from the television show Ishq Subhanallah, there’s little effort that the makers take to cater it to the sensibilities of digital media spectators. Screechy background scores, over the top acting, muddled and slow narration, poor performances minus any emotional connect, the series spells trouble right from the word go.
The director Nitesh Singh doesn’t create any sort of an atmosphere for the plot to grow on the viewer. There’s little clarity about how the backstories of the three lead characters connect to the internship at a star hotel. Without establishing any of the character’s intentions well, the plot keeps going forward and consistently reeks of irrelevant, heightened melodrama.
The love triangle between Alia, Faraaz and Amaira is very silly, to begin with. The thread amid a supposed underworld backdrop where Alia and Munmun need to work under a don hardly makes sense. There’s no nuance or authenticity in any aspect, be it the daily lives of the staff in a star hotel, drug peddlers or even the drama between the lead characters. Many characters come and leave in the screenplay sans purpose. This is a clear case of the storyteller not understanding the medium he’s dealing with. While most of the elements mentioned above may have worked for a television soap, the digital adaptation appears to have to been done in haste. You wonder what’s more pointless, the title or the series.
Paras Kalnawat is fit and handsome, but his role is more about being sandwiched between two girls who are fighting for his attention. There’s nothing much to do for him if not for exchanging flirtatious looks with most girls he meets. Angad Hasija, the relatively experienced actor, is a complete disappointment and wears a single expression where he stresses ‘I am the boss here’. The others behave as if they’re acting in a glamourised version of a 70s Bollywood film; their histrionics and diction being a total assault on the senses. The series could have easily been more impactful with a competitive cast.
Music and Other Departments?
Ravi Singhal’s title track for the series is reasonably impressive and probably the only part of the series where you aren’t tempted to look for the ‘fast forward’ button on your remote. Salil Sand, Kingshuk Chakravarthy compose the background score that definitely has the sense of urgency that the series needed, may not be anything out of the box but does the job. Vishal Singh Rathore’s cinematography is rather ordinary with repetitive footage while he doesn’t do enough to make the scenic side of Manali, an integral element in the narrative. The writers should have worked on the screenplay keeping the different seasons in mind; too much is left for the next season to achieve while the current one is very vague in its execution.
Ankitta Sharma’s performance
Too much of a television hangover
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Ishq Aaj Kal Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur