Reviewing the Reviews: Kinder critics give Ishkq In Paris 2 stars

27 May,2013

By Deepa Gahlot


It’s hard to accept failure in the film industry, and any attempt to fight it is judged more harshly if done by an actress. Male stars can have any number of ‘comebacks’ but it is much tougher for an actress in her thirties.


Predictably, Ishkq In Paris became a bash Preity Zinta dart board, and she, kind of, asked for it, as producer, writer and lead star of a film that would perhaps have suited her a decade ago.


The kinder critics gave it two stars, but most went with 1 or 1.5.  Preity Zinta needs a spine of steel to survive reactions to this train-wreck of a movie.


Says Karan Anshuman of Mumbai Mirror, “It is a lamentable moment for Priety Zinta, now in her twilight years as a lead actress in an ageist, unkind industry, that she has to choose a path of safety and ends up with a movie that needs a Salman Khan item. This film could’ve been so much more honest, real, gritty even. That would’ve been a worthy, valiant last stand. Meg Ryan – you could say she was Zinta’s Hollywood equivalent – tried such a thing in one of her last films, In the Cut.


Zinta exclaims (more than once) “I love Bollywood”. It’s a plea really. Bollywood doesn’t seem to love her back anymore. And if the circus no longer has a spot to accommodate your act, by all means set up on the fringe, outside. But don’t show people what they’re going into the tent to see anyway. Be bold, change the act.”


Nandini Ramnath of Live Mint is equally scathing, “Preity Zinta’s career started skidding off the rails in the mid-2000s, and she has struggled to get back on track since. Ishkq in Paris , which she has produced, co-written and starred in, is an attempt to gift herself the leading role that nobody wants to give her any more. Zinta’s trademark bubbliness has gone a bit flat, her late-30s body has filled out, and parts of her face look different, but she remains the liveliest presence in Ishkq in Paris. Her enthusiasm at being back in front of the camera is not curbed by her co-star, who struggles visibly to generate the spark and presence needed to boost his leading man credentials.”


Raja Sen of missed the PZ of Dil Se and commented, “ Tragically, she seems almost determined not to act. She straddles the line between French and Hindi clumsily, speaking in a bit of a supervillain accent.  Her eyes sparkle with the eagerness of a jumpy squirrel, even when they shouldn’t. (Really, should anybody’s?) There is a bit too much enthusiasm, too much bounce to her character, who shrugs all the time and nods rapidly and constantly, like a big Preity bobble-head.


Without a cricketer in embracing range, Zinta doesn’t seem to know what to do with herself.”


Aniruddha Guha of Time Out wrote,  “Prem Raj, who made his debut as filmmaker with the dumb Main Aur Mrs Khanna, gets dumber with his second film. For the first hour, the film follows the two protagonists over a night in Paris, as they party, dine, drink and talk. You may want to utter the words Before Sunrise, but that would be blasphemy. The couple here aren’t half as likable, the dialogues aren’t one-fourth as witty and the direction not even in the vicinity of what Richard Linklater achieved. This is merely a set-up – a gimmick, rather – one that goes nowhere.”


Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express quipped, “A girl and a guy meet cute on a train going to Paris, spend a night wandering about the city, and come out on the other side with a status that’s complicated. This one line brief has resulted in so many engaging love stories, that I went in a tad hopeful. This was, after all, Paris and Preity, a city with magic and a girl with sparkle. Who knew what that combo may yield? Sadly, Ishkq In Paris comes off mostly derivative, and wholly predictable.”


Rajeev Masand of called it misguided. “Ishkq in Paris is the sort of film that inspires its director and its leading man to assume aliases so they might escape responsibility for subjecting us to this travesty they’ve committed to the screen. Leading lady Preity Zinta, unfortunately, is too well known to hide behind a fake name.”


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