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Ishaqzaade: Why Romeo-Juliet still inspires filmmakers


Tanya Ghosh,IBNLive.com
May 16, 2012 at 05:19pm IST

New Delhi: When I was watching 'Ishaqzaade', the first thing that crossed my mind was 'Oh God, not another Romeo-Juliet story!' Why is it that centuries later Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet still sounds alluring to film-makers?

Romeo and Juliet in a nutshell is the story of two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families - the Montagues and Capulets. Elements of the tragedy can be found throughout Ishaqzaade, from belonging to rival political families, to finding love in someone who could never be accepted by their families. While the movie does have a surprising twist which completely changed the tone of the film, it cannot be denied that the storyline has startling similarities with the play.

The same cliche of either the lovers initially hating each other, or belonging to rival families or having a love not accepted by their respective family has been used so many times that the entire novelty of it has completely disappeared. While in a few movies, the hatred is necessary for the penultimate climax, most films just include it as it is a tried and tested formula that has more chances of working out than not.

Ishaqzaade: Why Romeo-Juliet inspires filmmakers

Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet still sounds alluring to filmmakers. Elements of the tragedy is found in Ishaqzaade.

Ishaqzaade starts off with a scene of both the protagonists shouting abuses at each other and later continues with them doing unbelievable things in the name of revenge. So from the very start everyone in the audience is aware of the entire Romeo-Juliet angle going on in the movie. After the climax in the second half, the movie falls into the same rut of the lovers having to fight off everyone who challenge their love and is out for their blood. The ending is also unforgivably unoriginal - for both the resolution of the lovers, and their families - that sticks out in a film with such promise.

The tagline itself - 'Parma and Zoya are born to hate, but destined to love' indicates how the movie would probably be similar to Romeo and Juliet.

I loved Ishaqzaade but I wish the script writer would have thought of a fresh story, maybe unconventional but something that has not been presented to Indian moviegoers yet. A movie like Jab We Met was different from usual love stories, although the basic story of the male and female protagonist ultimately falling in love was similar, and hence it has a huge fan following. 'Jaane tu…Ya jaane na', 'Ghajini', 'Fanaa', 'Rab Ne Bana di Jodi'…all these films had a different perspective which appealed to one and all.

The audience loves a good love story. And in the land of song and dance which is Bollywood, almost every love story has a happy ending. So the movies which divert from the predictable conclusion should at least aim to have an ending which is not completely unimaginative and in a sense entirely likely. Wouldn’t the movie have left a more lasting impression if the ending was completely unexpected instead of falling back on a cliche?

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