Director : Habib Faisal
The story of a bright-eyed Hyderabadi ‘potti’ and a strapping Lucknowi lad (I would use a better alliteration here, but will desist) swilling biryani and kabab and phirni should be, by all rights, popping with flavour. But ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ is so depressingly bland that you wonder who cooked this one up, and for whom?
Gulrez Qadir (Parineeti Chopra) lives a humdrum life in Hyderabad with her father (Anupam Kher). The duo, tired of timorous grooms and their greedy parents, show up in Lucknow, and run into Tariq Haider (Adtiya Roy Kapur) and family. At this point the film descends into a tiresome contrivance that it never really pulls off, and never recovers from.
Dowry, and the ‘Section 498 A’ (raised portentously many times) is the bug-a-boo that raises its ugly head in the film, and you would cheer if its inclusion wasn’t so unbelievably shoddy. Is this some kind of a joke?
The coming together of Gullu and Taaru feels like left-overs, because this new Bollywood pairing doesn’t lift off the screen. It’s not for the lack of individual trying. Parineeti is an actor who is consistently watchable, even when she is given a part that’s not completely credible (like in her previous outing, ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’). And I liked Aditya Roy Kapur in the super-schmaltzy ‘Aashiqui 2’.
Here, both are doing what they are told to do, Parineeti Chopra in the regular-girl make-up and attire as well as in her flashier avatar, and Kapur as the kohl-eyed not-very-educated-but-all-heart guy. But both are left to fend for themselves in a tepid script which goes nowhere slowly.
As Gullu’s straight-laced but loving father, Anupam Kher gives the film its only moments of honesty. The rest is an unpalatable snoozefest.
One and a half stars.