Movie Review: ISI LIFE MEIN by FENIL SETA
The great rural-urban divide never seems to go away. While the small towns and villages are epitome of simple living, innocence and values, the cities are modern and often reckless in their outlook. The urbanites are thus perceived as shameless, immoral and disgraceful. However, the truth is not what it seems. People in small town don’t allow their girls to think freely and fly high in the sky as they are expected to get married soon. Also evil practices like dowry continue to thrive in such areas. However, something like this is hardly seen in the urban areas as they have a fresh mindset towards everything and believe in gender equality. Isi Life Mein touches this topic and is also a fun college film and a love story as well. Coming from the Rajshri stable, one definitely expects something as great as Hum Aapke Hai Koun or Vivah. Unfortunately, Isi Life Mein fails to reach that level. While the love story, situations and characters are very sweet, the film gets too simplistic which might be rejected by the moviegoers.
The story of the movie: Rajnandini (Sandeepa Dhar) gets a huge 96% in her Class 12 Boards and she wishes to study further. However, Rajnandini, a resident of small town Ajmer and daughter of a conservative father Ravimohan (Mohnish Bahl) fears that she won’t be allowed to do so. But thanks to her mom Pratibha (Prachee Shah Pandya), she gets a nod to go to Mumbai to pursue her further studies. In her college in Mumbai, she joins Dramatic Society and gets new friends. She also befriends Dramatic Society’s chairperson Vivaan (Akshay Oberoi) and becomes an integral part of their friend circle. Soon, the All India Theatre Competition is about to begin. Vivaan realizes he has to win the competition at any cost and chooses a Shakespearean classic as the plot of his play. It’s during the course of rehearsing and working on the play that Rajnandini aka RJ and Vivaan fall for each other.
As one can realize, Isi Life Mein has nothing new to offer-two young souls falling in love, college fun and there’s also opposition from parents, boy-reaching-girl’s-house-to-bring-her-back drama etc. Yet, Isi Life Mein strikes a chord because it projects the innocent and pure romance that we don’t get to see in films nowadays. A major part of the film is seen from the eyes of Rajnandini which helps throw light on the dilemma and problems faced by bright girls from small towns.
The first half is quick and moves breezily. The song, Ramji 24×7, is a beautiful composition that sets the mood for the film. Besides, one more sequence that works well is Vivaan’s birthday scene and drama that follows. However, it’s the second half that is surely better than the first one. RJ’s father suddenly landing up in Mumbai makes for a great scene. Then Vivaan and his gang reaching Ajmer during RJ’s marriage is sweet and you expect fireworks at this juncture. However, nothing of that sort happens but what is dished out is also well treated. The climax might seem a bit stretched as it’s where you know what’s going to happens next. People might like it for its grandness but may also find it too long and dragging.
What doesn’t work for the movie is that, as aforementioned, it’s too simple a film. Although Rajshri banner are known for churning out such kind of films, they also had a midas touch that used to take their films to dizzying heights. Something like this is missing in Isi Life Mein. The college life and particularly Vivaan’s friends and their problems are well executed but unfortunately, we already have seen better stuff in films like Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Same for the 2nd half portions which might remind of DDLJ. What ultimately works is the romance, some individualistic scenes and performances.
Isi Life Mein introduces two new faces and both wonderfully carry their film on their shoulders. Akshay Oberoi might not have created that sort of hype as Ranbir and Imran did during their debut vehicles but he certainly proves that he knows the nuances of acting. His plus points are his smile, dance and voice. A great debut and let’s hope we get to see him in nice films in future! Sandeepa Dhar is very fair and very beautiful. A major portion of the film is seen through her eyes and she gets it right. Get ready to have a huge fan following post the release of Isi Life Mein! The chemistry between the leading actors is topnotch and something certainly to watch out for!
Mohnish Bahl underplays his part well and gives a great performance. Prachee Shah Pandya acts sincerely. Talking about Vivaan’s friends, Akash Bathija (as Sumo) leaves a mark. Neha Kakkar (as Sam) carries the tomboy act beautifully. Samaira Rao (as Val) was excellent especially during the confrontation scene. Aditya Raj Kapoor (as Vivaan’s dad) was too good. Madhur Arora (Rajnandini’s chacha), Shagufta Ali (Ammaji), Vineeta Agarwal (Shubha Masi), Dilip Raj (Swamiji) and others give a fine performance. Salman Khan is awesome in the special appearance!
Meet Bros Anjjan’s music is melodious. Ramji 24×7 is the best song of the lot followed by LOL and Tere Pyar Mein. Apna Kaun Paraya Kaun works as it comes at a crucial point in the film. Aviram Mishra’s cinematography is flawless.
Surekha Bajpai Karkare’s screenplay and dialogues were okay but could had been better, especially the screenplay. Vidhi Kasliwal’s story was too simple but as a director, she could have turned it into a fine entertainer which she doesn’t fully succeed. Nevertheless, she proves that she knows her job. Keeping the audiences engrossed with a setting that is beaten to death thousand times is an achievement in itself and let’s hope she shines in her next project!
Some of the best scenes:
1. The songs Ramji 24×7, LOL, Tere Pyar Mein
2. Rajnandini enjoying with her friend after giving her last exams
3. Vivaan’s confrontation with his father
4. Rajnandini selected for the play (funny!)
5. The intermission point
6. Rajnandini and Vivaan alone at night
7. Rajnandini’s father lands up in Mumbai
8. Vivaan and gang help collect the dowry money
9. The play in the climax
On the whole, Isi Life Mein is strictly an okay film. What sets the film apart is the pure love story track of the leading tracks that comes as refreshing change in today’s times. The film hasn’t created much excitement and moreover it has tough competition from Tees Maar Khan. Thus, its box office prospects seem low. A must watch if you are a Rajshri fan!
My rating-** ½ out of 5!
- In the midst of YJHD promotions, Ranbir Kapoor undergoes surgery
- Salman Khan resumes Mental, sans South fighters?
- Salman Khan to marry Romanian TV anchor?
- Check out Salman Khan shooting for action-packed ad
- Ranbir Kapoor in Awara remake?
- Shah Rukh Khan’s bodyguard hired for Ranbir Kapoor?
- Why Bombay Velvet changed hands from Viacom to Fox
- Shah Rukh Khan-Salman Khan were shooting in Goa at the same time?
- Check out Akshay-Imran dubbing for Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Again
- I’ll be the godfather of Deepika Padukone’s child-Ranbir Kapoor