I'd like to begin with a disclaimer: I'm not a major Bollywood fan. So when I was asked to review Ishq Vishk, I had a vague recollection about it releasing when I was in school and it being pretty popular back then. This was the movie that launched Shahid Kapoor's career and in fact, he even won multiple awards for best male debut. I figured it would at least be...interesting? Was I disappointed? Read on to find out!
1. This movie starts with a song. Could it BE anymore Bollywood?
2. The opening scene starts with this uncle saying misogynistic shit about a girl who “barely wore any clothes” and distracted all the men in the office. Then he says “parents shouldn’t be so liberal with their kids”. Uh oh. This movie is off to a bad start.
3. “What is our son doing in the bathroom for so long” is just pretty self-explanatory, uncle.
4. Rajiv, Shahid’s character is talking to himself in the mirror. Seems like a normal thing to do.
5. Rajiv drives into college boasting about asking out a hot girl. Aaaand it turns out the token hot girl is token college hot douchebag’s girlfriend. Oops.
6. Aaaand enter Payal. The token behenji character. Everyone calls her “touch-me-not”. What’s with this movie and shaming women for their choices?
7. Rajiv just said “Girlfriend honi chahiye toh Dolly aur Saloni ki tarah” okay I already hate this guy.
8. How can a man who has questionable taste in fashion and terrifying sideburns be this movie's 'love guru'?
9. When Rajiv and Mambo ask Rocky aka love guru about whether he has a formula for dating girls he said “Jaisi Urmila, waisa formula”. What?
10. Mambo’s phone just buzzed and it’s the nostalgic Nokia message tone!
11. Oh, the message is from Mambo’s cable operator that he’ll be airing a “blue film” at 12:30pm. I honestly never understood why they call porn “blue films” in India.
12. There’s lions mating on discovery channel and Rajiv’s father thinks this is the perfect time to have the “sex talk” with him.
13. The college’s "cool kids" are making fun of Payal and of course, miss touch-me-not can’t stand up for herself and blushes when Rajiv swoops in to rescue her. Ugh.
14. She literally starts singing an entire song about him. Ugh. Girl, grow a spine!
15. So it’s “desi day” and Payal walks in wearing scary-looking makeup and honestly a terrible outfit but suddenly all the men are smitten and yet the best they can do is “Payal is not so bad yaar!”
16. The college douche announces they can have an “overnight party” at his house in Alibaug. Is it me or does this sound like an orgy?
17. Rajiv wants to go to Alibaug and Payal is an 'easy' option. So he rushes to Rocky, who gives him terrible advice, telling him to “woo her and then dump her after Alibaug”. Ugh, why are men so trashy?
18. Rajiv tells Payal he loves her in literally the worst way possible. No wonder she initially thinks it’s a practical joke. After their very 'extra' proclamation of their love for each other, the next scene naturally progresses into...a romantic song and dance sequence *facepalm*
19. The gang of jocks just said “Pyar aur pimple kabhi nahi chupte”. Lol TRUE.
20. Rajiv, the terrible person he is, denies there’s anything going on between him and Payal. Payal catches on and she...laughs if off?! Uh oh. She’s hurt. Boy messed up. I bet you 100/100 she’s going to take him back though. I just want to grab this girl by the shoulders and shake her.
21. When she’s doesn’t forgive him he grabs her arm and starts dragging her towards the group. Ever heard of consent, bro?
22. Did she just...kiss him through the phone? What is this, a Soulja Boy song? (High five if you got that reference!)
23. “Ladki ka no matlab yes” This line makes me so angry, I want to stop watching this movie already.
24. Okay the girlfriends are hanging out at the canteen while the guys are bowling “as usual”. Why do they need to create such binaries between men and women? Why can’t everyone bowl together?!
25. Payal’s proudly talking about how she’s kept a “karva chauth ka vrat” for Rajiv. Yuck. Enough with the misogyny.
26. Did she actually touch his feet?!!!!! And now she’s crying and telling him how much this karva chauth ritual means to her...IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY?
27. She also just casually tells him “no way” is her father going to allow her to go to Alibaug with Rajiv. Which was basically the whole point of this relationship. Oops.
28. So Payal’s “hot chick” girlfriends dressed up in salwar kameez with a dupatta on their head and go to her house to ask her parents for permission for the trip. Really? I’m so sick of this good girl-bad girl dichotomy.
29. So Payal pulls Rajiv away and asks him why he loves her, and he reacts by...trying to kiss her. Repeatedly. After she says no multiple times. And his response is “I’m your boyfriend. Why else did we even come here?” Wow. This is NOT okay! At least Payal knows the truth about him now.
30. Oh. It didn’t end there. He also goes on to tell her that all his friends used to call her “behenji” and he’s the one who gave her any “standards”. You’re officially trash, Rajiv.
31. The men in this movie are poster children for toxic masculinity. While the girls are trying to defend Payal, Rajiv’s friends say “haath pakad ke kaun leke gaya tha?” Repeat after me: WOMEN. DONT. OWE. MEN. SEX.
32. The more Rajiv talks, the more I get the urge to fling heavy objects at his face. Despite his shitty behaviour, when Payal tries to apologise to him, he asks her to “prove her love” by kissing him in front of everyone. I’d say good riddance, Payal.
33. They introduce VJ Shahnaz aka Alisha's character in the worst possible way. All the men are crowding around her and following her everywhere like sleazeballs, and apparently, she finds this flattering?!
34. Oh I see what they're doing--Alisha is the 'sexy girl' antagonist to Payal's 'simple and sanskari' girl. And Rajiv, the ultra-average dude who literally has no redeeming qualities will have to pick between the two. Will Bollywood ever get over this misogynistic concept? Payal and Alisha should just ditch Rajiv and date each other, IMO.
35. So Rajiv's strategies to impress Alisha so far include chatting up a fake Sachin Tendulkar and poor astrology skills. How the fuck are women falling for this guy?
36. I have no idea why Payal's character has been written as such a bechaari. As if a woman's entire world revolves around a man. Despite how awful he's been to him, she gets super concerned when she sees his arm in a (fake) cast that he put on to impress Alisha. and of course, Alisha falls for it, because all women are stupid, right? *eye roll*
37. Okay so Alisha kissed Rajiv on the cheek while he was dropping her home and now suddenly they're in love. In Bollywood movie logic, this is the perfect time for a love song and they're suddenly on a horse ranch and Rajiv is wearing a cowboy hat. Yep, makes TOTAL sense.
38. Mambo and Payal are going for a movie and it seems like Rajiv is peanut butter and jealous! Haven't you heard, Rajiv, you can't have your cake and eat it too?
39. Whoa whoa WHOA, Rajiv. You had a problem with Payal being too much of a behenji, and now you have a problem with the kind of clothes Alisha wears? Can't women just live?!
40. Rajiv gets pissed off when Alisha tells him she can handle herself and she doesn't need him to defend her. Seriously?
41. Okay so get this--Now that Payal is getting close to Mambo and she's no longer pining over Rajiv, he's suddenly in love with her again? Could this movie get any more predictable? Props to Payal for growing a spine, though!
42. Okay, now Alisha confronts Payal and asks him to stay away from Rajiv. Pitting women against each other? Classic. As if poor old Rajiv is not at fault at all!
43. Alisha tells Rajiv she loves him and he says "I love you Payal". Awkward.
44. In the most predictable climax ever, Rajiv makes a grand proclamation of his love for Payal in front of everyone and tells her just how stupid he's been, and Payal hugs him and all's well! Of course. Let's conveniently forget that he tried to molest her?
45. And apparently Alisha is totes cool with everything! Rajiv didn't even have the decency to break up with her first before he told the entire world he loves Payal. But of course, no hard feelings!
46. Rajiv narrates the ending of the movie and honestly, I am just SO glad it's over.
Bottom line: Oxford dictionary should replace the definition of toxic masculinity with this movie. That's all I have to say.
AWESOME NEWS! POPxo SHOP is now Open! Get 25% off on all the super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves, and more! Use coupon code POPXOFIRST. Online shopping for women never looked better!