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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Ishq Vishk Rebound: Rohit Saraf turns on his Mismatched charm in this Gen Z romcom

Pashmina Roshan, Jibraan Khan and Naila Grrewal co-star in the film directed by Mismatched maker Nipun Avinash Dharmadhikari

Agnivo Niyogi Calcutta Published 22.06.24, 01:24 PM
Rohit Saraf, Pashmina Roshan, Jibraan Khan and Naila Grrewal in Ishq Vishk Rebound.

Rohit Saraf, Pashmina Roshan, Jibraan Khan and Naila Grrewal in Ishq Vishk Rebound. IMDb

For a romcom buff with a soft spot for Ken Ghosh’s 2003 film Ishq Vishk, Ishq Vishk Rebound is a mixed bag of emotions. The new film isn’t a sequel to the Shahid Kapoor-Amrita Rao-Shenaz Treasury-starrer from 2003 but tries to channel the vibe of the original film.

Directed by Nipun Avinash Dharmadhikari — known for the National Award-winning Marathi film Dhappa and the Netflix series Mismatched — Ishq Vishk Rebound is a fresh story about three Gen Z friends — Sahir (Jibraan Khan), Sanya (Pashmina Roshan) and Raghav (Rohit Saraf) — who grew up together. Sahir and Sanya start dating, making Raghav the perpetual third wheel.

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Raghav tags along on their dates, gets involved in their fights and supports them through their daddy issues. Things get tricky when Raghav starts dating Riya (Naila Grrewal), an environmental activist who doesn’t gel with the bratty Sanya. But since Raghav prioritises his friendship with Sahir and Sanya over their relationship, Riya breaks up with him.

Sanya and Sahir split up when he heads off to army school. With Sahir gone, Raghav steps in to care for Sanya. They share a kiss, and it results in Raghav being torn between his feelings for Riya and Sanya but also not wanting to end up as Sanya’s rebound. Thus begins a messy tale of love.

The film captures the flaky relationships characteristic of Gen Z, and is peppered with witty dialogues and fun situations. It weaves in issues like social media influence, peer pressure and the search for individuality, making it more than just a love story.

One plot device that stands out in Ishq Vishk Rebound is the film-within-a-film. After his break-up with Riya in Dehradun, Raghav moves to Mumbai to pursue a career in screenwriting. He lands a job in a Bollywood movie titled Ishq Vishk 2.0 and uses his life experience to write his script. Watch out for the cameo by Sheeba Chadha in the film-within-the-film. Raghav also keeps breaking the fourth wall to interact with the audience, which adds a touch of freshness to the storytelling.

The standout feature of Ishq Vishk Rebound is Rohit Saraf’s performance as Raghav, a young man confused about his love life, just like his character in the Netflix series Mismatched. Although he and Pashmina have equal screen time, it is Rohit who carries the film on his shoulders.

In her debut film, Hrithik Roshan’s cousin Pashmina shows promise. Jibraan Khan and Naila Grewal deserved more screen time. Jibraan brings on his charm but is limited to being a catalyst in the main love story. Naila’s role is more like an extended cameo. Among the senior cast members, Supriya Pilgaonkar as Sanya’s mother wins hearts in scenes where she coaches her daughter on life’s vagaries.

The soundtrack of Ishq Vishk Rebound does a throwback to the Ishq Vishk score. Ishq Vishk Pyaar Vyaar, sung by Sonu Nigam, and Chot Dil Pe Lagi, sung by Asees Kaur, strike a chord with both new listeners and those who have fond memories of the original songs.

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