Review: Ishq Khuda – A mystic love story

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Ishq Khuda will give new direction to Punjabi cinema in Pakistan!

The long wait is over, Pakistan’s talented director Shehzad Rafique’s dear to heart project Ishq Khuda was released last night at the auspicies of PIFF Toronto 2013 when we are celebrating the magic of Punjabi cinema in Canada. It was a big day indeed, with not only the film’s two main lead heroines Meera and Wiam in attendance, the legends of Indian Cinema Om Puri and respected director like Sukhwant Dhadda (Ek Chadar Maili Si) also graced the occasion. The atmosphere couldn’t get any better when even before the start of film we heard screams of “long live Pakistan India friendship….” from the gallery!

Film is a very powerful medium and means of communication with the audience, if rightly done, it takes the viewer to a different world, they become part of that inspiration the director is wanting you to have faith in.

In my opinion, there are two kinds of films, ones that are made for commercial success and then there are films that reflect the passion and quality of its craftsman. Ishq Khuda is the work of a craftsman we all know by the name Shehzad Rafique, where he takes us through a mystic journey, a journey of love, romance and realization that beyond the material love that one feels passionate about, there is a totally different meaning of love in a whole different dimension.

The film hasn’t been released yet in Pakistan, hence I will try to focus on its strengths so there are no spoilers.

What keeps you involved are not only its solid foundations in terms of technical work, but more importantly the characters that the director creates out of a well written script. Meera, Wiam, Ahsan Khan, Shan and Saima are transformed into characters that help you understand and grasp the meaning of real love. Shan, the pride of Pakistan’s film industry has become more of an institution from whom upcoming Pakistani actors should learn from. He delivers such a stellar performance in Ishq Khuda that makes you wonder how he does all what he’s doing. With every other film Shan comes out as a strong character that makes you ask yourself how will he improvise further in the next performance ? Meera, or “The Meera jee” as we all know her, has been passionate about Ishq Khuda and we realized this during the last few days we met and spoke with her here at PIFF Toronto. She knows her acting talent and in Ishq Khuda she does a good job of helping the viewers realize the meaning of true love as it is meant to be. Wiam makes her debut in front of a 35mm camera and she will make room for an attractive dimension in the movie. Her Arab background will intrigue the viewers in wanting to observe and watch her perform. Saima plays a key role in the movie and if initial suspense around the film’s story suggests that Shan and Meera are playing secondary roles, you are in for a surprise. The film moves forward keeping all the characters in mind and with the star power that comes with all the main leads Shan, Saima, Meera, Wiam and Ahsan Khan, Shehzad Rafique played his shots perfectly well. Ahsan Khan is very natural and honest to his role, he brings a strong TV drama background, so you can imagine how perfectly he would have delivered his act in Ishq Khuda.

The music of Ishq Khuda resonantes the over all theme and the journey that this film takes you through. It is usually not very common that one ends up liking all the songs in a Lollywood film. But, with the powerful vocals of Abida Parveen, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shazia Manzoor, Ishq Khuda oozes mystic love. The picturesque surroundings each songs brings to the big screen makes you become part of the over all experience. The songs have been very nicely captured. And yes, there is an ITEM NUMBER as well. Sajna aa saja de, Do nain ghazali maar gaye, Boohay khol ke bawan de and Ab lagan lagi kee kariye are few songs worth mentioning. My personal favorite was Boohay khol ke bawan de!

The camera work could have been better, but you tend to appreciate the cinematography so much that I heard some people comment, “they have really used realistic situations and sets for every scene”. I would say there were no sets, the film has been shot on actual locations. In Ishq Khuda you do not see the typical blue or pink painted rooms or walls shown in Lollywood films, every scene has actually been shot on the outdoors and selected locations that fit the theme of the particular scene. The dialogues are powerful and leave long lasting impact not only because of the powerful script but also due to the stellar performances delivered by the cast.

Ishq Khuda will not only appeal to Pakistani masses, but will be appreciated by International audiences as well. It will also help the viewers understand the subtle but deep intricacies surrounding faith and how it is practiced or interpreted in real life. Ishq Khuda succeeds in showing the transformation of not only the characters, but I think it will leave an impact on Pakistani viewers on a lot of important issues. The director has created meaningful situations in the film to deliver the social message across that is more comprehensible for the common viewer. The dialogue between masjid imaam and Shan leaves a very powerful impact.

As the final credits rolled in, the audience members gave a loud clap and applaud. I whole heartedly joined the applaud as well to express my appreciation of the work entire team has done.

Watch Ishq Khuda because it brings a fresh perspective and a sincere effort by its maker. Watch it because it also tackles complex situations with a subtle and soft message. And, watch Ishq Khuda because it’s not just another Punjabi film, it is a film with a message, a message for you to understand and appreciate.

Thank you PIFF Toronto for showcasing Ishq Khuda and all the best to Shehzad Rafique sahab when the film gets officially released later this year.

Here is the official trailer of Ishq Khuda:


We leave you with first comments and remarks from the stars and audience who attended the World Premiere:

ISHQ KHUDA – World Premiere Review and Comments… by apnahub
Published May 19, 2013 on

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