‘Ishq Vishk Rebound’: A Lighthearted and Delightful Tale with Some Narrative Fumbles

By Dhaval Roy

Story: The line between friendship and love blurs for three best friends as they become entangled in a web of a breakup, a rebound relationship, and self-discovery.

Review: In the era of situationships and breadcrumbing, when most love stories are too complicated for their own good, director Nipun Dharmadhikari’s romantic comedy comes as a breath of fresh air. The latest entry in the Ishq Vishk (2003) franchise is about three childhood best friends: Raghav (Rohit Saraf), Sanya (Pashmina Roshan), and Sahir (Jibraan Khan). Sanya and Sahir’s on-again, off-again relationship constantly drags Raghav into the drama. When the couple breaks up simultaneously with Raghav and Riya (Naila Grrewal), Raghav and Sanya find themselves in a rebound romance. But will this ‘ishq vishk’ fling mess up their lifelong friendship?

Packed with laughs, the first half shows Raghav hilariously juggling his friendships and new fling. From Raghav stealing Sahir’s dog to him going on a ‘haunting trip’ with Sanya, the delightful sequences are thoroughly entertaining. Written by Vaishali Naik, Vinay Chhawal, and Ketan Pedgaonkar, the movie is also a window to modern love: Raghav believes relationships are baggage-free transactions, justifying his rebound with Sanya. The narrative also touches upon how familial ties complicate romantic relationships. For example, Sanya’s broken home makes her confrontational, often causing friction with Sahir, as he is pressured by his iron-fisted and abusive father, causing their break-up. The film advocates for self-discovery and finding happiness beyond romantic entanglement.

The film’s pace slows down in the second half as the group’s complicated relationships become repetitive. The initial premise of Raghav attempting to mirror his story in his film’s script does not land. Some plot points, like Riya’s lingering jealousy towards the trio’s bond, aren’t fully fleshed out. Although well-choreographed, slick, and foot-tapping, the songs break the narrative flow in the latter half. Rochak Kohli’s melodious Rehmat, and the remakes of Chot Dil Pe Lagi and Ishq Vishk Pyaar Vyaar make for a good soundtrack.

Rohit Saraf steals the show with his impeccable comedic timing and effortless delivery. He seamlessly breaks the fourth wall, captivating viewers with his character’s journey. Pashmina Roshan is impactful in the role of a troubled and immature young girl who blames her immaturity on her broken family. Jibraan Khan also performs ably, and Naila Garewal delivers a serviceable performance in her limited role.

Ishq VIshk Rebound is a film for Gen Z. While older viewers might not fully connect with its portrayal of modern love, the humour, engaging performances, and entertainment value make it a decent one-time watch.