Aadha Ishq is a romantic TV series directed by Nandita Mehra and stars Aamna Sharif, Gaurav Arora, Pratibha Ranta and Kunal Roy Kapur, alongside other cast members. The series has 9 episodes, each with a runtime of around 30 minutes.
Voot describes the series as:
What happens when a mother and daughter fall in love with the same man? Aadha Ishq: A romantic drama that explores modern love, relationships and unrequited passion.
– Aadha Ishq review does not contain spoilers –
There’s something to be said about shows that showcase a relationship between a mother and daughter with one man. More so when one of them is in college so the creep factor is at an all-time high. I remember watching Dark Desire and not being impressed with the shittiness that I had to witness with that toxic relationship.
Our protagonists Saahir and Rooma, after a messy breakup, come face to face at her daughter Rene’s college. The vibes are already disturbing, especially since talks of revenge come up only too soon into the runtime. Prattling off heavy dialogues, Aadha Ishq tries to take a deep look into forbidden love stories, so much so that parts of it take place in Kashmir. These are some of the best parts, if nothing else then for how absolutely breath-taking Kashmir is.
But the worst of this sordid romantic tale is Milind. Kunal Roy Kapur’s Milind taunts his wife for the lack of his needs being met in front of his daughter. It’s absolutely cringy to watch. Add to that the fact that Milind won’t give Rooma a divorce so as to keep a hold on her is just so disturbing that you sit there confused wondering what’s actually going on. I wonder why these moments were added – Milind’s heinous acts don’t really have an effect on his relationship with Rooma or Sameera and it’s as if these background stories were added for that Rooma could be a little angry sometimes without it making any difference to the plot.
Nevertheless, Rooma and Saahir’s relationship is filled with so much “deep thought” that the story slows down because of the sheer weight of their feelings. Everyone just says very deep lines whenever and wherever as if that’s how normal people talk to each other in everyday life. It’s a way to showcase that Saahir is an artist but it just goes off the deep end after a while. The series contains several unnecessary scenes, especially its attempt at introducing humour, that bog down the runtime. I wish the series was more concise to bring the point home but trying to juggle too many different things is its ultimate demise.
But the most annoying part of the series, unfortunately, is Rene. Aadha Ishq features Rene as the typical manic pixie girl with no sense of boundaries. I get it, having Milind as your father cannot help but still, who starts talking about her personal life with a literal stranger who is also her professor? Also, with all these long talks about being independent and strong-willed, falling for your professor is just cliched. In the end, her character takes such a strange turn that you wonder if she’s all right mentally. In fact, her plan is so diabolical and calculated that you feel like she would really benefit from some psychological treatment.
With all of these factors in play, how does Aadha Ishq fare? Honestly, this isn’t Dark Desire, which I am grateful for. It’s more about Rooma and Saahir coming to terms with the end of their relationship and a revenge plot mixed into it. The most uncomfortable and unnatural to watch is Milind – Kunal Roy Kapur just looks out of place being a sexist ass. On the other hand, Saahir doesn’t fare that well either. He’s as selfish as everyone else in this show in spite of being the romantic and visionary artist.
There are several problematic bits in the series that will make you question whom to sympathise with. It definitely aren’t the men. But you definitely do feel sad for the women who really deserve more – poor Sameera deserves more than the man-child she chooses to be with. The story is cheesy and over-the-top and doesn’t have the passion, thrill or excitement that stories like these should have. If anything, the story is annoying and devoid of heart or soul. It doesn’t have any unrequited passion or forbidden romance that it promises of.
Aamna Sharif and Gaurav Arora are great with their paper-thin character arc while Kunal Roy Kapur just looks super uncomfortable in this mess. They try to do as much as they can with these unflattering characters but there’s only so much you can do with a story this convoluted yet simple.
My biggest problem with Aadha Ishq is the fact that it introduces many important topics of discussion in relationships that it simply chooses to toss aside for a hypothetical passion that never truly comes up. The series could’ve delved deep into these problems and provided an acceptable and relatable end that would have addressed and solved the issues. But, alas, it chooses to go the easier route of “let bygones be bygones” and runs past these insanely important things to bring a half-baked show trying to pass off as mature and Gen Z but never really going the extra mile to bring these concepts to fruition.
Summing up: Aadha Ishq
When you expect the 17-year-old to act mature, you know you’re in for a run. Aadha Ishq is a melodrama devoid of any passion or soul. The characters are terrible and unrelatable and thus you’re left wondering whether this is what passion should look like – it shouldn’t. If you’re in the mood for watching an 18-year-old constantly throwing tantrums, then jump into it. It’s short enough to not take it seriously and Aamna Sharif looks stunning. However, Aadha Ishq is a mess that will test your patience.
Aadha Ishq is streaming on Voot.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.