The notion of love does not only act as a lifeline during our darkest of times but also serves as the fulcrum of our very existence. And that’s the reason why almost all of us, regardless of how clichéd and traditionally exclusionary they may seem, love romantic comedies. But then again, while some of these rom coms act as outrage about real life and serve as joyful escapist fictional realms, there are others that fall completely flat. ‘Isi & Ossi’ lies somewhere in the middle of the two.
‘Isi & Ossi’ is another one of those “delaying the inevitable” rom coms that feature characters from two polar opposite worlds and yet, they find their way back to one another. Now we all know that “opposites attract”; at least in the world of movies they sure do. So as a viewer, from the beginning of the movie itself, you can tell that there’s nothing new here and the two main characters, Isi and Ossi, are somehow destined to cross paths more often than they expect. But we’re always quicker than the characters to spot such things, aren’t we?
Clearly, the film is very typical in terms of both comedy and romance, but if you’re yearning for another one of those light-hearted and mildly enjoyable keep-’em-apart-till-the-last-minute romantic comedies, you could check this one out.
The two titular characters of the movie are first introduced in their respective households where Isi seems to have had a rather privileged lifestyle under the shadow of her extremely rich Dad. On the other hand, there’s Ossi who is smart, but not as fortunate as Isi and grows up in a middle-class home that juggles with several different loans.
As they grow up, Isi comes to realize that her parents kept her way too protected from the outside world and even got her through school by bribing her teachers. That’s when she decides to leave home to make something out of her life and stand on her own feet. This is where her path merges with Ossi, who aspires to be a boxer but does not have the money to fund his own fights. They make a deal: If Ossi helps her convince her parents to send her to Culinary school, she’ll give him all the money he needs for his boxing. In the events that follow, they learn to embrace each other and start falling in love, but in order to be with Ossi, Isi must first give up on what she thinks is her true identity.
One good thing about ‘Isi & Ossi’ is that, despite all of its clichés, the film never bounces off its two characters through serendipitous parallels and cosmic concordances. Instead, it uses their backgrounds and their personal choices as a narrative device to reflect on the traction between them. Both the leads, although quirky, are quite likable in their roles and very well fit right into their stereotypes. For the most part, the film also does not attempt to enforce moments of truth in the middle of its comedy and sticks to being the silly rom-com that it started out to be.
The structure of the movie depends entirely on how long the two characters will be able to resist being with one another. While Ossi is somewhat grounded to what he wants in life throughout the film, it’s Isi’s character who goes through a major catharsis. She eventually begins to realize that she has more in common with middle-class underdogs like Ossi, who is struggling in life as compared to her rich friends who are far too consumed in their own personal royal lifestyles. They misunderstand each other, push each other away and as expected, eventually end up in each other’s arms.
In the end, the film not only concludes itself with a shovel of coincidences that bring the two of them together but also leaves you with a lesson or two about embracing the uncertainties of life; which is quite appreciable. Apart from that, there are several small incidental comical pleasures here that will keep you entertained. Ossi’s grandfather, an ex-convict who aspires to be a rapper, adds an extra layer of humor to the film. Overall, there is nothing special or remarkable about ‘Isi and Ossi’, but it’s amiable, entertaining and packs a few good laughs here and there.