Where weird goes terribly wrong and comes across as a desperate attempt to become quirky funny.
What? Was? That?
Again, just to see if I can rid myself of the sense of bewilderment, “What WAS that?” I can understand the need to experiment and add quirk to a love story that is as simple as it gets. But doing it while maintaining the age-old norms of Bollywood, how much ever spoof-like it was meant to be, just didn't work for Aiyyaa. Aiyyaa is slow, long and tries its best to test your patience.
I know, I should be giving the film some benefit of doubt because of the projection issues that the screen I saw it in had first in about 40 minutes and then a second one in another 10 minutes, which was after a 20 minute delay to begin, and following which the show was canceled. So, I watched the film all over again at the next show. Yet, I am willing to go out on a limb and say that the sheer absurdity of the last half hour is worth another “WHAT WAS THAT?”
Yet, I don't write the film off a 100%, just because of the basic idea. The idea of attraction experienced by a woman because of here sensitivity to smells. Love at first sight has always intrigued me. I have always wondered what ticks. I have always imagined communication through eyes and other senses rather than logic or brain playing a role in this one. And then there was this show on either Discovery or National Geographic that was about how smell plays a major role in how couple interact with each other. And thus the concept that Aiyya uses is fairly engaging as the one line plot.
But boy, has director Sachin Kundalkar overdone it. Anyway, he seems to be enamored by the miraculous sense of smell considering his Marathi film Gandha had three shorter stories connected using the theme of smell. But by the time you have seen Rani Mukerji heave while closing her eyes for the 10th time, you've had enough. For want of a better phrase and over-generalising it way too much for my own taste, Aiyyaa carries a heavy dose of Marathi film sensibilities (barring likes of Deool, Natarang, etc)
Not that that is the only complaint against Aiyyaa. The loud, forcibly quirky characters that Meenakshi (Rani Mukerji) is destined with as her Marathi family, get on your nerves in the first few minutes. Amey Wagh, Jyoti Subhash, Nirmitee Sawant, Satish Alekar – all well known in the Marathi film industry are made plain weird to add to the whackiness element that the director seems to be shooting at. Well, it was an annoying kind of whacky, not the kind you grow to enjoy. And let me not even get started about Maina's (Anita Date) over-the-top, unfathomable derangement. The mockery of people who don't look normal is used yet once again to bring out a few laughs.
Rani Mukerji herself is barely tolerable in general, but is especially far from that too when she does her usual shrieky self in monologues. And couldn't anyone in this heavily Marathi crew point out that just exaggerating the ph, ai, sh while speaking English and punctuating Hindi with 'aiyya' and 'aga bai' does not make for Marathi accent. Moreso, considering that she is a nearly naïve Marathi girl from Pune was the basic theme of the film. Yet, I do commend her for experimenting with this script. It's a risk and it might have failed, but that she took this risk is admirable. Also, she adds to the list of lead ladies bringing size 8-10 back in fashion. Unfortunately, her depiction of the physical attraction a woman experiences comes too late both in her performance and the story/film to add any value other than make the film look even more ludicrous. The juvenile symbolism makes it even more laughable. The climax is another box of weird worms and simplistic Bollywoodization (yeah, yeah spoof-shphoof).
I have read the same synopsis at a couple of places to describe Aiyyaa, something that includes
Bollywood icon Rani Mukerji plays Marathi girl Meenakshi in this delightful 'Amelie'-style comedy.
I just hope this isn't the official synopsis. 'Amelie' style? Really? Such comparisons should be left to the audience, shouldn't they? Also, is that what the makers are admitting to? And I guess, I have to add, having loved almost everything Anurag Kashyap has associated himself with, I never thought I'd ever say this to any of his products, “aga, aai ga!” (MUMMY!!)
- meetu, a part of the audience
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