Aiyyaa - Review

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
quick review:

Where weird goes terribly wrong and comes across as a desperate attempt to become quirky funny.

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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!!)

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None.
  • Language: One song with pretty directly sexual lyrics. Use of the word 'libido'
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Lots of innuendos. A weirdly dressed woman getting all horny in a song. The picturization depicts kinky sex. A skimpily clad Rani Mukerji in a couple of songs.
  • Concept: A woman gets attracted to a man because of the way he smells.
  • General Look and Feel: A very desperate attempt to keep the atmosphere weird.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1
  • Story: 1
  • Lead Actors: 2.5
  • Character Artists: 0.5
  • Dialogues: 0.5
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Aiyyaa - Movie Details

Aiyyaa - Trailer

If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

Comments (16)

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nirmal:

being from the South myself I often am intrigued by either the portrayal or reference to South Indian cinema in Bollywood, and more often than not I am rather disappointed. Disappointed because while South Indian cinema has moved forward by decades, Bollywood's understanding of what South Indian cinema really is, is frozen in the 80s. I have only looked at the trailer of Aiyya and was struggling to spot any notable difference between the choreography of this film vs The Dirty Picture. But Dirty picture made sense in a way because it was about a so called sex bomb (although the real Silk had more to her than just shedding clothes). May be I am being defensive here and probably a bit premature about what the context of the song in this trailer is, but I am yet to see a bollywood film-maker or film-critic demonstrate their understanding of what South Indian cinema is all about.

thanks
with a little bit of vexation and a bit of frustration!

meetu:

@nirmal hmmm..I think this is also because even TV has films from South (the ones that are dubbed awfully too) that is from those times or made with that sensibility. I'll try to keep that in mind in my reviews but I don't see the stereotyping going away in general, any time soon.

B.H.Harsh:

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting... :-|

meetu:

@Harsh Sorry, it has been a not-so good week and today Murphy was at its magnificent best. Anyway, writing now. Should be out in a couple of hours. Sorry for the delay :)

Rahul:

The trailers looked disappointing as well. Here's hoping that Luv Shuv Tay Chicken Khurana doesn't end up in the same way.

meetu:

@Rahul *fingers crossed* :)

ligne:

OH God what a let down the movie was... the story just lost steam in second half. First half was alright except for the mehak bit going on too long. In the second half I think the director totally lost it..
It could totally have been different had he followed Prithviraj's take on his feelings for RAni given that the shot they ended interval at ! It just became a case of what would have been..what a waste of good actors.

I want my money back!

meetu:

@ligne I know! :(

Suman Chakraborty:

Direction: 1
Story: 2
Lead Actors: 3
Character Artists: 0.5

Dialogues: 0.5
Screenplay: 0.5
Music Director: 0.5
Lyrics: 1

silvan:

the most disastrous comeback of an actress after karisma in Dangerous Ishq.
Rani is trying very hard every way to come back again sadly in such an excuse of a film

meetu:

@Silvan Why is this a comeback?! Her last film was just 2 years ago. If this is Rani's comeback, then Talaash has to be Aamir Khan's comeback.

Shilpa:

I caught the movie on TV. I was surprised that Rani chose to do such a pathetic movie. I really don't see anything but stupidity, bad judgement and desparation from her ... what else would justify the choice of such a movie !!!

I wish you would changed the rating to "Switch channels if its on TV".. it would have saved me the trouble :-(

Happy Diwali Meetu... have a good one.

Cheers !!!
Shilpa.

meetu:

@shilpa oh...you are the second person who told me i've been too generous with giving this one the second worst rating :) interesting...

Happy Diwali to you too!!

TimELiebe:

Wow, this is one Cra-azy movie, @Meetu! Kind of what happens when somebody falls in love with MTV....

So, what's Rani Mukerji doing in this film again? She's either overqualified for this leaden bit of whimsy, or desperate.

We didn't make it more than a half-hour in.

meeta:

@TimELiebe I was reminded of this one while watching Shaandaar yesterday :D

TimELiebe:

@Meeta - thanks for the warning on Shaandaar! I'll be sure to steer everybody away from it now.... :o :o :o

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