wogma rating: Add to “To Watch” list, watch some day (?) - chick-flick warning
Aisha has clueless characters breathing fresh air. Sonam Kapoor and Ira Dubey, try to carry this 'by women, for women' film, though it suffers from too plain a story. Director, Rajeshree Ojha has decent intentions but Aisha fumbles and stumbles downhill.Read more
21-year old entrepreneurs - I have a few friends who meet the description - One the founder of an online life-style activism magazine and a restaurant ; another who runs a social media company. And it still makes me proud to read that the latest producer in the industry was 21 when she started working Aisha. I don't know her, nor am I 'connected to her' in the farthest meaning of the phrase. There's just something extremely healthy about kids getting hands-on experience and trying their skills out in real life.
Apparently, the entire Aisha team is very young. Director, Rajshree Ojha is not yet 30 either. You do expect many new ideas; hope for fresh take on whatever issue they pick; rejuvenation of old themes using a novel narrative style. And then the trailer leaves you with mix feelings. Granted it looks like a romantic story with a difference, yet something made me wary. Or maybe it's just the anxiety of having decent hopes set up by the promos, mercilessly crushed in these past few weeks.
Abhay Deol's presence in this trailer is extremely comforting. Even though, it's clear that the film is all about Aisha. Oh yeah, isn't that fresh? I know a lot of Aisha's character from these two minutes - certainly more than I sometimes could say about the female lead in an entire Hindi film. Which says a lot, because that means there is a lot to know about Aisha, right?
As evil as it sounds, another reassuring factor is that Rajshree struggled to find producers. Because, that means her script is trying to break the norm -
Enough of Hollywood films have been copied to make Bollywood hits. I want to take a Bollywood film and make a film in Hollywood
Satyajit Ray is my favourite director and one day I would like to adapt a book of his and make a film on it.
Meanwhile Aisha is based on Jane Austen 's 'Emma'. That in itself is breaking the norm, no? Giving credit and all. Given this background I'm intrigued by the Hannah Montana meets Barbie meets young socialite feel I get from the promo and marketing tactics .
I'm sure most films go through an ordeal to get the 'look' of the protagonists right. But Aisha 's marketing goes out of its way to talk about the clothes . They also emphasize wherever they can that the character is a fashion statement herself.
The effort that has gone into the clothes may remind the audiences of glamorous-looking movies like Devil Wears Prada, Priceless and Sex and the City.
There is more stuff here that makes you look forward to a happy-and-yet-good film compared to smiling-faces-in-climax-which-want-to-make-you-cry. If the word in the blog world and film magazines is right, the music has already done the good deed. Milliblog is impressed with every track in the album. Apun ka choice has a question for music director, Amit Trivedi , "Oh boy! Where were you?" Blogger, Sahil Bhalla calls it 'Genius'. The other descriptive phrases used are youthful and entertaining and a complete package.
This article was first published at meetu's Times of India Blog.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Should I be happy that Aisha is all about a woman (Sonam Kapoor) and has a capable actor like Abhay Deol play second fiddle? Or should I be disappointed that the only thing Sonam Kapoor's character finds pleasure in doing is to look up a man for every female character to hook up with?
Should the director be happy that she managed to achieve the "Hollywood chick-flick" effect? Or should she be disappointed only how far she could get?
While I could take both sides on each of these issues, I'm sure of two things - I'm certainly happy for the subtle comments made, especially the ones on the battle of the sexes. But I'm equally disappointed that these were done randomly with no connection to story or characterizations thus far. So much so that, all the depth, the film could have taken a plunge into, seems frivolous and flaky.
To express exactly where the superficial feel comes from, I can just say that 'look and feel'-wise Aisha had done complete justice to its inspirations - Sex and the City, Hannah Montana, and the likes. Ok, I'm not going to count how many toes I've stepped on, but usually society upward of upper middle class is, by definition, stereotyped by superficiality. That, in itself, takes the characters away a level or two from us.
It's not that problems, of people who have moved up in the Maslow's theory of need pyramid, are not genuine problems or should be belittled based on a general moral principle. Who are we to judge that one's problems are more serious than the others'. But, my problem (you are free to judge how important it is) is that films like these trivialize the otherwise weighted issues. It's like taking away from the subject of the film.
All this analysis might make you think that Aisha has some serious stuff going on. Naah. I'm just commenting on what could have been, especially given the light vein the entire film maintains. Serious issue, subtle humor - rarely fails. But every once in a while a major character in the film does something so totally out of the blue. The shocker is not something that doesn't feel real, it is just that most of us would say or do something like that with some sort of a history and not just because THE writer felt like it.
Also, all the trump cards were in the director's hands. It wouldn't come as a shock to anyone if Sonam Kapoor actually lives a lifestyle like Aisha's. Maybe a little less of a meddler, but for most parts she has to behave like a kid who can't be bothered with credit card bills and such. SO, not much acting involved there. Would anyone argue that easy-going, Arjun is a stroll in the park for Abhay Deol? Ira Dubey was a pleasant watch too.
It won't come as a surprise if most men will come out flaring at the women who got them in the theater. And many women might find it 'not bad'. At least, they saw some funky costumes. Me? Well, I wanted to love it, but didn't come out hating it either. The picturization of the lovely songs itself were enough to get me by.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Manisha Lakhe, Film Impressions : ...Prerna Querishi and Kunal Rawal make everyone look so fabulous (and it is a treat to see the beautiful Anuradha Patel as Aisha's aunt) and the production design by Shruti Gupte is brilliant.... full review
So-So, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...The track between Arjun and Aarti (Abhay and Lisa) and Aisha and Dhruv (Sonam and Arunoday) isn’t as perky as could have been and the jealousy pangs that the two lead stars get out of it aren’t really plausible... full review
So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...With her girlish giggle and the lightest of lisps, Sonam floats around like a perennially giddy schoolchild – and Rajshree Ojha, the director, makes good use of this quality by quite literally reducing Emma/Aisha to a child.... full review
So-So, by Guneet Wadera, filmi cafe : ...In this picture perfect tale of high-class artificial, superficial and synthetic Delhi where the film oddly enough makes a mark is in the real moments wherein all the hoo-ha is muted... full review
So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...With her feminine perspective, the lady director adds a youthful zing to the female bonding, packaging the film with the requisite glitz and glamour.... full review
So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...The emotions, although later towards the second half, works. Abhay and Sonam have limited screen space; the film is more about Aisha and her friends than Arjun and her... full review
So-So, by Lidia Ostepeev , Planet Bollywood : ...These traits do not receive ample treatment because the film is busy promoting Sonam in the role of Aisha as charm incarnate. There is simply no room for another to share the platform... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...It's given that this sort of set-up doesn't fit in today's milieu and that is why Aisha's joblessness doesn't make much sense as opposed to Clueless wherein Heckerling justifies and mocks the inactivity by writing her as teenager in high school... full review
So-So, by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Reuters : ...even though there are holes in the script, plot points are very badly explained and Sonam Kapoor’s acting hampers the film significantly, it does tell you the story of India’s luxe set, for whom a Chanel bag is an important accessory even when you are roughing it out on the banks of the Ganges in a tent... full review
So-So, by Pratim D. Gupta, The Telegraph : ...The credit goes to scriptwriter Devika Bhagat — Bachna Ae Haseeno and Manorama Six Feet Under — for managing to transport the Woodhouses and the Knightleys of 19th century rural England to the Kapoors and the Burmans of today’s Delhi with some degree of conviction... full review
So-So, by Naman Saraiya, The Tossed Salad : ...The first half makes it worth all the money you spend on the tickets and popcorn – but the second half will help you sleep over the trauma of how you did spend that money... full review
So-So, V Love Movies : ...It’s plain to the viewer that Randhir’s heart is set on our intrepid heroine, but Aisha remains blissfully unaware, seeing instead the potential for Randhir and Shefali to make a cute couple... full review
Thumbs down, by Stefan S, A Nutshell Review : ...he rest of the supporting cast are quite the caricature, offering not much depth as they either pander around or loathe Aisha's presence... full review
Thumbs down, by Bollyfan, Cinemaa Online : ...They take off on random rafting trips; they both take long leaves to celebrate a new arrival in the family of Arjun’s brother and even when they’re in office, they hardly look like they’re working.... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, Film Impressions : ...Because the film tries to be light and all pretty looking, it misses having any emotional connect with the audience, except perhaps teenage girls who are busy admiring the clothes and accessories... full review
Thumbs down, by Pankaj Sabnani, Glamsham.com : ...he Arjun-Shefali track is absurd. As much as it's unclear how and why they fall in love (or do they at all?), their break up is equally ambiguous.... full review
Thumbs down, by Aakash Barvalia, Gomolo.in : ...this confusion was very predictable to the audiences just after 15mins of the start of the movie, and so finally it was much essential for the audiences to buy a Popcorn basket for them.... full review
Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...as the camera constantly closes in to capture detailed shots of pencil stilettos, Ferragamo signage at stores, and L'Oreal’s nail polish of obvious shades, I suppose, female ‘aspiration’ – that confused term from marketing – is adequately fulfilled... full review
Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...A mish-mash of Clueless and the risqué American TV show Gossip Girl, this film unfortunately lacks the wit of the former and the edginess of the latter.... full review
Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma , Live Mint : ...The story is foolproof film material, adaptable to any culture and any age. Even so, Ojha and her team manage a plastic, glossy dud of a film that has no memorable scenes or dialogues or visual beauty.... full review
Thumbs down, by Kaushik Chatterji, No Quarters : ...Aisha is a joy to watch on a select few occasions, a pain on most others and absolutely cringe-worthy at some of the most crucial junctures... full review
Thumbs down, by Ajit Duara , Open Magazine : ...Without missing a beat, the leading lady continues on her cycle of endless ditzy dos, leaving a trail of expensive production values behind her... full review
Thumbs down, by filmbear, Upper Stall : ...Alas, signs of a weak screenplay start emerging as soon as the characters (who've been established by text on screen) start speaking monologues to themselves... full review
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Demi : Vazia
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Hindilyrics4u.co.in : Hindilyris4u.co.in is a comprehensive website for all Hindi Songs lyrics fans
So-So, by TimELiebe : Yet Another Adaptation of Austen's EMMA - and Kind of Meh, Really.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.