Aisha poster

Aisha

wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?) - chick-flick warning

quick review:

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.

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Director: Rajshree Ojha
Running time: 130 minutes
Genres: Comedy, Romance
More Movie Info

Aisha - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - Just wondering if Abhay Deol can pull off a regular, commercial-film type role alongside Sonam Kapoor who is clearly THE protagonist Aisha


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

52 reviewers(?) - 9 yays 24 so-so 19 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...Amit Trivedi produces an amazing soundtrack for this film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...The film runs a little longer [although the running time is 2 hours] and gets painfully slow in some portions... full review

Thumbs up, desi hits : ...There are scenes that could have been cut out and the movie still would have been coherent and fun... full review

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

Thumbs up, by Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Filmfare : ...everything looks so intrinsically chic and perfect, right down to Aisha’s gardening pants... full review

Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...It’s an entertaining journey, as the characterisation is delightful and you form a connection with each of the film’s players... full review

Thumbs up, by K N Gupta, SmasHits.com : ...The adaptation of the novel into a story is perfect.... full review

Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Sonam Kapoor, the gorgeous bollywood babe who plays the super rich, snobbish character of Aisha, has given a super performance... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...this must be one of the most exquisitely crafted films to sashay down Bollywood's boulevard in the non-action genre... 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 Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...post intermission it loses the pace and one seriously misses all those witty or comic relief moments... full review

So-So, by Pooja Rao, Bolly Spice : ...Yet, before you howl Aaaa-Eeeee-sshhhh, pairs switch places at the speed of rising inflation. Is this a new-age take on musical chairs?... full review

So-So, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...The movie is very high on style but low on feeling.... 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 Deepa Garimella, fullhyd.com : ...it is really the interplay among the rest of the characters that gives this film its direction... full review

So-So, Glamsham.com : ...Diego Rodriguez’s cinematography is eye pleasing. Some nice scenery and the scenes where Abhay and Sonam suffer from jealousy are neatly done.... full review

So-So, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...Ira Dubel as Pinky Bose is the pick of the lot, a caustic as she is unfailingly chic.... full review

So-So, by Mihir Fadnavis, india.com : ...The result is glossy entertainment value, though a long way from art.... 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 Amrita Ranjan, Indiequill : ...If you haven’t already got Abhay Fever, this is a movie that might just infect you.... full review

So-So, Mixed Bag : ...Sonam Kapoor was effortless on screen packed with oodles of girly-ness and ‘rich’ innocence.... full review

So-So, by IANS, NDTV : ...Aisha is a two-hour celebration of pre-nuptial rituals... 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 Khalid Mohamed, Passion for Cinema : ...Seriously don’t expect any resonances of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel though. ... 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 Sampurn, real bollywoood : ...The problem with Aisha is that it is supposed to be a romantic comedy but it does not draw any emotions from the audience... 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 Raghav Ramaiah , Talking Popcorns : ...Careless writing and uninteresting screenplay pulls Aisha straight down. But that does not make Aisha completely unwatchable.... 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 Sanskriti Media, AOL INDIA : ...All throughout the movie, Sonam plays the cupid in a cute manner. She looks beautiful, but her expressions remain static.... 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 Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...Abhay Deol seems unclear about his exact role in the proceedings and that's entirely the writer's problem... 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 Komal Nahta, koimoi : ...Devika’s screenplay is so loose and scattered that you are convinced, she couldn’t have been serious about her work... 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 Tushar Joshi , MiD DAY : ...It's not the material, but the way it's treated that takes away all the fun from the film.... full review

Thumbs down, Movie Talkies : ...is dull even in its look due to the extremely weak cinematography and poor lighting by the DOP.... 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 Sujoy, OneKnightStands.net : ...Its always fun to take the piss out of movies which make you realise about the two hours of your life that you’ll never get back... 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 Padmaja Thakore, Passion for Cinema : ...Lest one thinks Aisha doesn’t do anything meaningful, she sketches.... full review

Thumbs down, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...There is not an iota of innovation or freshness in Aisha.... 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.

5 readers - 2 yays 1 so-so 2 nays

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.

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Godiva : Copy cat of movie clueless-95 with Indian masala as always.

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Mansi

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Mostly clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Deep necklines and high hemlines
  • Concept: That of letting destiny do its do instead of trying to interrupt
  • General Look and Feel: Bright, light, and lively

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Direction:
Story:
Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Dialogues:
Screenplay:
Music Director:
Lyrics:

Comments (8)

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Eagerly waiting to see the chemistry between Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor.

Sonam Kapoor calls Aisha a "chick flick" [http://bit.ly/9XYEl9] - that's sent alarm bells ringing in my head. I hope the Aisha team hasn't mutilated my beloved novel Emma!

Shilpa: Yes, you are right about the fashion part. The painting (some sketch that shows up in the promos is from emma, I dont remember if that was in clueless it probably was :) )

@lost in confusion hmmm...i intentionally kept the date stamp away. Though it was of hardly any value after the first couple days. Will look into plugging it in somewhere.

Love love love the movie.....

@TimELiebe good point about an actor's concept of "deep" vs. a writer's concept. Didn't think of it that way.

@TimELiebe aah! i see!! Anything I might have seen?

@TimELiebe Will certainly give it a shot! Though romantic stories are not really my thing :D

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