wogma rating: Watch, but no rush (?)
A decent thriller with a valid crux that could've engaged much better if it weren’t so slow. You’re left with too much time figure out the loopholes in the twists and turns.Read more
Brilliant teacher vs. well-trained student, patriotism, angst against the corrupt and frustration with the system – all come together for an intriguing trailer. However, whether or not it will translate to a thriller right till the end depends on way too many variables that have a strong tendency to go wrong.
For instance, that this thriller has songs is a put off in itself. I hope they are well placed at least. So, while the thriller genre is welcome after a few weeks of social cause films, one has to step into the theater with a fair amount of controlled expectations, if any at all.
Aiyaary releases on 16 February, 2018.
- meeta, a part of the audience
It is to the film’s credit that it manages to keep you hooked despite having one of the lamest starts a thriller could have, and being excruciatingly and unnecessarily slow a little too frequently. The broader story and its core message are interesting. But for the details, logical gaps and and the speed at which they unfold take away from the film.
… background music … through the film it has no intention of staying in the background and is in fact, trying too hard to get your attention.
The audience is asked to make assumptions and accept what’s shown. This would have been fine because thrillers invariably have loopholes. However, decent thrillers jump through the logic at double speed giving you no time to think, unless you ponder over it later. Aiyaary chooses completely avoidable slow motion and long pauses for characters to stare into the distance.
The story’s outer shell is about an army officer from a secret team who has gone rogue. At the core though, Aiyaari questions the system. This is hardly the first time that a thriller has asked these questions. But, I thought the manner in which Aiyyari frames this question is insightful and thought-provoking. So what if it is not going to last beyond the 2.5+ hours of the run-time.
Even the other details in the writing seem forced. For instance, the constant use of social media platforms in the dialogue, sounded like the writers wanted to come across as tech-savvy. And when a hacker mumbles aloud the steps she’s taking to show that she is an ace programmer, it just sounds ridiculous.
I guess we should just be happy that women have actual jobs here. So what, if they leave it all at the drop of a hat, when the script so demands. The script has many such details that sound rather random and there are other spots where details are glaringly missing.
What is left then is the overall story arch and that is a good hook. Despite the tardy pace, despite the slack in logic, despite the random details, the larger story is still engaging. While I enjoyed it, I couldn’t help but think how much better it could’ve been if it were 40 minutes shorter.
Other than that, the actors all do the drill. The script doesn’t require anything extraordinary from anyone other than Naseeruddin Shah. And for all you know, it could just have been the actor who added that edge to his character. Siddharth Malhotra’s smile gets annoying in its attempt at being cryptic. Manoj Bajpai of course has essayed so many complex characters that this had to be a cakewalk for him. Such is the actor’s repertoire that his earnestness here seems only cute.
Logical gaps and and the speed at which they unfold take away from the film.
And then you have the background music that is effective only a couple of times. Otherwise, through the film it has no intention of staying in the background and is in fact, trying too hard to get your attention.
Of course, the last one is an exception, but could it be that all these films could have been much better if they were cut short?
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, Sify Movies : ...Good things were waiting to happen to the political thriller in Hindi cinema. It takes a vast amount of integrity and guts to bring to the screen a drama that dismantles the image of 'Saare Jahan se achcha..' to focus on the corruption within. Designed to poke needles into our collective national conscience, Aiyaary is a film that must be seen by every Indian. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Neil Soans, Times of India : ...Those expecting the clever Neeraj Pandey twists will be left wanting more. But ‘Aiyaary’ has measured performances that resound louder than its bombastic score, and they alone make it a worthwhile watch.... full review
So-So, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...For a film like 'Aiyaary', there is no scope for any music because of its plot but the film could have been better paced, all thanks to the under-cooked narrative. Aiyaary is a throw away effort from director Neeraj Pandey, where the only saving grace is Manoj's act. ... full review
So-So, by Dev Raj Gulati, Desi Martini : ...All in all Aiyaary is a bold film.One hopes that it's not true to the core,or else? The pace is too slow.It's not n edge of the seat thriller. ... full review
So-So, by Smita Vyas Kumar , Desi Martini : ...Overall, this movie fails to impress or entertain. It picks a pertinent topic of corruption in the army and then proceeds to make it as boring as possible. Maybe, it has to be watched again to see the subtle ways in which it shows despair with the system but unfortunately I don’t have the patience for that. Aiyaary doesn’t shape shift or create interesting characters for itself. It remains one shapeless boring watch. ... full review
So-So, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...The man who towers heads and shoulders above this mess is Manoj Bajpayee, who should be paid extra just for mouthing all those pro army lines with utmost conviction. He works like a man possessed, trying to make you forget the fault lines by his powerhouse performance. Sidharth Malhotra tries hard to match up to Manoj's intenvity but it's not an easy task. Full marks to him as well for giving his hundred percent. He's clearly the student of the year in this film. Rakul Preet and Pooja Chopra have nothing much to do in this macho masala and go through the paces. ... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...Siddharth Malhotra needs to work a lot more on his acting skills. He looks good in uniform but that alone cannot make his role convincing. Rakul Preet Singh as his hacker/girlfriend looks pretty but her tricks appear lame and not of any mercurial worth. ‘Aiyaary’ may have chosen the right subject to tell an unsavoury story but it doesn’t have the wisdom to make it stick when it matters most. ... full review
So-So, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...Aiyaary is a toothless thriller about a clutch of morally-complex, dapper men-in-uniform who turn against each other, but the reasons for doing so doesn’t get enough play. Watch this at your own risk. ... full review
So-So, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...Definitely, a must watch for the suckers of this genre. Neeraj Pandey draws some dots in the first half just to join them in the second. Manoj Bajpayee & Sidharth Malhotra deliver exhilarating performances. The movie has an important message to share, just hold your grip till the end. ... full review
So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...The fate of desi thrillers attempting to emulate the tension and terror of Western contemporaries has forever been disastrous. Be it the globe-trotter Agent Vinod or the politically-inaccurate fantasy Phantom, the very idea of crafting an international threat in a tailored suit supersedes the story. Here, the maker’s obsession with military intelligence is out to test the audience’s intellect. ... full review
So-So, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...It takes almost three hours to get to the point. And by then you know Jay and Abhay will be the best chaps in the Army. You wish someone would teach Indian directors to tell their stories simply and quickly. They'd be so much more thrilling. ... full review
So-So, by Sreehari Nair, Rediff : ...Though unevenly paced and put together in an almost maniacal style, Aiyaary is not without its broadly clever touches: The primary requisites for an enjoyable thriller. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Aiyaary’s first hour is engaging because it gives us reason to assume that great twists and turns will unfold at any moment. That promise is unfulfilled in the remaining 100 minutes of the film. Pace and bluster cannot compensate for lack of substance. This wannabe James Bond flick is nothing but a blast of hot air. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...In short, never expected I would be feeling so restless and willing to leave a film before it ends written and directed by Neeraj Pandey - one of most talented directors of the present times. Hope he strongly makes a comeback in his next project. ... full review
Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, AIYAARY misses the mark and is a huge letdown on the account of its flawed script and the lengthy runtime. At the box office, it will be a disappointing fare. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Bajpayee (always dependable) and Malhotra (always bland) do get to don a couple of disguises each, but that hardly matters. The film just goes all over the place and though some individual scenes are interesting, the whole thing just never adds up. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rahul Bharadwaj, Desi Martini : ...Don’t go for this one if you hold Neeraj Pandey in high regard like me. Am forgiving pandey this zero star ranking movie because of the super work he has done in the past. Am sure Pandey would want to wipe this one from the slate asap. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, FirstPost : ...Siddharth struggles to find flesh on his poorly written character but finally it’s up to Manoj Bajpayee to save the day. He has a great time playing the tough-talking Colonel who takes no prisoners. He grimaces too much in some scenes but at least he feels alive. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rohit Vats, Hindustan Times : ...Pandey wants to weave a web of lies, deceit and suspense around the central plot. His front-man Bajpayee is a dangerous Mossad-trained agent, but forgets to carry the bullets on an assignment to eliminate an enemy. Working like an all-powerful government functionary, he cracks deals with anyone and everyone in the world, and can also push the media to run a news item of his wish. It’s a different matter that the news item he gives in replacement is far less worthy of a prime time slot. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Samrudhi Ghosh, india today : ...This is Neeraj Pandey's weakest film so far, especially the shoddy writing. Ironically, he had called it his career-best, in interviews before the film's release. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Kamaal R Khan, Khaleej Times : ...All the cast of Aiyaary have tried to give their best in the film. However, the movie solely revolves around Manoj Bajpai and Siddharth Malhotra. Naseerudin Shah and Anupam Kher have been underplayed in the movie with their cameos. Rakul has some significant role as she plays Siddharth's lover but Pooja can be seen doing some touch-and-go scenes. Don't know why she accepted this one. ... full review
Thumbs down, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...In the 36 hours the story covers, Singh is hot on Bakshi’s tail, but always one step behind. In this game of who-blinks-first, the one to have the wool pulled over his eyes is the unsuspecting viewer who decides to watch this film. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...For instance, in the first scene where Bajpayee explains how he takes life's major decisions when stuck at a crossroad. He tosses a coin. While the coin is up in the air, he realises exactly what his next step should be. It's a fine, intuitive lesson. The more significant question for a suspense-thriller though is if the penny drops at all—as simple as that. Sadly, in this case (for me), it didn't. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...Many of the characters in the film were not needed at all. Rakul and Naseer have absolutely no significance to the main plot at hand and add nothing to the narrative. It is quite evident that the makers have spared no expense in making the film, but in the absence of a strong plot, ‘Aiyaary’ falls flat on its face. In conclusion, ‘Aiyaary’ will definitely go down in history as Neeraj Pandey’s worst film…... full review
Thumbs down, by Simantini Dey, News18.com : ...Since Aiyaary claims to be a thriller, I don't wish to give out any spoilers. However, this has to be said, this film completely spoils your time and mood. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Shrishti Nagi, News18.com : ...The film also boasts an excellent supporting cast, including Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher and Adil Hussain. But do they help the film in any way? Well, I don’t think so. I personally feel these veterans are under-utilized in the movie. Kher’s character is as useless as the timing of the romantic track Lae Dooba in the movie. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...By the time I could make sense of any of this yawn, I was collapsing with exhaustion and disinterest. That I learned is not the worst thing when there's still half a film remaining to roll. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...There is little doubt that Aiyaary tackles a bold subject, one that is worth exploring alongside the frequent tales of battlefield valour. There is palpable and relatable outrage at the rot within the system, but the response is inchoate and not particularly clever.... full review
Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...The writing has no sense of proportion or balance. A character like Baburao (Naseeruddin Shah) is introduced early left hanging till the very end. If that was to build suspense it’s all ho-hum. Most of the other characters, including the DSD team, don’t rise above being half baked sketches. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...This has got to be the weakest of Neeraj Pandey’s works. Watch it if you must, but ‘Aiyaary’ just doesn’t have the quintessential panache that Pandey has exhibited in his previous thrillers – especially in ‘A Wednesday’, ‘Special 26’ and ‘Baby’. ... full review
Zafrankhattak_: #Aiyaary one word for manoj Bajpayee sir #WOW a treat to watch #Aiyaary (Roop Badalne Waala) @BajpayeeManoj
VoiceOfSunil: Niceeeeeeeeeee Movie @aiyaary @S1dharthM @AnupamPKher @ShitalBhatiaFFW @RelianceEnt @ZeeMusicCompany #AiyaaryOutNow in Cinemas Now
VinayakPPandit1: I like aiyaari movie ...#krishnaparit
upendrasabat: Watched #Aiyaary .Superb movie,nice story and good direction by @neerajpofficial . The best thing i like @Rakulpreet 's ponytail hairstyle.
The_Dave_Chirag: #Aiyaary #BestFanArmy #ManojBajpayee #SidharthMalhotra #story #armyattitude #mast
surajprd: #Aiyaary is a Entertaining & Gripping movie..Enjoyed the movie @_AdilHussain @BajpayeeManoj @S1dharthM
sunmithn: #Aiyaary a must watch mvi, is as gud as mission impossible series,asusual superb acting
Subhanya143: #Aiyaary A movie with Power pack Performance
sidnaz1: Amazing movie @S1dharthM
sidharth1m: RT Team_SidharthM "RT sidharth__M: Amazing movie... Super se bhi uper
Shubh__03: #Aiyaary is amazing sid & manoj good
Rosann_17: Just finished my watchin my hero @S1dharthM being @aiyaary splendid movie great story #chennai
rehantumbi: Just watched #Aiyaary epic thriller
ratankgupta: #Aiyaary Superb Story
Ranjanb33093298: #Aiyaary best bollybood movie ever I would give .
Rakulpreet: Go watch aiyaary this weekend !!
preeti_chopra2: Solid movie Aiyaari. Exposes Chavan’s Housing Society Scam brilliantly. Such big scamsters Congressis
PRASHANT77KUMAR: Best film of the year #Aiyaary
poojan_20: #Aiyaary is not for puppets like @SumitkadeI who lick SRK's ass all day It's a great movie.. Go and watch it
NandiniMahaja12: Aiyaary ....wonderfulll movie
namritaaaa_: #Aiyaary was definitely worth the watch, loved every second of the movie! @S1dharthM ❤
Mr_DAmit: I was seen 1st dy 1st show #Aiyaary still have a mood to see it again & again..superb
mangrulkarrohan: #Aiyaary is undoubtedly a magnificent film.Hats off to @BajpayeeManoj @_AdilHussain @S1dharthM @Rakulpreet & the entire team
jayuworld: #Aiyaary is a good movie. @S1dharthM looks fab as an army man and does a great job. So critics stop bashing Sid
iMuskaan_: Nah just don't miss #Aiyaary. I'm telling u don't.
imhiteshrawal: Well done @BajpayeeManoj @S1dharthM @neerajpofficial @AnupamPKher great movie #Aiyaary
iampravinkhichi: Watched #Aiyaary yesterday......what a performance by @S1dharthM @Rakulpreet.......... classy work by @neerajpofficial
dkushwah: #Aiyaary what a movie, super fine. Loved acting of @BajpayeeManoj @AnupamPKher , @S1dharthM you surprised
chirag_bt: Movie Achi He @aiyaary..Full Respect @adgpi..Good Work You All @S1dharthM @Rakulpreet @Pooja_Chopra_ @AnupamPKher @neerajpofficial
bhugraarjun: Thanks for bringing the current issues which are bigger than everyone @neerajpandey #aiyaari #mustwatch
anant1anand: #Aiyaary great movie.excellent @S1dharthM and @BajpayeeManoj simply loved it. #NeerajPandey absolute great movie maker
adityabipul13: Fabulous performance by @BajpayeeManoj and @S1dharthM Awesome movie #Aiyaary
abhee_45: Watched #Aiyaary movie.... It was nice...thanks @BajpayeeManoj @S1dharthM and @Rakulpreet ....big fan..
TheRaychanda: Aiyaary review Must not dare to watch this movie. Totally wastage of time. My rating - 0.5/5
saurabhindoriya: #Aiyaary neeraj pandey ki ab tk ki sbse ghatiya movie.....
PravinAjayFan: Aiyaary ~ wahiyat filmo ka maa aur baap dono hai...0
itzmeprasanna: Brand ambassador of flop movies is Sidharth Malhotra. #AGentleman #Ittefaq and now #Aiyaary Stop trying to make films, you can't act...
IllusionMaaya: #Aiyaary was a bad edit, picture could have been better with the edits, I think so ....overall 2 stars
deep897: #Aiyaary one of the #worst #movie of the year @neerajpofficial. Only saving grace is @BajpayeeManoj ‘s acting.. too good as usual
BitchRakul: Hi @RakulPreet now that #Aiyaary is a disaster please consider doing a bikini Scene in upcoming RomCom
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.