Aiyyaa: Movie Review
Till a certain stage, the film is endearing. But by the time the film gets to its unrealistic, improbable, unimaginable and impractical climax, it has turned utterly butterly bizarre.
Dir: Sachin Kundalkar
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj, Nirmitee Sawant, Subodh Bhave, Anita Date
Aai ga ! This Aiyyaa is like a prolonged Axe Effect ad! Homely filmi Maharastrian girl, living in a decrepit house right next to a garbage dump in Pune with loud parents and a useless brother, seeks alliance from a suitable Maharastrian boy who does not wear full sleeve shirts on a banian for marriage.
However, since same eligible Marathi girl is having stronger olfactory senses than a pregnant woman, she falls in love with the smell of a thoroughly unsuitable South Indian male art student with red eyes. Like someone possessed she starts following him around and soaking in his body smells from his discarded paintbrushes and work cloth, his used unwashed t-shirt. She watches midnight masala on South Indian channels and reads Tamil books to learn how to say �keep your top shirt button open �. So impressed is she with his red eyes, chest hair and magnetic smell, that she even follows him in a men �'s loo and then a red light area! Then she wears his stolen used t-shirt and lies on her bed daydreaming about pelvic thrusts and much detailed sexually potent imagery. All this while, the Axe man just drifts around from one venue to another unaware of the said pretty young girl chasing him.
Meanwhile, another suitable Marathi boy in half-sleeves shirt likes crazy stalker Marathi girl and agrees to marry her. But what is the use? Marathi boy likes only Farooque Shaikh-Deepti Naval romances in film and Jagjit Singh �'s film ghazals while girl is crazy only about Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit passionate melodrama and Laxmikant Pyarelal chart-toppers. What to do? Deva kai karu?
Film scholars have often termed the late �80s as the dark age in Hindi cinema. It is strange that so many present-day filmmakers like Milan Luthria with his 'The Dirty Picture', Anurag Kashyap in 'Gangs of Wasseypur', Rohit Shetty with his 'Golmaal' series and now Sachin Kundalkar are so happily paying a tribute to that very age of baggy shirts, dhoti suits and melodrama.
Kundalkar has a good story and a novel style of telling it. His depiction of Meenakshi �'s private world, her cheerful lust for the South Indian stranger and her lively sexual fantasies with him is so refreshing for a Hindi film. But his Anil Kapoor versus Farooque Shaikh dilemma is quite apparent in the storytelling.
Rani has done a great job and so has the rest of cast: Amey Date as the brother, Nirmitee Sawant as the mother and Subodh Bhave as the fiancé. But best of all is Anita Date, as the loud outrageous drawling Maina.
It is difficult to say whether this is an entertaining film or not. Undoubtedly, the world of Aiyya is loud and quirky; it is inhabited by funny, strange characters: a heroine Meenakshi who loves to escape into a world of films, a boisterous revolutionary auto-wheelchair riding grandmother, a father who smokes four ciggies at a time and repairs old telephones, an idle brother with a penchant for rescuing stray dogs, a melodramatic mother, and a friend Maina with a Lady Gaga hangover. Till a certain stage in the film, this idiosyncrasy of the characters is endearing.
Meenakshi �'s need to escape from her family �'s smelly rundown house and her utter besottedness with the smell of a stranger seems interesting as a premise. But at a certain stage in this chase, the idiosyncrasy turns to idiocy. By the time the film gets to its unrealistic, improbable, unimaginable and impractical climax, especially with the ridiculously funny 'What To Do- Ijjat Papad' song, the film has turned utterly butterly bizarre and you really don �'t care whether Meenakshi meets her South Indian or not. Like that only the film is!