2 Average

There’s nothing wrong in opting for a plot beaten to death zillions of times, as long as one is able to incorporate it in an interesting characters amidst interesting setting and is deftly executed. Aiyyaa fits the bills perfectly. The basic plot is nothing new but characters are damn interesting. Music is another plus point. Even Sachin Kundalkar’s execution is marvelous at places. At places, only! There are junctures where the film is unnecessarily stretched. Even the characters get on your nerves after a point. Aiyyaa hence is a disappointment!

The story of the movie: Meenaxi Deshpande (Rani Mukerji) lives with her madcap family in Pune. She loves to be in her dream world and is not okay with her family’s idea of getting into an arranged marriage. She gets a job in an art institute where she comes across a painter, Surya (Prithviraj) and gets attracted to him because of his smell! She fantasizes about him and even learns Surya’s mother tongue – Tamil! But she’s hesitant to even strike a conversation with him. On the other hand, Meenaxi’s parents fix her marriage with kind-hearted Madhav (Subodh Barve), who’s diametrically opposite to Meenaxi in many ways. Watch Aiyyaa to find out what happens next.

Aiyyaa commences with an interesting dream sequence of Rani Mukerji and how it gets frustrated is worth a watch. The introduction of her family was weird but gives one an indication on what to expect next. If the family was zany, Meenaxi’s colleague Maina (Anita Date) was one of the craziest characters one would have seen in recent times! It is funny but in several scenes, it was outright embarrassing. And that’s the root cause of problem with Aiyyaa. It could have been one of the most entertaining and unique flicks but it is needlessly stretched, that takes away the impact. Same with the characters – there are made to do too much of mad stuff and this makes them look like caricatures.

The first half is more or less fine, sans any complains. The intermission point is fantastic. Matters deteriorate in the second half. The scenes get repetitive and it becomes irritating to see Meenaxi ignoring her work and following Surya every now and then. Same happens in the climax, but thankfully the suspense somewhat saved the day. The climax, too, could have been an interesting watch but comes too late in the day. And the preceding sequence of Maina spoilt the show.

Rani Mukerji is the star performer in Aiyyaa. The character of Meenaxi is loud, over-the-top, melodramatic but script ensures her character doesn’t get irritating like the rest. In fact, her wants, desires, dreams and even the way she lusts for the man will be identifiable with many women. And Rani has always been a fine performer and in Aiyyaa as well, she puts her best foot forward. However, it’s unfortunate that the film didn’t turn out as good as expected, especially when Rani is in a dire need of a hit. Hopefully, Talaash will make things better for her.

Prithviraj looks dashing and it was a tailor made role for him. The good news is he’ll be seen in another Hindi film soon (Arjun Kapoor-starrer Aurangzeb). Subodh Barve looked every inch a Puneri single chap in search of a wife who’ll love him as much as he does. The sequence where he talks about Farooq Sheikh-Deepti Naval was impressive. Nirmiti Sawant performed as per her character’s demand. Ameya Wagh (Meenaxi’s brother) was fine but gets irritating in few scenes. Jyoti Subhash (Meenaxi’s grandmom) was the worst of all. Anita Date portrayed an interesting character but spoilt the show in her entry sequence and in the finale. Others – Satish Alekar (Meenaxi’s father), Kishori Ballal (Surya’s mother) and the actors who played Madhav’s parents were okay in their small roles.

Amit Trivedi’s music was novel. Dreamum Wakeupam was an interesting concept and beautifully filmed. Same goes for Aga Bai. Mahek Bhi is melodious and the shehnai tune in the song lingers in one’s ears for a long time! Background score is very effective. Special mention should be made of Vaibhavi Merchant. Brilliant choreography!

Sachin Kundalkar’s story was damn interesting. Overall, it was nothing new but the manner in which he put together the whole idea was praiseworthy. Also, the reason behind Surya’s ‘aroma’ was damn good. But film falls in the script level, and later at the execution stage. If the film was at least 30 minutes shorter, things would have been better. Very very sad, especially since Kundalkar did show his directorial brilliance in some scenes!

On the whole, Aiyyaa is not even half as good as the promos. Characters are weird (the makers prefer to call them wakda). Initially, their acts seem funny but later, it gets on your nerves. Also, film is stretched needlessly, that takes away the impact created by director Sachin Kundalkar in several scenes. At the box office, the film has little chances of success thanks to negative reponse. A good idea gone waste – so unfortunate-um!