If "Aiyyaa" had hit the theatres in the mid nineties, I wonder if it would've titillated the audiences but as for now, it hardly even caused a stir.
It was a week of comebacks, Sridevi with English Vinglish and Manisha Koirala with Bhoot Returns, in fact even Preity Zinta is preparing her grand entrance with Ishq in Paris; even though Rani Mukerji vehemently denies the fact that Aiyyaa was a comeback, we hadn’t so much as heard a peep from her after No one Killed Jessica. As much as we wanted Aiyyaa to enthrall us and ride high on the trend of empowered female protagonists, it leaves much to be desired.
There is no denying the fact that Rani Mukerji brings heaps of talent to the table. As Meenaxi Deshpande, a pretty college librarian from a humble Maharashtrian household, Rani shines. Meenaxi’s family is looking to hitch her to a matrimonial advertisement embodying groom while she coyly serves tea to every willing suitor. Meenaxi’s dreams are painted quite vividly for our benefit, right from the beginning. She clearly wants to escape her mundane lifestyle, her claustrophobic household and become a pelvis thrusting diva. The Deshpande family has been painted as a caricature by director, Sachin Kundalkar, a wheel chair fiend grandmother, bizarre chain smoking and fussy parents and a Lady Gaga inspired colleague. However, Meenaxi’s brother Nana managed to recreate the image of a charming younger sibling.
Through the course of the movie, Meenaxi’s heightened olfactory senses make her fall in love with an Arts student, Suriya Iyer, played by Prithviraj. After some rather uninspired scenes, her love story blossoms. The uber talented South Indian sensation, Prithviraj is underutilized and is portrayed more like a prop that a credible actor.
Rani’s portrayal of Meenaxi as the drama craving, small town girl is endearing. She makes an astounding effort to carry the film on her shoulders but the plot is too haphazard and lackluster for her to do so. The film witnesses certain high points during the song and dance sequences but quickly fizzles out due to the lack of a strong narrative. In fact, the script doesn’t offer much in terms of understanding the characters, the film’s structure or even the climax.
Aiyyaa, on paper, had a lot to offer but in the two hours and thirty minutes of its run time, it seemed excruciating drawn out and unsatisfactory. Rani proves that she’s still in the game but the film falls quite flat. Amit Trivedi has offered a whole lot freshness to the film with his music and Vaibhavi Merchant to the film’s choreography; it’s a clear thumbs up to the both of them.
Aiyyaa is a must see for Rani Mukerji’s fan but if you are bowled over by the glossy cinematography and the delectable music, we suggest you watch the videos on YouTube and give the rest a miss.
MTV Rates: 2/5
Aiyyaa is a Viacom18 Motion Pictures film.