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Review by : Kaushik L.M

Starring: Rani Mukherji, Prithviraj
Direction: Sachin Kundalkar
Music: Amit Trivedi
Production: Anurag Kashyap, Viacom 18

Aiyyaa is from the Anurag Kashyap School of filmmaking that has a promise of something different. The basic plot is one of romance and it has been executed in a very wacky and innovative manner. The movie has been directed and written by Sachin Kundalkar and stars Malayalam superstar Prithviraj opposite the ultra-talented Rani Mukherjee.

Meenakshi (Rani Mukherjee) is a typical middleclass Maharashtrian lady who is pretty frustrated with her mundane life which is populated by weird characters. To break loose from the drama in her dirty house, she escapes into a fantasy filmy world in which she imagines herself to be the heroine in popular films of the 90s. Her mother wants to get her married off at the earliest to any good groom but Meenakshi desires a South Indian painter named Suriya. Meenakshi literally smells him wherever he goes as she has a heightened sense of smell. Till the end, she is not able to express her feelings to him and whether she is able to come out of her shell and reveal her feelings to Suriya forms the rest of this wafer-thin plot.

Meenakshi’s house is a real madhouse with a weird blind grandmother who is bound to the wheelchair but her mouth knows no bounds. Her father is always busy with the multitude of phones at the house and with his cigarettes while her younger brother is obsessed with his four dogs. Her mother’s only goal in life is Meenakshi’s marriage. If this is the case at home, at the library at which she works, Maina (played by Anita Date) is her colleague and she is a bucktoothed film crazy dancer who dresses in the most bizarre ways. It takes guts to play such a character for sure. 

The grandmother and Maina give the film its best moments with their absolutely crazy acts. The way Maina talks is another laugh-worthy aspect though it is equally irritating too.

Rani Mukherjee is the heart of the movie and she is expressive and lively as always. The portions when she learns Tamil to communicate with Suriya, are delightful thanks to her childish shrill voice. ‘Pakkoda’ Pandi has a cute cameo as Meenakshi’s Tamil teacher and the bridge between her and Suriya. Prithviraj as Suriya is hunky and starts mouthing some lines only towards the end. It’s a neat performance from him towards the end when we can see good chemistry between him and Rani. As said before, all of Meenakshi’s family members and her colleague have breathed life into their characters and bring a chuckle in us, now and then. There is also a character named Madhav, who likes Meenakshi and is ready to marry her and he is what they call ‘perfect husband material’ (as Maina brands him in the movie).

The movie is well made and the BGM score by Amit Trivedi lifts the movie a notch. It resembles Barfi’s soundtrack (guess both the composers were inspired by Amelie’s soundtrack). The Dreamum Wakeuppam song was a real eye sore in the promos before the movie released and the song turns out to be an irritant on screen too. It gives the feeling of watching a ‘midnight masala’ episode (that’s how the song is positioned in the movie too). There are few foot tapping songs but the sensual one towards the end is another needless interlude. Rani’s belly dance moves in this song are intricate though.

Rani Mukherjee’s costumes and dance moves for these dance numbers border on the crude and we may wonder why such an accomplished actress needs to do such numbers.

The length of the movie and the shallow plot also count among the other bloopers in the movie. One may find the movie annoying often thanks to the inactivity.  Meenakshi’s relentless sniffing scenes have also been overdone.

To conclude, ‘Aiyyaa’ entertains and annoys too.

Verdict: The wacky ‘Aiyyaa’ is well enacted but it drags quite a lot.

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