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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Review: Aiyyaa

'Aiyyaa' could have been a truly subversive, exhilarating ride with a sexually aware,sensually charged woman at its centre.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi |
October 12, 2012 3:07:47 pm

Cast:Rani Mukherjee,Prithviraj,Anita Date,Nirmiti Sawant,Satish Alekar,Subodh Bhave,Ameya Wagh

Director: Satish Kundalkar

Indian Express Rating:*1/2

More than anything else,’Aiyyaa’ is a film that could have been a truly subversive, exhilarating ride with a sexually aware,sensually charged woman at its centre. A woman who is willing to follow her nose,and her heart,to where it takes her : in this instance,past an overflowing ‘kachre ka dabba’ to a sweet-smelling hottie. But Sachin Kundalkar’s whose Marathi ‘Gandha’ did this infinitely better,doesn’t manage the reprise,and what we get is a flat,heavy-footed clomp through screechy lines and overstated,dragged-out situations.

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Meenakshi Deshpande ( Mukherjee) is a mostly demure Marathi ‘mulgi’,resigned to the fact that her ‘jeevan saathi’ will be a man chosen by her parents. A suitable man like Madhav Rajadhyaksha ( Bhave) who thinks that Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh’s homely romances are the best. But Meenakshi has other ideas : her sensitive nose works over-time whenever she sniffs out the taciturn presence of Surya ( Prithiviraj),a dark,handsome Tamilian who paints during the day,goes off to mysterious pursuits during the night,and lives with his ‘amma’ in between. Overcome as she is with olfactory lust,Meenakshi has also to deal with a buck-toothed Lady Gaga type colleague ( Date), a dog-loving brother ( Wagh) a really loud mother ( Sawant),a furiously ciggie-smoking father ( Alekar),and a white-bewigged grandma in a motorized wheelchair. This could have been a hilarious gang,but ends up being continually and monumentally irritating.

Mukherjee tries hard to keep above it all,and she manages to break through once in a while,especially in the jaw-droppingly sexed-up songs and dances with Prithiviraj,who is quite content being male eye-candy and bringing up the rear : a reverse flip which should have been far more delicious than it is. I also perked up at a couple of the mad antics of the kinky Date,but again,this is not a film which generates the sort of mad hysteria that makes you laugh.

After a while,it becomes just another film we can’t wait to get out of,despite the trying-to-get-back-in-the-reckoning,still-watchable Rani and the sizzling Prithvi. Taking a cue from one of its songs,I have to say that,post watching,I barely saved myself from being in critical conditionuum.

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