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Aiyyaa Movie Review – Sillyum, Boringum, Dumbum, Irrititatanum

Let’s start with the good news. Bollywood Actress Rani Mukherjee who came back to the big screen after a long time looks great in a skimpy, black, sequined blouse. Her undulating stomach turns the heat up a notch in what is otherwise a loud and meandering comedy about a woman who falls in love with a complete stranger who smells heavenly.

Rani Mukherji gets some well-timed laughs as the slightly cuckoo, Marathi girl who fantasizes about film stars, idolizes Sridevi and co-habits a derelict house with a family that should ideally be locked up. The music is fantastic and the ‘Dreamum Wakeuppum’ song really gets you going. ‘Sava Dollar’, ‘Aga Bai’ and ‘What To Do’ aren’t bad either.
But the laughs soon dry up as you realize that there is no escaping the offensive shrillness of the characters, the lack of a cohesive story and the total silliness of ‘Aiyyaa’. Here are 5 things that will leave you cringing.

Warning: There’s description of some heavy sniffing and inevitable spoilers. Please stop reading if you haven’t seen ‘Aiyyaa’ yet and do not want us to give away the plot.

The Deshpandes are no ordinary brood. And Aiyyaa is no ordinary film. Wildly wakda (read twisted) in more ways than one, it is a film that defies definition. It careens from the dreamy to the delirious, the realistic to the raucous, and the perfectly logical to the utterly nonsensical as it turns many a time-honoured convention of Hindi commercial cinema on its head.

Many might find its loud, outré storytelling style somewhat difficult to comprehend and digest, especially in the context of the film’s slice-of-life love story predicated on a willing suspension of disbelief. Aiyyaa, Sachin Kundalkar’s first Hindi film on the back of three critically applauded Marathi-language features, revels in flying against expectations with complete abandon.

It falls back on principles of the theatre of the absurd as well as the norms of the tamasha folk form to comment on the skewed dynamics of arranged matrimony and the politics of gender equations viewed exclusively from the distaff side. Despite mounting societal pressures on her, it is the mulgi who calls the shots. She follows her heart – and nose – all the way through to try and get the man she wants.

Aiyyaa blends a dash of magic realism, liberal dollops of wacky humour, broad burlesque sweeps, robust social satire and a mélange of elaborately staged coital dance routines, all brought together by a delightfully freewheeling imagination. Not all of it works though. In fact, portions of the film go askew. That makes Aiyyaa a bit of a mixed bag. But Kundalkar gets enough of the madcap tropes right to ensure that his film stays on course for the most part.

The most striking aspect of Aiyyaa is that its focus is squarely on the female gaze. The hero is the object of desire and it is the girl who does most of the sniffing, drooling and panting. Indeed, sniffing plays a key role in this love story. Meenaxi Deshpande (Rani Mukerji) is a plucky middle class Maharashtrian girl who seeks escape from her humdrum life by frequently retreating into a nebulous dreamscape inspired by her favourite Bollywood divas.

Source: IBN


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