Review: Aiyyaa


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.

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.

... contd.

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