Before its release, Aiyaa always caught my attention. Here’s why:
- It was being produced under the Anurag Kashyap banner
- Amit Trivedi’s brilliant notes had created quite a buzz
- Rani was impressive in No One Killed Jessica.
- Oh yes, it had every South Indian element; the best being the Malayalam superstar Prithviraj Sukumaran
- Last but not the least; the protagonist’s name was Meenakshi!!
Expectations had just mounted. Could the film ever go wrong?
Well, it did! And how wrong!! It’s probably impossible for me to explain how disappointing Aiyyaa was.
From the very first minute, the only thoughts we had, was, ‘OMG! What went wrong with us! Why did we waste our evening on this nonsense?’ It was loud. It was flashy. It was bright. And it was WEIRD, Bloody weird. It takes a person serious guts to go ahead and write and direct a film like this. It takes someone strong conviction to invest in a film like this. But yes, it takes someone a lot more than guts, conviction and passion to live through that torture and pain in the cinema hall.
Aiyyaa, for me, is a complete blunder; a complete mess and a mockery at the cultural stereotypes. Well, I knew that there was some level of cultural imbalance just by noticing the casting. A Bengali girl playing a Maharashtrian, a Malayalam hero playing a Tamilian. Well, I was willing to forgo this and take the risk purely because of Anurag Kashyap. To my disbelief, this time around AK let us down badly. The casting I guess failed completely. Kishori Ballal, a Kannadiga, plays a Tamil lady and struggles with barely 10 lines of Tamil. Oops. There is a lot more that went wrong other than the casting. So let’s focus on that.
The film’s plot seemed wafer thin. It looked like there were just a couple of things the director, Sachin Kundalkar was holding on to. He tried too hard to make his women powerful. His women were bold, beautiful, very expressive; yet horribly imbalanced. Their craving for lust, love and inclusion was so overdone that it became central to the film and everything else got secondary. Comic timing seemed like a force fit.
At the end of the film, a person that I would admire is Anita Date. Hats off to her for accepting and depicting a role that I would say was surely challenging. Prithviraj does impress with his physique. However, he fails to conquer his accent. The Tamilian gives away his Kerala connection when he tries to deliver any dialogue; especially when he says ‘collage’!! Never Mind!! I’m not complaining. I have always found the men from Kerala interesting and impressive!! So, yes, I had to like him. What came as a jolt was Rani Mukerji. She completely failed to impress me.
The film was excruciatingly long and disturbing. The only reason why we watched it till the end was because there was this thin ray of hope that AK would probably invest in something sensible. The expectation that the film would pick up in pace and quality did exist till the end. But yes, it was a BIG BIG letdown!