Movie Review: Aiyyaa (2012)
Till a few years ago, Bollywood was known for churning out hero-centric movies. The leading ladies were treated as mere props or eye candy in most Hindi movies. That’s not all, heroine-centric themes were considered dicey, since not many were ready to invest their crores on stories that centred around female protagonists. But 2012 has made the naysayers chew their words. The year belongs to those gutsy film-makers and of course, the enterprising ladies who changed the rules of the game. Films like KAHAANI, JISM 2, RAAZ 3, HEROINE and ENGLISH VINGLISH challenged the male dominance at the box-office. Now AIYYAA, which rides on Rani Mukerji’s shoulders, is all set to break the stereotype.
Like all Anurag Kashyap movies [he wears the producer’s hat this time, it’s directed by Sachin Kundalkar], AIYYAA takes on a novel premise and transports you to an altogether new world. This time, it’s about a middle class family living in Mumbai. What sets it apart is that this Maharashtrian girl – Tamil guy prem kahani [Rani, Prithviraj] is woven around the concept of smell/aroma. Also, a lot many middle class girls feel suffocated when they can’t choose the guy they want to spend the rest of their life with. In AIYYAA, the girl chooses her own groom, defying her family’s choice. But AIYYAA is not a serious take on the institution of marriage. It’s an amusing journey, actually.
Meenakshi [Rani Mukerji] is a young Maharashtrian woman who is fixated with movies and movie stars and loves escaping into her make-believe world. She gets attracted to a painter, Surya [Prithviraj Sukumaran], because he smells good. But there’s a hitch: She’s all set to be engaged to Madhav [Subodh Bhave], who happens to be her parents’ choice.
AIYYAA is a desi film at heart. Also, quirky and funny. But the humor is more of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee/Basu Chatterjee variety. What makes this film stand apart is that it does away with the crutches of big stars [except Rani], forced humor, unnecessary songs, international locales or grandiose sets. Its strength lies in its cohesive script and able performances.