Movie Review: Aiyyaa (2012)

Users Rating: [ratings] ★★★☆☆
Box Office: Flop

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.


Good Reviews  |  Average Reviews  |  Bad Reviews
Positive Reviews
3.5 “It’s arresting, amusing, entertaining and of course, thoroughly enjoyable, with Rani’s splendid act, refreshingly different plot, winsome songs, pleasant humor and terrific moments as its aces. Don’t miss it!”
Bollywood Hungama
3.0 “Aiyyaa takes time to warm up, slips into dull patches at times and occasionally teeters on the edge of a certain dissonance”
NDTV Movies
3.0 “Yes, Rani gets a firm grip on the intriguing flavour of this out-of-the-box comedy.”
3.0 “Watch Aiyyaa for a quirkily different film with very good performances but be warned that it drags.”
Average Reviews
2.5 “Sachin Kundalkar starts out well, but while juggling between Marathi matrimonials and midnight-masala, his plot goes ‘wakda’ (read: digresses).”
Times Of India
2.5 “Aiyyaa is an average entertainer.”
DNA India
Negative Reviews
2.0 “AIYYAA could have been to Rani Mukherji what ENGLISH VINGLISH did to Sridevi.”
2.0 “Fans of Rani Mukerji might enjoy the film, but if you are going with high expectations after watching the trailer (which seemed to promise more than what was delivered), you might be sorely disappointed.”
1.5 “Those used to viewing wonky diploma films and experimental shorts at various short film competitions would be familiar with a film like this.”
Daily Bhaskar
1.5 “Aiyyaa could have been a truly subversive, exhilarating ride with a sexually aware, sensually charged woman at its centre.”
Indian Express
1.0 “Aiyyaa is let down by its weak script.”
1.0 “Aiyyaa, is a major disappointment coming from the production house of Anurag Kashyap and from the once upon a time highly revered actress Rani Mukerji. Watch this ‘Wakda’ tale at your own risk.”
1.0 “Aiyya is not a script poorly handled rather it is a script poorly written.”
Zee News

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