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Aiyyaa review: Quirky and endearing!

Movie:
Aiyyaa
Director:
Sachin Kundalkar
Cast:
Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj, Subodh Bhave, Satish Alekar, Kishori Ballal, Nirmiti Sawant, Ameya Wagh, Anita Date, Pakada Pandi, Jyoti Subhash
Avg user rating:
Her favourite book is Alice in Wonderland. How fitting, as our quirkily endearing character Meenakshi (Rani Mukerji) flits between her dreams and reality with such dexterity, she's often confused herself. In her own words, "kitni zaalim duniya hai - na reality mein jeene deti hai, na sapnon mein jaane deti hai!"

Meenakshi is part of the Deshpande family, whose home is right beside the locality dustbin. Of course, this disturbing fact is more symbolic than one notices at first glance. For, in a scene, we are told that in her dream world, the world is a pristine place without any garbage. Such is the sweet, eccentric nature of the film's comedy.

And the poetry is evident in the scene where she steps into the aesthetics of the art school where she works, and then we see her step into the garbage-laden street.

Meenakshi is against rushing into marriage and is tired of the "chai-pohe" routine the family puts her through. It's all OK till she sets her eyes on an art student (Prithviraj) in the college. Coincidentally, she also meets a match that makes for perfect 'husband material'.

Special: All about Aiyyaa

So what should she do? Follow her heart (and nose) and pursue the strapping young man who won't even look at her, or marry the rotund man with the stable job who grows roses in his garden? This identifiable issue is something several women face.

We then explore this dilemma further in the second half of the film. While the film's first half is breezy and great fun, the second half could have been shorter. But that's nit-picking in a film that's largely fabulous. You are again reminded of Alice in Wonderland because the book, beneath the light-hearted adventure, also delves into dark territory.

Director Sachin Kundalkar weaves a sweet, delicate love story that's as adorable as it is audacious. The national-award winning director, who has made films in Marathi, makes a wonderful debut in Hindi films and one is tempted to sample his films in Marathi as well.

Technically, the film is superb! The cinematography captures the dream-like texture of the film expertly, and dexterous editing and sound design are equally masterful. Songs (Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya) are an absolute treat! The magical background score enhances the film's fable-like quality.

A lot has been said about heroines finally getting their due in terms of meaty roles. That is especially true for Aiyyaa, as you finally have the heroine's character having a blast, pursuing her love interest and lustily sniffing for his scent.

It's a very special character crafted with love and indulgence. And Rani Mukerji is tremendously good in the film. Honestly, you can't take your eyes off her! When she's day-dreaming, dancing (like you wouldn't believe), or pursuing her man - you cannot help but be involved and cheer her on!

Prithviraj Sukumaran as the brooding and ruggedly handsome Surya is apt for the role and one hopes to see more of him in Hindi films.

Anita Date who plays her colleague and (a very interestingly crafted character that's a mix of being madcap and street-smart) is wonderful. The rest of the supporting cast is fantastic as well.

The film pushes the envelope ever so gently. This quirkily entertaining film is recommended for those who often find themselves delightfully blurring between dreams and reality, and especially for those who want to get a taste of it.

Enjoy this totally wakda film!

Rating: 3.5 stars

 

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