Director: Sachin Kundalkar
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj sukumaran, Subodh Bhave, Kishori Ballal, Nirmiti Sawant, Satish Alekar, Jyoti Subhash, Amey Wagh and Anita Date
Aiyyaa, simply put, is a movie that narrates the tale of a love-struck, adorably filmi and brave Puneri Marathi Deshpande mulgi, Meenaxi, played wonderfully by Rani Mukerji. Living life in a dream, Bollywood style, Meenaxi is that over-the-top Bollywood fan we all know, like to resent, but secretly love.
Spouting filmi-style dialogues and daydreaming of becoming a heroine are this mulgi’s only joys in life. All this however changes when her ultra-mental mother (Nirmiti Sawant) decides to publish a matrimonial in the newspaper, attracting a flood storm of proposals for the reluctant Meenaxi.
Meenaxi is now at a crossroad, hating that she has to be married without love and searching for a new job at the same time. She however manages to get the post of librarian in Fergusson College, Pune and that’s when everything goes wakda (crooked/upside down), quite literally!
First she meets the man of her dreams, who turns her on mentally, physically and as is made far too obvious, far too many times — olfactorily! The problem? He’s Tamil and apparently speaks no other language. He is also perceived to be an alcoholic and a ‘drug addict genius’ (frightfully familiar) who paints so well, that the college can’t seem to get rid of him. Meenaxi falls madly in love with him (Surya), played by the super hot Prithviraj Sukumaran, whose brooding sexiness makes him good enough to eat — we’re serious.
Like her olfactorial obsession with Surya is not enough to deal with, Meenaxi’s life only gets more wakda when one of the boys who comes to see her, agrees to marry her, ‘just like that’. Madhav Rajadhyaksha (Subodh Bhave) is your typical Marathi mulga — fair, rotund and sickeningly sweet — completely in contradiction to the macho, raw and testosterone-oozing Surya.
Meenaxi is now torn between the boy her parents chose and the man she loves madly. Whatte dilemma, no? The rest of the tale follows a mad joyride to the climax that’s often completely berserk, filled with amazing songs and over-the-top performances, that will leave you smiling and occasionally also force you to laugh out loud, if you can deal with the repetitiveness of the scenes and the sometimes boring narrative.
What doesn’t work for the film is the terrible Tamil. Sachin Kundalkar should have realised that almost every single person in this country knows what Tamil sounds like and so when Kishori Ballal (who plays Surya’s mother) speaks a garbled tongue sounding neither here nor there, you’re left wondering if they take themselves seriously. That said, while Meenaxi’s attempts at learning the Tamil language for the sake of talking to Surya seem pretty sweet — and we can forgive her for the really bad diction — believe us when we say if you plan to seduce a Tamil man with bad Tamil, your chances of ever getting him are, how do we fairly put this... absolutely none!
But, there were occasional cute moments, like when Meenaxi tries belting out Chinna Chinna Aasai (from Roja) to bewilder the gullible Madhav and when she also tries learning the weirdest of conversational phrases in Tamil from the adorable coffee-boy Pakkada Pandi. Her counting in Tamil for the rest of the movie (post meeting Surya) is also something that made us gush quite a bit.
But that isn’t enough, is it? The over-acting gets to you and the fact that the love story unravels only towards the end, leaves you terribly fidgety and occasionally annoyed. The songs are a visual pleasure and Anita Date and Amey Wagh as Meenaxi’s friend and brother and their antics can take you only so much further. So even though the climax is beautiful and warms your heart, you’re still left, feeling strangely cheated.
Aiyyaa is a visual treat, with a great performance by Rani. The amazing songs manage to keep you occupied, but the only real treat is Prithviraj, who walks away with all our praises. So hot he is... Aiyyo, Deva Parmeshwar!
PS: Be prepared for a lot of sexual imagery that will make you blush. However, the scenes have been fairly well handled.