Cast: Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj
Director: Sachin Kundalkar
To enjoy a film like 'Aiyyaa', logic and rational definitely have to be left behind. Sachin Kundalkar creates a funny, slightly eccentric, filmi protagonist but he expects her charm to carry a film that is saddled with a ridiculous plot and side characters who are intended to be amusing but border on the annoying.
Meenakshi (Rani Mukerji) loves melodrama and is crazy about typical Bollywood films and music. Needless to say she also aspires to have a classic Bollywood romance rather than settle for an arranged marriage. Coming from a typical middle-class family, she has no choice but to go through the routine of meeting prospective grooms with their families, complete with a tray of poha and sreekhand. Despite several rejections, Meenkashi manages to find a perfectly eligible candidate. However, she is not too keen about the alliance because she finds herself insanely attracted to a very intense-looking Tamil college student (Prithviraj), who saunters around with blood-shot eyes and is rumoured to be an addict.
The plot might sound perfectly plausible but the narrative soon veers out of control. Too much time is spent in building up the intrigue around Surya (Prithviraj). The sub-plot about the weird, oversexed colleague is completely unnecessary and not even remotely entertaining. I understand that the director wanted to create a family that is completely eccentric but the gags associated with them are so bad that the humour repeatedly becomes slapstick. Meenakshi's hopeless pursuits get tedious beyond a point and her scene with the drug peddler should definitely have been chopped off at the editing table.
Despite the loopholes, Rani Mukerji's performance rises above the disappointing script to create an endearing character who is hopelessly in love with a man who seems completely wrong and shows no interest in her. Prithivraj has little to do but does complete justice to his image of the brooding, tall, dark and handsome heartthrob.
She worships Bollywood stars and in her dream transforms into her dream divas.
Rani Mukherji in a still from the movie 'Aiyyaa'
The movie which will be screened at BFI has is a comedy caper. According to the BFI website, the story line goes like this. Rani Mukherji plays Marathi girl who lives with her eccentric family next to a smelly rubbish dump, lost in her dream-like Bollywood fantasy world
She gets a job at an art college where she meets a soul-mate, a buck-toothed Lady GaGa lookalike, and together they go man-hunting
At the same time her barely sane parents are arranging her marriage to a good, sensible boy, who loves Marathi art cinema and rose-planting.