I should have reviewed this film a long time ago because I was super excited to see it and I had a lot of fun watching the film.
First of all, let me say that this is a remake– of the first part of a Marathi film called “Gandha” meaning “scent” in Marathi. The original is fantastic, but Aiyyaa is a different animal altogether. Gandha is a very simple short film and even though the film makers tried to carry on some of these qualities to Aiyyaa, their desire to make a masala type film that would work at the box office (and their overuse of imagination) transformed the story into something very different.
In simple words, Aiyyaa is the totally crazy version of the first part of Gandha. I do suggest seeing the original, it’s a very beautiful film and the last I checked, it was on youtube. But try not to compare the two because like I said, they’re very different.
Aiyyaa starts off in the dreams of Meenakshi played by Rani. She is a girl who dreams of Bollywood to escape the crazy family she has, and her parents’ desire to get her married as soon as possible. The best parts of Aiyyaa are when Rani’s reanactments of old Bollywood films are shown. These are Meenakshi’s dreams. She becomes Madhuri from Tezaab and Dil, Sridevi from Chaalbaaz and Mr. India and Juhi from Qayamet se Qayamet Tak. These scenes are just fantastic and very entertaining.
Meenakshi has a mother who is obsessed with getting her married, a father who smokes four cigarettes at a time, a brother who gathers all the stray dogs to their house and an eccentric grandmother who will leave Meenakshi her gold teeth.
And then there is Surya….. the handsome Prithviraj who makes you drool throughout the film. I had seen Prithviraj’s Urumi before this, but I hadn’t warmed up to him much in that film. Prithviraj in this film is very lovable. He made me melt in one of the last scenes when he speaks to Meenakshi and says “Naan Unnai Kaadhalikkirein… Tamil mein aise kehte hain” (I love you… That’s how we say it in Tamil). Drool! Just in case you’re wondering, Prithviraj is married, like most hunks down South. Wipe your tears ladies.
It was also very cute how Meenakshi tried to learn (and did learn as you will find out in the last few scenes) Tamil for Surya. Rani was mindblowing in the scene where she switched from speaking Hindi to Tamil in front of her parents.
Okay, so Meenakshi falls in love with Surya at first sight, or I should say “first smell.” His smell is what attracts her to him and she yearns for his scent. I won’t tell you the secret behind the scent, as that will ruin the movie for you, but it’s a very imaginative thing!
The film also leaves us wondering why she is the only one who gets affected by his scent.
There is also a character called Mynah, the same actress was also in Gandha, but she was actually normal in Gandha whereas, she is absolutely crazy in this one. She goes around oogling at pictures of John Abraham and sipping on vodka from a monkey shaped red water bottle. I still can’t figure out why the filmmakers decided to take this turn in script and characters in Aiyyaa.
In one scene, when asked her favorite book at one of the many bride seeing meetings ( the groom is Madhav– the great Marathi actor Subodh Bhave), Meenakshi says that its “Alice in Wonderland.” A few have suggested that the odd exaggerations in Aiyyaa are tributes to Alice in Wonderland. So Meenakshi is Alice, Mynah is supposed to be the rabbit and Meenakshi’s father the smoking caterpillar. I have no idea if that was the intention or not. But why? I don’t get it. I think the filmmakers somehow thought that we could see into their brain when watching the movie. It’s probably why the film didn’t work at the box office.
The songs of the film are very good. Some have found a few of the songs on the vulgar side but I don’t think so at all. I think Rani is a great dancer and she proved it once again with her variety of dances in the film. Mahek Bhi is my favorite song from the album, the music is addictive and just beautiful. I could listen to this song all day.
In conclusion, this is a Rani film. Watch it if you love Rani.