When I first heard about Anurag Kashyap’s latest production AIYYAA (which in Tamil means a respectable person), I honestly thought that it referred to the director, Sachin Kundalkar, who in Marathi film circles is acknowledged as a creative film maker who has won critical acclaim for his works. And then when I learnt that it was being promoted as Rani Mukherji’s come-back vehicle, I mentally pictured the fine actress of yester years in the same light as Sridevi whose come-back in ENGLISH VINGLISH is still creating waves all over. And then, my mind went back to recall all those scenes of another pretty actress of the sixties, Saira Banu whose on-screen utterances of AIYYAA in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice (Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar Main Kya Janoon Re in SHAGIRD of 1967) created flutters because of her cavorting around in a half-saree! And then, I saw some promos and I thought that there was going to be some resemblance to Vidya Balan’s THE DIRTY PICTURE, only because of the accent on the scanty covering of the upper part of the female torso!
The real reason why Rani Mukherji, who plays the middle-class Maharashtrian girl who continuously fantasizes about a Tamilian dream lover repeatedly utters the word AIYYAA in the movie will perhaps be easily understood by Cantonese speaking audiences: in Cantonese, AIYYAA is an expression of exasperation! And the way the movie has finally turned out, Rani and the dialogue writer perhaps felt that there could not have been a better way to express their feeling (so what if it is in Cantonese!) about this movie.
Granted that this movie is about caricatured characterization of Rani and her family members, her colleague in the library, and her fantasy lover (played by the Malayalam actor Prithvi Raj, whose only dialogues come in the end). Yet director Sachin Kundalkar manages to create such a mess that AIYYAA defies description. It is raunchy in places, which is OK, but downright vulgar in quite a few places which marks an unpleasant return to some of the crudities from which Bollywood seemed to have extricated itself. I was wondering as to whether this was actually meant as a parody of such song and dance sequences featured in productions from the South: Sachin Aiyyaa, if that was to be the case, please pardon me for the lack of my understanding! But Sachin Aiyyaa, why were you so obsessed with smells? On the one hand, we have visitors who close their noses when the pass the garbage dump in front of Rani’s house and on the other, you have shown Rani smelling the apparently sensuous body odour of Prithvi Raj? Was this supposed to be a promo for the deodorant AXE?
I do not know Cantonese, but I know some Tamil; just enough for me to mutter my feeling in Tamil after seeing this movie: AIYYOO!!!
RATING: 1 out of 5
October 12, 2012