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FILM REVIEWS

Aiyaa

Who else but the AKFPL band and brand of film-faking geniuses could create this two-and-a-half-hour-long stylized multi-layered complex classic of smelly and dogged romance between an out-of-shape-around-mid-riff actress and Bollywood star and a hunky handsome southern star with a ten-pack well-chiseled physique. It's a wakda (tedha, crooked) tale proudly proclaims the film's poster. Seedha or tedha, it neither works as a genuine cinematic expression of art house variety, nor as a mainstream commercial blockbuster. It's precious money gone down the drain.

AIYYAA begins with an item number of assorted musical themes and dance moves borrowed from Bollywood, Hollywood, and world cinema archives and performed by a Pune girl Meenakshi Deshpande (Rani Mukerji) who is about to be crushed between two garbage dumpers before she wakes up with a start. Please note, 'garbage' and the sense of smell are the key motifs in this crooked tale. There are the other characters like Meenakshi's father (Satish Alekar) who smokes 5 or more cigarettes at the same time defying all statutory warnings, a mother (Nirmiti Sawant) who is over eager to domesticate her moody daughter and get her betrothed, a crazy yet liberated grandmother (Jyoti Subhash) with shining gold teeth, speeding around in a motorized wheel chair, laughing and talking like a crazy woman, a dog loving brother (Amey Wagh), and a toothy female co-worker in the administrative wing of the local art school. They are designed to be as shockingly weird and bizarre as possible - symptomatic of a filmmakers extreme anxiety to impress you with his out-of-this-world creative brilliance.

It's a family of characters imported straight from the Marathi stage of heavily stylized comedies. Meenakshi's marriage is the core issue. Her sense of smell leads her to Prithviraj (Surya), a recluse and genius of a painter. The guy with Tamil origins is long settled in Pune. Meenakshi falls in love with him at the first whiff of his smell. He is a handsome hunk that further makes his charm irresistible. She follows him everywhere, led by her acute sense of smell, for about 140 minutes, and AIYYAA becomes an Aiyeeyo in the final five minutes of the film's footage as Prtihvi and Meenakshi get betrothed. The wakda gets seedha all of a sudden. That's it.

You realize that the wakda tale is actually nothing but fake quirkiness, and extremely boring stylebaazi that stinks as bad as 'kachra' trucks in the film. It's also an example of inspired pastiche art also used in abundance in films like BARFI!, now the Indian entry to the Oscars. Interestingly, AIYYAA shares the theme of BARFI!'s background score. The film-faking revolutionaries and their music directors have clearly been watching the same world cinema DVDs for 'inspiration'.

Blessed are TV 18 and Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt. Ltd. (AKFPL), the harbingers of a revolution in Indian cinema. If Anurag Kashyap is the Che Guevara turned the Fidel Castro of Indian cinema, Viacom18 Motion Pictures is like his main sponsor the Soviet Russia. Very soon we will have 'T' Shirts, caps, buttons, flags, posters, scarfs, and sundry other items imprinted with the likeness of the genius and living icon sold in film schools, inspiring wannabes to turn into great revolutionaries of b***s**t art.

The revolution is likely to gather mass until the collapse of the Soviets, in this case Viacom18 Motion Pictures. In the mean time the news has arrived that the great director's actor and star who just turned a septuagenarian and has been partying hard and waking up late, the Shahenshah of Bollywood and the star of the millennium, the one and only, Big B has found his next Ram Gopal Varma in the Bollywood's erstwhile disagreeable rebel Che turned extremely agreeable and successful Castro. Since Big B is all set to climb on to the revolutionary bandwagon, we congratulate him and wish him well for the journey ahead and look forward to his wakda film.

It's a pathetic and hopeless situation and getting increasingly painful a task reviewing these pretentious and kachra films proudly presented to us as examples of new age cinema.

Rajesh Kumar Singh