Here’s another throwback review for you, although this movie is not particularly old. Aiyyaa chronicles the (mis)adventures of a young woman with an overactive imagination and a keen sense of smell trying to balance her mysterious crush and her crazy family.
image courtesy of Wikipedia
Ease of Pardesi Comprehension: Language 2/5
This movie does incorporate a decent amount of English, the way a lot of the newer Bollywood movies do. And for my part it’s rather sweet to see Minakshi learning Tamil to impress a guy, it reminds me of my own attempts to learn Hindi for similar purposes (and, I hope, similar results!). The subtitles also seem to be fairly accurate, although with the songs they can be tricky.
Ease of Pardesi Comprehension: Subject 3/5
The theme of a young woman who shuts herself off from the outside world by focusing on a perfect imaginary world will not be lost on those who have seen the well known French movie Amélie. There are also a lot of pop culture references that a non-Indian audience will recognize (*cough* Lady Gaga inspired outfits*cough*) and the overarching plot point of a young girl wanting to choose her own husband rather than letting her parents do it is, I would think, a well enough known theme for anyone who has seen at least one or two Bollywood movies.
However, there are references to other Bollywood movies (like, from the 80s) that will probably be lost on most Pardesi viewers, but not so much that the movie stops making sense. But then, this movie isn’t supposed to make a lot of sense to begin with, so don’t get frustrated if you get very confused.
Overall Quality of the Movie: 2.5/5
It was certainly a great movie to watch, if only for seeing Prithviraj play a moody painter/man of mystery. However, I must admit that the ridiculous quality of the secondary plots makes it hard for me to want to watch this movie more than once. One thing that I really did like about it (and I am going to try to do this without spoiling anything) is that the ending did not entirely sugar coat over the consequences of getting what you want. In a lot of Masala love-triangle movies, the loser bows out gracefully, in a non-realistic kind of way. In this case the reaction felt a lot more plausible, and all the more heartfelt as a result.
Number of Catchy Songs: 3
I really enjoyed the dancier songs in this movie, especially “Dreamum Wakeupam” (although I hear it is a horrible stereotype send up of the worst aspects of Tamil Masala movies) and “Aga Bai”. The opening montage is also hilarious, and got to hear some new-to-me oldies but goodies like “Kate Nahin Kat Te Ye Din Ye Raat” from Mr. India. My enjoyment of “Aga Bai” was previously mentioned here.