This has got to be one of the most clever movies of the year. For one thing, I didn’t know Rani Mukerji was so talented! I mean, of course, we know she can sing and dance and do everything Bollywood, but who knew she could do comedy so well? Well, no question about it– not only can she do it well, she is positively bursting with energy and versatility throughout.
It helps, of course, to be part of film that has a funny script, but funny is putting it only mildly. Because what we have here is outright wild and wacky. What this is, is a carefully crafted mix of Bollywood kitsch and absurd, over-the-top storytelling. Say goodbye to the demure heroine who pines for her beloved silently. Say hello to the girl-next-door who chases, nay, stalks the object of her affections during the day, and fantasizes about him at night! Ms. Mukerji is superlative in the role of her character Meenakshi in every sense of the word. A little giddy, a little sensible, a little fantastical, she is the epitome of every ordinary Indian girl who dreams about an alternate universe, only Meenakshi goes a big step further to pursue her crazy dreams.
A delectable satire on Indian society, this is a story with the wackiest of characters telling an ordinary story of trying to get along in a large joint-family setup even while each has a quirkiness to them that makes them anything but ordinary.
Aiyya is yet another example of Indian cinema taking great leaps and bounds in coming up with offerings that break the Bollywood mold even as they conform to the classic Bollywood boilerplate of song-dance routines.
Big kudos to Ms. Mukerji for giving an uninhibited performance throughout, including her fantastic dancing. The hero, I am told, is an established actor in the South, and is certainly great eye-candy, no doubt, but it is really Rani Mukerji who is the real hero of the movie. The other character called Mynaa played by Anita Date– with her unique prosthetic teeth– has got to be the breakout character of the film; she’s as wild and wacky as the film itself.