After watching the movie Aiyya, I could help but have a feeling of Déjà vu. I kept feeling that I have seen this movie throughout. In this fervor, I switched on my Laptop and Googled “Gandh”. Surprise, Surprise… Aiyya indeed was inspired from Gandh.
On a lazy Sunday evening, I remember watching a movie called Gandh. Gandha (English: Smell) is a 2009 Marathi Indian film. The film is directed by Sachin Kundalkar. Gandha was a conglomerate of three films Lagnaachya Vayachi Mulgi (English: A Bride to be), Aushadh Ghenara Manus (English: A Man on Medicines), Baajoola Basleli Baai (English: A Woman Sitting Aside).
Aiyya is based on the first story Lagnaachya Vayachi Mulgi (English: A Bride to be). The plot runs around a girl named Veena, a young girl who works in a college and is now a bride to be. Her parents are looking for a suitable groom for her. But due to her dark complexion, she is not able to get any groom.
Mangesh, an arts student from the college accidentally meets her and she starts loving the fragrance that he brings with himself. She hears a rumour from her colleague that Mangesh is alcoholic and hence is drowsy in his classes and comes with red-eyes. One day she follows him to his home and then comes to know of the truth that Mangesh works in an incense stick factory at night. This explains the fragrance he brings and his drowsy look. They both talk and fall in love and decide to get married. This simple story and the beautiful picturization in a small village are endearing.
The way the story is woven is that Mangesh is an absolutely unimpressive character. Girish Kulkarni, an acclaimed writer and Marathi actor has played the role par excellence. Even he received National Award for Best Actor for this film. The idea behind the story Gandh was that the smell that emanated in the presence of the male Mangesh, was so overpowering, that Veena, (Amruta Subhash) falls in love with him immediately.
The only asset that was attractive enough to override the entire list of flaws with the character was the “Gandh” or the smell.
As endearing as the story is, it hasn’t worked for Aiyya.
The entire story of Gandha has been replaced in the film Aiyya ! Rani Mukherjee plays the character of Meenaxi who has crossed marriageable age and is failing to be chosen as a bride in each instance, partly because of her living conditions and her family status. Simple girl, simple job, simple family but big dreams.
One fine day, she meets Surya, who is a student in the college where she is a part of the admin staff. Obviously, love strikes at first sight. And she’s head over heels. Meanwhile, a good maharashtrian boy, from her caste, creed (and species) etc. has agreed to marry her.This character is played by Subodh Bhave who is an equally good looking contender. Huh! The dilemmas good looking girls have to face! The rest is predictable, hero holds girl when she is going to faint, stares at her face, falls in love and vice versa and they live happily ever after.
As deep as the story of “Gandha” was, equally dry and shallow the story of Aiyya is.
WHY WOULDN’T ANYONE FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM??? Even if he smelled like a dirty pig, all else is forgiven with the chiseled abs, strong shoulders, superb face and the angry man look.IS THERE ANYWAY TO COMPARE THEM PHYSICALLY?
Secondly, why the loudness? Why the cringe worthy belly dancing moves and the loud South Indian type filming of songs? The answer maybe, sex sells. But sex sells in movies like JISM and MURDER where the story demands it. Why this Zabardasti?
Lastly, the actors in the film are underused. Meenaxi’s grandmother’s character has so much more scope of growing but we only see some fleeting moments of brilliance from this wonderfully quirky woman. She by the way is one of the most acclaimed and loved actors in Marathi cinema, Jyoti subhash.
The film seems abrupt. It’s almost like they spent too much time on detail in the first half and they didn’t have enough time to finish shooting the second half.
If only the film were as colorful as the poster! Sachin Kundalkar did a splendid job with Gandha, I absolutely loved the film but I think somewhere before the interval, he lost Aiyya. The deep rooted desire to make it big in the Hindi industry pushed him off his limits and he ended up making a mess.
A few credible points I would like to mention about the film are Nirmiti Sawant, Jyoti Subhash and Rani Mukherjee were awesome! Lovable, relatable and sweet characters. Prithviraj was playing on Home ground by portraying a South Indian but he manages good accent less hindi. Rani Mukherjee makes a good comeback on film but not so much on the box office.
Institute of Moving Images is convinced that Sachin kundalkar made a beautiful film and then he made Aiyya ! He should stick to making heart warming films…
All in all, watching Aiyya was like eating a Marathi missal with South Indian dosa, they taste good separately but together… Nahhh.