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Cinema of the Absurd

  • Ameet Bhuvan

    Ameet Bhuvan (2,108 DM Points)

    Rated 
    2.5
    Desimartini | Updated - December 21, 2013 4:19 PM IST
    3.0DM (1910 ratings)

    Verdict - Original experimentative and bizzare

    AiyyaaWatch trailerRelease date : October 12, 2012

    What do I know about a man's destiny? I could tell you more about Radishes said Samuel Beckett. Sachin Kundalkar's Aiiyaa, in similar vein doesnt bother telling you a straight forward story, telling you about bizzare unrelated things instead.

    Meenaxi is a middle class maharashtrian girl who lives in a dreamworld of her own. Muxh like her favorite novel Alice in Wonderland, she lives in this world of the make believe where she is Madhuri. Juhi Sridevi and everything else that she is not in her real life. Real life for her is a comepltely off handle family of a dad who smokes four ciggys in one go, a loud mother eager to get her wedded, a blind gold toother granny and a brother who loves street dogs more than anything else/ She smells her way into love with Suriya a painter while she is meant to marry the straight arranged Madhav. Her dilemma of choosing between the two is the crux of the film. The smell that Meenaxi keeps follwoing or avoiding mirror her thoughts that want life to be a dream and are at the same time unhappy about how it is in the present. Suriya for her is the freedom that a typical indian girl can only dream off, while her follwoing his smell all aorund is her mind aching to wander away from the reality of an arranged marriage/

    Much like the theatre of absurd, Aiyyaa inhabits a world that cannot be logically explained. Situations and scenes shuttle between the plausible to the bizare to the complete absurd, including the dialogues. Every character is an extreme, over the top exageration that delightfully ups the comic ante in the frist half of the film. The madness however goes out of hand in the second half where the film alternates between confusion and some inspired comedy.

    Director Sachin impresses with the will to experiment so radically in a hindi film framework- the story is told through the female's perspective, the woman lusts and craves for body for a change and the story employs surrealism to beautiful effect for most part of the film. So if in Meenaxi;s house it is the odd ball family that creates a sense of magical absurdity, it is the art college setting with random installations and paintings arounf that add the touch of the surreal as she smells her way into infatuation lust and love. What fails the film though is that the story in essence is not too strong enough to hold up the treatement intended. What starts as unreal an explosion of mad comedy, color and riotous song and dance ends in an unconvincing and "real" climax.

    Every actor in the movie have done a commendable job, it is Rani however who holds the show together. In an uninhibited turn as Meenaxi, she effortlessly shifts between the totally bizare to the understated and subtle. She infuses the role with an energy seldom seen in a leading lady on screen and owns the character. Prithviraj is ornamental and doe shis part decently well.

    Some superb music, a boisterous color pallete and genuine comdey makes aiyyaa a promising premise that could have done with some meatier story and smaller running length. Nonetheless it deserves a watch and applause for the sheer originality and guts to experiment instead of going with the herd. Will it be commercially as acceptable as a mass entertainer? May be not. Does it take commercial hindi cinema a few stepa forward? A thumping, throbbing, jumping yes.

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