Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aisha - A pleasant sojourn during a English Summer

" In the very first sentence she (Jane Austen) introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma, however, is also rather spoiled; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; and she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives and is often mistaken about the meanings of others' actions" - Wiki entry on Emma.

When you see Aisha, you admire the canvas on which it is etched! A world far removed from life's harsh realities, much like a cloistered society where shopping and match-making are Aisha's chief pastimes. Its separation from reality is so complete with the costumes worn by the characters, in parts, transplanting them almost in the England of the 1800s. The movie's charm and appeal lies precisely in that. To be able to Indianize an old English classic, with characters drawn from Delhi's high society and do it quite well at that- that is Aisha for you.

Sonam Kapoor (as Aisha) looks good minus the heavy make-up she is made to wear for the most part of the movie. Abhay Deol (as Arjun), as he is known to, subtly underplays his part with elan, while in fact, his voice in the movie is very strong and as a character, is respected by the others including Aisha. New comer Amrita Puri (as Shefali) has lot of potential and plays a small town girl struggling to come to terms with a new identity she is forced to assume, thanks to our protagonist. 

The movie's high point is the time the characters spend camping for river rafting. A lot of analogies could be drawn from different scenes - the aerial shots as they ride the waves, as they are tossed by the ferocity of the sea, as they gleefully have fun by the seaside, as each one's egos and jealousies come to the fore in an interplay that typifies the innermost feelings feelings that, all of us, as human beings, harbor deep inside the crevices of our hearts, only to realize that they seldom do us any good! They only reveal the shallow nature of our selves, the easy conclusions we like to draw, the reductionist approaches we resort to, sometimes just to avoid facing the truth. 

Having said that, the second half is a little cyclic, with Aisha continuing to test her match making abilities until she comes to grip with the reality that, people around her can't forever bear her smugness and overlook her faults. 

Two songs stand out - 

Koi ankahi, koi ansuni
Baat dheemi dheemi keh rahi hai
Kahin na kahin jaagi hui hai koi aarzoo
Kahin na kahin khoye hue se hain main aur tu

and the title track. Extolling the genius of Javed Akhtar can only be redundant! 

A movie that can't be slotted under romance or chick-lit or comedy, it is definitely worth a watch. A fantasy you would want to be part of until you come back to reality...


Surabhi said...

Loved the wide range of outfits!

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孫邦柔 said...