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Updated: October 27, 2012 18:34 IST

Showcase: Quirk factor

SHASHI BALIGA
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Rani Mukherji-Prithviraj starrer Aiyyaa.
Special Arrangement Rani Mukherji-Prithviraj starrer Aiyyaa.

If hit songs could make a hit film, Aiyyaa should blaze through the box-office. It’s difficult to resist the sheer lunacy of the lyrics, music and antics in ‘Dreamum wakeuppam’, the chartbuster from the movie, which has Rani Mukerji sex it up with a zany sprinkling of Southern masala. And if that ain’t enough for you, there’s ‘Aga Bai’ with naughty lavani influence and ‘Sava dollar’ to pump up the energy.

However, great songs do not always a movie make. So, will Aiyaa be more than the sum total of its songs? That’s a sava (one-and-a-quarter) dollar question. But if the camp energy and pure fun that drive Aiyya’s songs power the movie as well, this could be a picnic at the movies.

Behind all the wackiness is a movie with some prodigious talents. There’s producer Anurag Kashyap, whom you can depend on to serve up anything but formula. Some of his efforts may have gone awry but most have been intriguing and some have been magnificent.

Director Sachin Kundalkar may be an unfamiliar name in B-Town, but he’s won himself two National awards: one for best Feature Film in Marathi for Nirop in 2007 and another for Best Screenplay for Gandha in 2008. Rani Mukerji, unquestionably one of our best actresses, seems to be having a blast here.

So is Prithviraj Sukumaran, veteran of some 60 films down South, and an actor who’s not afraid to experiment. His six-pack dominates Aiyyaa’s trailer, but the movie will hopefully make his Hindi debut a promising one.

And then there are the music-makers. The brilliant Amit Trivedi, also a National Award winner (Dev D), whose recent works include a terrific score in Ishaqzaade and Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. He has worked closely with lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya on a number of movies and songs, including the path-breaking ‘Emosional Atyachar’ from Dev D. And guess what, Bhattacharya has a National Award too — for director Onir’s I Am.

Finally, there’s Vaibhavi Merchant, one of Bollywood’s hottest choreographers, whose ‘Dhol baaje’ from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam won her a National Award and ‘Kajra re’ got her, well, eyeballs. The moves she’s given Rani Mukerji in ‘Dreamum wakeuppam’ are quite delicious.

That’s a great line-up. And it has a quirky storyline to work with. Meenakshi Deshpande (Mukerji) is a Maharashtrian girl who is obsessed with movies and film stars and loves escaping into her fantasy world with its heightened emotions and over-the-top costumes. She falls in love with a Tamilian because, wait, he smells so good! And thereby is born the Marathi-Tamil jugalbandi that results in a song that goes ‘Dreamum wakeupum, critical conditionum.’

The makers of the film promise they haven’t been offensive about either Tamilians or Maharashtrians. Let’s hope they won’t let the camp factor get out of control either.

Bottomline: A great line-up and a quirky storyline. Will it work?

Aiyyaa

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Prithviraj Sukumaran

Director: Sachin Kundalkar

Releases: October 5, 2012

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