Aisha – The Film Review
Aisha has been touted as Bollywood’s first chick flick, a claim which left this reviewer uneasy from the very beginning. After all, in an industry which is saturated with romantic comedies such as I Hate Luv Stories and Pyaar Impossible which can all be defined as “chick flicks”, how was Aisha going to set itself apart?
The answer is that it doesn’t. The only thing that the films can successfully boast about is that it showcases top designer labels and cutting edge hair-styles, which, though pleasing on the eye, is not enough to make up for what is essentially a poor film, with very little plot.
The story of the film is said to have been based on “Emma”, one of Jane Austen’s best remembered classics. The truth is that while there are a few moments within the film that mirror the text, the film borrows heavily from Western influences such as 1995 film Clueless and Sex And The City, at least in terms of the way Aisha herself pays homage to the latest in fashion couture.
However, there are a few plus points though sadly, they’re not enough to save the film from being as dull as ditchwater and having the intelligence of a mashed turnip. The songs are terrifically placed and really add to the “look” that the film successfully brought across; being young and filled with energy. Abhay Deol stole the spotlight whenever he was on the screen even though his character was underused and his scripted lines were incredibly cliché. But the real star of this film was not Sonam Kapoor, or even Abhay Deol. The film truly belongs to Amrita Puri, who plays the character of Shefali, a humble small-town girl from a decidedly middle-class family.
Her characterisation was in short, convincing and her portrayal of a wide-eyed innocent fresh-faced country girl was refreshing and added life to the screen in an otherwise ponderous film. I sincerely hope we get to see more of her talented performance sometime soon.
Other than that though, the plot meanders along, though I would prefer to call it a series of disjointed incidents that bare little to no connection to their neighbouring scenes. The twists are predictable and unconvincing, the characterisation is about as shallow as a child’s paddling pool and you most likely will leave the cinema hall wishing you hadn’t just wasted two and a half hours of your life.
Bottom Line: This is a film which seems to subscribe to the idea that style is more important than substance. If you happen to think that high-end fashion names are more important than spirit and heart, you might enjoy it, but the horrible pacing and the empty performances of most of the main cast will be enough to put you off. It’s a shame though that chick flick clearly translated to “shiny” rather than “witty”.