Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Rakul Preet Singh, Adil Hussain, Kumud Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher
Let me start with the meaning of Aiyaary. Well, Aiyaary means the act of remaining in disguise to fool others. And guess who made a fool of us here? Who is the real culprit? Neeraj Pandey. I can't believe that this man directed some of the finest movies in Bollywood — MS Dhoni, Special 26, A Wednesday.
It is sad. Was the story a thriller? A whodunnit? An edge-of-the-seat spy film? No. None of these.
So, the story revolves around a teacher named Colonel Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) and his protégé Major Jai Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra). They are a part of the covert Data and System Diagnostic team in the Indian Army. Due to corruption and manipulation, Jai Bakshi decided to disappear and fix the system, because of which Abhay Singh and he became enemies and the cat-mouse race began. In the end, the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai is what is highlighted.
Sidharth Malhotra. Well, this actor is exactly the same from his first film – Student of The Year till Aiyaary. His expressions throughout the film are exactly like the one on the poster. Oh, the man was the best when he transformed into a woman. In fact, all the disguises by Sidharth Malhotra and Manoj Bajpayee were interesting and they both did a good job of it.
Talking about the USP of this film, its Manoj Bajpayee. He was simply terrific. The rage, the comic timing, the sadness – Bajpayee emoted them smoothly. Someone who took away the limelight along with Bajpayee was the character Baburao played by Naseeruddin Shah. His monologue was intense and brilliantly acted.
Sidharth's love interest Sonia, played by Rakul Preet Singh, is just okay. Looked more like overacting than a natural one.
The supporting cast did a marvelous job with this film. Be it Kumud Mishra who plays the antagonist in the film, the man who brings in corruption and probably who was behind the Adarsh Housing Society scam, was exceptional.
Adil Hussain, who plays Kumud Mishra's boss — an international arms dealer — also played his part well. A guest appearance by Anupam Kher was a highlight.
Shot in Delhi, London and Mumbai, the film tried to give a real sense of the Indian Army. The background score was engaging.
2 hours 40 minutes — that was the length of the film. Why? Aiyaary was so slow that even if you left for a while, you could catch up with the story. It was predictable. The story was very scattered and it looked as if Neeraj Pandey had shot it in parts and put it together.
Half the time went only in walking. Yes, everyone was walking. There were so many shots of people just walking! I have used walking three times in one sentence, and my frustration is visible. Slow motions were just not needed. The time has gone when you needed to shoot in slow motion to emphasize something. The film lacked that fast pace, the thrill. With one love song (which was not needed), Neeraj Pandey went too long with this one.
Let's take up the introductory scene of Manoj Bajpayee who is out there to kill a terrorist in Cairo, Egypt. The dialogue says the terrorist is "heavily armed and dangerous" and Colonel Abhay Singh (Bajpayee) follows the man and shoots him point blank in a second. Bravo. How "typically Bollywood"!
The dialogues are cliché and there is nothing powerful about them.
Don't test your patience because it's a bore. Watch it for Manoj Bajpayee or else just give it a miss!