'Aiyyaa’ film poster
'Aiyyaa' film poster

Director Sachin Kundalkar's latest offering "Aiyyaa" has received mixed reaction from Bollywood critics. 

"Aiyyaa" is actress Rani Mukherjee's comeback film, while for South Indian star Prithviraj the film marks his debut in Bollywood.

The film revolves around a single and ready-to-mingle girl, Meenaxi Deshpande, and her love interest. She is blessed with a strong sense of smell, which helps her to zero in on Mr Right.

"Aiyyaa" is the first Hindi film helmed by Kundalkar, who had won two National Awards for Marathi films - one for Nirop (2007) and another for Gandha (2009), written by him.

Here's what critics had to say about "Aiyyaa"

Rajeev Masand of CNN IBN writes, "Aiyyaa, with its bright visual palette, its strong female perspective, and its intentionally peculiar humor, is evocative of Almodovar's quirky cinema, but the plot here is wafer thin, and while some elements work, it never all comes together as a satisfying whole. It certainly doesn't help that the film unfolds over two hours and thirty minutes...an excruciatingly long running time for what's essentially a slim story of a one-sided crush.

"Yet, in a rare twist for a Bollywood film, it's the heroine who does all the lusting here, cooking up saucy imaginary scenarios that invariably involve the hero flaunting his well-toned physique," opined Masand. "In the end, despite the impressive camerawork and Amit Trivedi's winning tunes, Aiyyaa is at best an original and promising experiment let down by its many indulgences."

Bollywood Hungama film critic Taran Adarsh has all praises for the movie: "'Aiyyaa' is a desi film at heart. Also, quirky and funny. But the humor is more of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee/Basu Chatterjee variety. What makes this film stand apart is that it does away with the crutches of big stars [except Rani], forced humor, unnecessary songs, international locales or grandiose sets. Its strength lies in its cohesive script and able performances."

Adarsh opined that the film entirely ride's on Rani's shoulders and appreciates that way she has essayed her character. "'Aiyyaa' is what it is for varied reasons and one of them is Rani's livewire act. A complete natural, Rani glides through her part with brilliance. An accomplished actor, who can handle the comic sequences with as much flourish as the emotional ones, Rani is absolutely ravishing," writes Adarsh. "It's arresting, amusing, entertaining and of course, thoroughly enjoyable, with Rani's splendid act, refreshingly different plot, winsome songs, pleasant humor and terrific moments as its aces. Don't miss it! "

Vinayak Chakravorty of India Today feels that Kundalkar failed to put his ideas together and is clueless in setting up the story. "He (Kundalkar) doesn't seem to have a clue about how to put it together. His canvas ends up a dull yellow when he was trying to paint it red," he writes.

"Aiyyaa is actually an extended rehash of one of three stories that comprised Kundalkar's 2009 Marathi film, Gandha (smell). What must have looked good as one segment of an episodic film seems to test your patience at a full-blown 148 minutes. Not even feisty Rani can salvage this one. Sad, because she tries her best," verdicts Chakravorty.

Kanika Sikka of DNA  described "Aiyyaa" as an average entertainer.

"National award winning Marathi director Sachin Khudalkar spins a tale around a wacked-out (wakda) family in his first attempt at Hindi cinema and he does it with a clash of Marathi and Tamil cinema. While stereotypes rule the character sketches, the actors help carry an otherwise clichéd screenplay," writes Sikka.

"The director had the potential of producing something way better with the kind of team he had at his disposal, however, he fails to do so. Though the film is limited by cheesy dialogues and prosaism, it proves to be an entertainer and a definite treat for every Rani Mukerji fan," concludes the critic.

Director: Sachin Kundalkar

Cast: Rani Mukerje, Prithviraj