Saturday, April 2, 2011

Film Review - Aisha, 2010

AISHA - 2010
The reason I decided to see this, though I had other options, was because Sonam Kapoor was in it. This movie was produced by her father, Anil Kapoor, a big actor once upon a time. You might say this movie is a massive PR popularity stint by the Kapoor family to celebrate the star-ness of their daughter Sonam. 
But that aside, as it turns out, I sat through the whole movie and even quite enjoyed it. This film ticked off some of the reasons for which Bollywood films always never seemed serious or atleast unappealing to me. Here are a few:
• Pretentious Morality - Every movie that gets pumped out of Bombay reeks with morality. Every movie needs to have underlying morals it seems. After all, isn’t India a nation brimming with religiosity? 
This is why I find Indian cinema hard to swallow whole-heartedly. There’s always a ‘love always win’ or ‘Good triumphs over evil’ or ‘love and honour your family’ and all that niceties.
Aisha isn’t pretentious in that way. Yes, it is extremely pretentious in that it shows rich high class families and doesn’t bat an eye to the oppressed and the downtrodden people of India. It shows the characters just as they are, and does no effort to portray them in soft glowy preachy-we-are-good-people-too lights.
• Distasteful fashion - Aisha had good fashion in it. It wasn’t perfect fashion. I mean, what is fashion but subjectivity and opinion? But too many times in Indian cinema, fashion turns out more hideous that aesthetic. I had in fact come to believe that Indian women look only in Indian traditional clothing. But this movie proves me wrong. Sonam Kapoor and her sidekicks look good. Abhay Doel looks good, sometimes wears good shoes too. If you look at the poster above, you see that they all look pretty and dapper.
Neat and clean and dapper has never, in my memory, featured in Indian cimena (except one or two instances designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee , to be fair). So, though it wasn’t near perfect, Aisha was a great relief.
• Camera Work - Here was good camera work done. I believe that camera work in a film should never attract attention to itself. To me when I have watched a movie and have not mentally commented on the camera movement I consider it well done. Good camera work (unless intended otherwise for specific reasons as in Bourne trilogy) should make the audience feel at one with what he/she is seeing and only if necessary heighten the sensation by movement. Watching Aisha I don’t remember ever thinking for once about the camera. Which I suppose had done what it was meant to. 
• Noisy Music - For once, here was a Bollywood film where you are spared of clamour too evident to Indian cinema. The dance sequence were hardly dance sequences. More like background scores.
• Acting - Sonam Kapoor was the sole heroine of this film. There was no hiding it. And I thought she did a fantastic job upholding that little shaky space of limelight. Her character was extremely believable. She had the naughty brat daughter tone to her voice, which rather sounded annoying, but thank God, that isn’t her original tone. Sonam, laughing and crying and being annoyed and being silly were all believable. The other actors were pretty much non-existent. Abhay Doel made sure he looked good through out.
So, overall, that is it. Aisha.

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