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Aisha

Everything is pleasing about Aisha – from the look to decor to costume to make-up. Unfortunately, you can’t say the same about the story, screenplay or dialogue. In fact, there’s so much of Aisha (read Sonam Kapoor) on screen, it looks like a show reel. She laughs, cries, emotes, gets angry, dances etc etc. Perhaps the film should have been titled ‘All About Aisha’!

It’s not the first time a filmmaker has tried to adapt Jane Austen’s Emma on celluloid. And that’s precisely why you need to do something different with it – and that’s precisely where writer Devika Bhagat fails. The only difference, it seems, is that the film is set in Delhi.

In fact, a few months ago, Karan Johar’s Wake Up Sid too told the story of a rich brat who doesn’t know what he wants from his life. When realisation dawns, he begins chasing his dreams. However, Aisha ends once Aisha realises where she had erred.

As for the story, this one’s about, well, Aisha, a sweet girl who believes in bringing people together. Then there’s this guy who’s happy-go-lucky but he’s on a completely different wavelength. The two of them fight and fight, without knowing they’re actually in love with each other.

The film begins with Aisha introducing everyone in her world, leaving you expecting a sweet, romantic, youthful comedy flick. Alas! Expectations soon die and the rest of the film crawls. All the director seems to focus on is young women walking in and out of stores and it’s irritating!

This film is also a show reel for costume designers (Pernia Qureshi and Kunal Rawal), and although they do a great job of styling every actor in the film, that’s not why the audience pays good money to watch a film. What makes a rom-com like this worth watching is the dialogue but in Aisha, they are eminently forgettable.

There are also too many holes in the screenplay. As the film draws to a close, Abhay confesses that he was always in love with Aisha. So what was he doing with another girl? Also, Aisha’s sudden realisation about her feelings is not convincing. Abhay’s girlfriend kissing the guy in the bar is hard to digest too. Aisha’s friends’ inexplicably rude behaviour is also not credible.

This is Rajshree Ojha’s first attempt at direction and she comes across as an able director but, next time, she will have to work harder on the screenplay. Camerawork is good. Editing is not up to the mark.

Amit Trivedi’s music is a plus, and though they remind you of Dev D, Gal mitthi mitthi and Behke behke are the pick of the lot. The background score, wherever required, synchronises seamlessly with the scenes.

Performance-wise, despite all that precious on-screen time, Sonam Kapoor impresses only sometimes. One wonders what made Abhay Deol accept this project as he has hardly anything to do in the film. There’s not a single scene where he can show off his histrionics.  Amrita Puri performs well. Ira Dubey is good, Cyrus Sahukar tries hard to act but fails miserably. Arunoday Singh and Lisa Haydon fit the bill. M K Raina as Aisha’s father is good.

In a nutshell, Aisha, though promoted very well (apparently, the promotion budget was as big as the production cost!), won’t find many takers. The film has an urban feel but even the urban audience will stay away. A losing proposition for everyone associated with this project.

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