Every single second of the 160-minute runtime of Aiyaary, plus the intermission, I have had one thought: When will this end? That is how dull and boring the film is. Neeraj Pandey has established his legacy with films like A Wednesday, Baby and Special 26, but here, he fails miserably. And, for a change, we cannot blame any of the actors for this.
Jai Bakshi, played by Sidharth Malhotra, is on a mission to earn money out of the political framework of the Indian Government and the Indian Army. Colonel Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) has to stop him from leaking any information and decides to chase him. That’s about it! There is nothing else happening, apart from redundant flashback scenes.
The narrative of the film shifts from Delhi to Cairo to London to Kashmir and finally to Mumbai, but nothing happens in either of the places. We don’t even get to see any of the beautiful cities, to say the least. And because there is nothing to watch, all the load falls on Manoj Bajpayee’s shoulders, and honestly, how much can a man do alone? But even then, Bajpayee proves that he is an actor so fine that even underwriting doesn’t affect him. Sidharth Malhotra, however, cannot match up to his level. Malhotra sure gives his best, but he isn’t so fine an actor to be able to compete against a badly written character, especially when he is sharing screen space with Bajpayee. The conviction, alone, in Bajpayee, is enough to drive a film, but not this film. Aiyaary is possibly the rejected child of Pandey that, maybe, Akshay Kumar and Taapsee Pannu didn’t agree to do.
There also are the wonderful Kumud Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher and Adil Hussain and all of them shine in their scenes, but you can’t just base a film on just some particular scenes. And while Mishra and Shah are allowed to showcase their talent in these scenes, Kher and Hussain aren’t given much to do, but they do justice to their finesse.
And I also loved Deepika Padukone doing the Ghoomar!
Not sure what I mean? Well, the film is as pointless as this remark!
My biggest problem with the film are the (leading?) ladies – Rakul Preet Singh and Pooja Chopra, who are reduced to saying “Yes, Sir” and “Take Care”. Their characters are the worst written characters I have seen in a while, and neither of the ladies has the prowess enough to lift their parts. These two characters of Soniya (Singh) and Maya (Chopra) have been treated as mere decorations. Ki matlab movie banai hai toh heroine toh honi chaiye – aisi heroine jo film mein kuch na kare, magar film ko promote kare. And for this, there of course is writer-director Neeraj Pandey to blame. But do Singh and Chopra also have no responsibility, or are they okay with playing flower pot roles? On one hand, we have women like Vidya Balan, Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut among others, fighting for a cause, and on the other hand, leading ladies are happy to play side-y roles where they just have to smile and nod.
All in all, Aiyaary is Neeraj Pandey’s biggest mistake and your biggest regret this week!