Star cast: Abhay Deol, Sonam Kapoor, Cyrus Sahukar, Ira Dubey, Amrita Puri, Lisa Haydon.

Plot: Sonam is a match-maker but when she fails to set her friend, Amrita, with Cyrus, she realises that matches cannot be made. Abhay loves Aisha and the latter realises that she too loves him.

What’s Good: Amit Trivedi’s music; some comic scenes.

What’s Bad: The scattered screenplay; the inept handling by the debutante director

Verdict: Aisha will fail to make its mark.

Loo break: Plenty, because the pace is so slow.

PVR Pictures and Anil Kapoor Films Company’s Aisha is about this Delhi girl, Aisha (Sonam Kapoor), who loves to make matches of eligible girls and guys. Arjun (Abhay Deol), a Wharton alumni and an investment banker, likes Aisha but is convinced, she should mind her own business instead of making everyone’s business her business.

In the course of her match-making endeavour (for which she doesn’t charge a fee), Aisha tries to ‘fix’ Shefali (debutante Amrita Puri) with Randhir Gambhir (Cyrus Sahukar), a dude whose dad runs the most popular chain of sweetmeat shops in Delhi. The task isn’t simple because Shefali is the behenji from Bahadurgarh in Haryana. And so, Aisha, accompanied by her reluctant bosom pal, Pinky (Ira Dubey), buys designer clothes, hand bags and shoes for behenji so that she can look a hottie as if that by itself would make her the sweetmeat scion’s sweetheart.

Anyway, instead of behenji, Randhir becomes more gambhir about Pinky in spite of her weird dress sense. Meanwhile, handsome hunk Dhruv Singh (Arunoday Singh) tries to woo Aisha but soon latches on to Aarti (Lisa Haydon) who till then looked like Arjun’s arm candy. Behenji revolts against Aisha and gets ready to settle down with the Bhaisaheb type of BPO employee (Anand Tiwari). Suddenly, Aisha realises the futility of match-making and equally suddenly, she also realises that she loves Arjun (is it because there’s no one else left?). She professes her love for him but he’s not around. Then he professes his love for her, prompting you to wonder why they had to wander between the Aartis and the Dhruvs of the world if they both loved one another?

It’s good that Jane Austen is not alive, else she’d have sued Devika Bhagat for making a complete hotch-patch of her classic novel, ‘Emma’. Devika’s screenplay is so loose and scattered that you are convinced, she couldn’t have been serious about her work. Note some of the lapses: Arjun asks Dhruv, if he is serious about Aisha. What if Dhruv had said ‘yes’? Would the Wharton boy wack Dhruv then also? Doesn’t seem so because Arjun is only particular about guys not playing with Aisha’s emotions. Does that mean, he’d sacrifice his love if Dhruv was serious? Not like our Hindi film hero, right? Shefali is shown to be a behenji but that’s more in the dialogues than in the visuals. Again, the outbursts of Pinky first and Shefali later against Aisha seem misdirected. After all, what wrong has Aisha done to deserve such a diarrhea of dialogues? What’s with Aisha conceding defeat and concluding that matches can never be made? After all, half the arranged marriages even today are initiated by match-makers, whether official (like marriage bureaus) or unofficial (like Aisha herself). The writer does not seem to be too conversant with the rules of screenplay writing and the debutante director, Rajshree Ojha, seems to be blissfully unaware of the basic rules of filmmaking because they make references to people like, for example, Shefali’s aunt and uncle but don’t bother to even show them although they are supposedly around. Even Aisha’s climactic admission of her fondness for Arjun and Arjun’s similar admission of his fondness for Aisha don’t ring true because the incidents they speak about have hardly been shown to the audience.

No doubt, a few jokes are very youth-centric and would go down well with the uppity multiplex audience in a handful of cities but they just aren’t enough.

Abhay Deol looks lost in the girlie flick and that’s a shame, considering he is such a fine actor. Sonam Kapoor dominates the show but what can she do in a half-baked script? Cyrus Sahukar is average and so is Arunoday Singh. Ira Dubey has her moments. Amrita Puri makes a confident debut. Lisa Haydon has style. Anand Tiwari is cute. Most of the other supporting cast members look like fish out of water, particularly M.K. Raina as Aisha’s father and Sameer Malhotra as Arjun’s brother and Aisha’s brother-in-law.

Debutante director Rajshree Ojha has made a mess of ‘Emma’ and she has only herself and her writer to blame. Even the dialogues (by Devika Bhagat, Ritu Bhatia and Manurishi Chaddha) lack the punch at most places. Amit Trivedi’s music is about the only really good thing. ‘Gal mitthi mitthi bol’ is the best number, followed by the title track and a couple of other songs. Diego Rodriguez’s camerawork is alright but Sreekar Prasad’s editing isn’t.

Aisha was never meant to appeal to the single-screen and small-town audiences but the tragedy is, it doesn’t cut ice with the multiplex and city audience either. This may be gal kadvi kadvi bol, but that’s the bitter truth!

By Komal Nahta

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