Recall the age-old adage: Marriages are made in heaven. Consummated on earth. But haven't we encountered lots of people in real life who try to set things up between friends/acquaintances? In fact, they take upon themselves to make matches and meddle in other people's affairs. That, in a nutshell, is the plotline of AISHA.
Let's get one thing straight. You are not exploring virgin territory with AISHA. 'Emma', the Jane Austen novel, has been adapted on film and television in the past. Although first published in 1815, almost 200 years ago, director Rajshree Ojha and writer Devika Bhagat transport the characters from this novel to present-day New Delhi. But the essence remains the same: A simple plot and an equally simplistic love story.
Unlike most love stories that we’ve witnessed on Hindi screen, there’s no heavy-duty dramebaazi in AISHA, no major hurdles to cross, no parental opposition to encounter, no major conflicts to solve. The director and writer remain faithful to the novel, which prompts you to ponder, wish the relationships were so uncomplicated in today’s times.
But there's a flipside as well. The film runs a little longer [although the running time is 2 hours] and gets painfully slow in some portions. Besides, AISHA lacks the depth of passion and that could be because the makers were trying to make something lighter and breezier. Sweeping the minor complaints aside, AISHA is watchable for two factors mainly: Neat performances, especially by Sonam Kapoor and Amit Trivedi’s super musical score.
Final word? The romantic buried inside all of us may respond to AISHA well.
Aisha [Sonam Kapoor] is a girl with a simple diktat -- everyone's business is her business. Arjun [Abhay Deol] is a boy with even a simpler set of beliefs -- Aisha should mind her own business. Caught in the Delhi upper class world with its own set of social rules, Aisha navigates her world with a great sense of style and even greater optimism.
Caught in her web are her best friend Pinky [Ira Dubey], the small-town girl Shefali [Amrita Puri], the West Delhi boy Randhir [Cyrus Sahukar] and the hunk Dhruv [Arunoday Singh]. Aisha will make sure everyone dances to her tune. And all Arjun wants to do is disentangle that web and get Aisha out of an impending sticky mess.
Director Rajshree Ojha and writer Devika Bhagat introduce the principal characters at the very outset and within minutes, you know their traits as well. The entire first hour is filled with the assorted characters interacting with one another and technically speaking, there's hardly any movement in the story. In fact, the first hour is more of a collage of incidents and moments put together on a beautiful canvas.