Films based on classics have a responsibility to carry on their shoulders; firstly, they not only represent the novel in moving pictures, but also run the risk of jeopardising the storyline in case the adaptation goes awry. However, director Rajshree Ojha’s ‘Aisha’ is a perfect example of a classic adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’.
Starring Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Amrita Puri, Ira Dubey, Arunoday Singh and Cyrus Sahukar, ‘Aisha’ is the story of Aisha Kapoor (Sonam Kapoor) a hoity-toity uptown girl, who hails from an affluent South Delhi family. Aisha is one smart, sexy and intelligent lass, who loves socialising in the high culture society, visiting art exhibitions, polo matches, planning weekend getaways with friends and enjoying shopping sprees. However, her pet obsession is matchmaking.
A tailor-made flick for Sonam Kapoor, ‘Aisha’ follows the life of Aisha and her friends, especially Pinky (Ira Dubey) in all its splendour. Aisha, who loves matchmaking, sets out on the task of finding a perfect match for a small-town-girl Shefali (Amrita Puri) and tries to hook her up with Randhir Gambhir (Cyrus Shakur). Apparently, Aisha completely ignores the likes and dislikes of Shefali even as Randhir is passionate about Aisha.
Aisha’s childhood friend Arjun (Abhay Deol) is quite critical of her matchmaking ways and asks her to stay away from meddling into other people’s life. Meanwhile, when Shefali finds out that Randhir loves Aisha, she is crestfallen. However, who Shefali finally gets married to and how Aisha comes to realise that real love cannot be forced is the core of the film.
As far as the adaptation goes, ‘Aisha’ does not deviate from the Austen’s ‘Emma’, while its original take on the theme, memorable dialogues and author backed characters do wonders for the film. The first half of the film revolves around Aisha’s zealous matchmaking skills as she vainly tries to find a suitable match for Shefali interspersed with her friendly fights with Arjun. Post interval, the film becomes a bit predictable, nevertheless its pure dose of unadulterated fun.
With most of the film shot in the backdrop of Delhi, ‘Aisha’ hardly appears to be inspired from an English novel as it smoothly coalesces into Bollywood format. A word about acting, Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol are a revelation as they make the screen alive with their natural and convincing performances. Sonam charms you with her naivety and killer smile. Ira Dubey and Cyrus Sahukar are cute while Arunoday Singh needs some acting lessons. Lisa Haydon adds a lot of verve and style quotient.
Debutant Amrita Puri, who plays middle-class girl Shefali is the surprise package of the film as she gives a breezy performance in her maiden flick.
Backed by Amit Trivedi’s compositions, the background score of ‘Aisha’ throbs with life, especially the title track and ‘Gal mithi mithi bol’, which add a new depth to the storyline.
In all, ‘Aisha’ is a perfect rendition of the Jane Austen’s classic that leaves you wanting for more.
Ratings: Four cheers for this one!