Friday, 16 February 2018
Aiyaary flatters to deceive with an over-cooked but bland end product!
Aiyaary suffers and crashes into dullness due to its own over-intelligence. Coming from Neeraj Pandey, the name behind some of the smartest espionage-heist flicks in recent times (A Wednesday, Special 26, Baby, Naam Shabaana, Rustom), it’s a major disappointment. In fact, both Baby and Naam Shabana are amongst the best (though under-rated), modern day classics in the espionage genre.
However, coming to Aiyaary, here is an expected non-linear plot that tries to ‘preach’ too many things without bringing them together as a coherent story. It ticks all the mandatory boxes for a ‘spy-thriller checklist’. An A-Class ensemble cast of 5 National Award winners. High-octane background score that ‘tries’ to keep the tempo alive. Chest-thumping dialogues around patriotism. The now done-to-death ‘covert operations’ angle i.e. “Get caught and the army & the nation disowns you and labels you a traitor’. The armed forces & arm dealers’ nexus. Global tourism in the form of Mumbai-Delhi-Kashmir-London-Cairo. Neglected families. Girls with guns (that just strut and don’t fire). Tech-savvy operations in the form of hacking, phone-tapping, databases, pen drives, spy cams, Phew! Throw in an Aadarsh society scam angle…and what you have is an over-muddled, needlessly over-convoluted plot…that drags along with no sense or purpose.
At 160 minutes, it feels an hour too long. It takes its own languid pace in trying to set you up in the entire first half. And when you’re ready for the action to begin in the second half, it takes a surprising reverse-gear in trying to establish arcs and back-stories for each of the characters. Pacing is critical in any spy-thriller and ‘Aiyaary’ makes a blunder of sorts out here. And speaking about the Google-worthy weird title ‘Aiyaary’, well there is not much of Aiyaary (wizardy/deception/disguise) either!
Overall Aiyaary is a failed-attempt that ends on a whimper. The best of brains, the best of production values, the best of cast…but to repeat one of the lines from the movie itself, “Sir, mind it, nothing really happens, it all remains just On-paper!” Stay away, and instead watch a Baby or Naam Shabana on TV once again.