Aisha (2010) is a Bollywood retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, in the same sort of vein as Clueless. It stars Sonam Kapoor as the gorgeous and spoiled Daddy’s girl, Aisha.
The story begins at the wedding of Aisha’s auntie Chitra to Col. Singh. Fresh from her success at matchmaking (for she introduced these two to each other), Aisha eyes the wedding guests for new matches..
…and she alights on Randhir, heir to a fortune (but a bit of a dork), and Shefali, a country mouse. So Aisha’s meddling begins
Aisha takes “poor Shefali” under her wing, giving her a makeover, while her cynical friend Pinky disapproves but goes along with it. Cue a lot of shopping at designer stores and a sleepover.
Arjun, the boy next door warns Aisha that she shouldn’t treat people like dolls (or something to that effect). Aisha finds him very irritating.
Aisha introduces Shefali to upper-crust Dehli society, where people watch polo matches and go on weekend rafting trips. Sometimes they help out at animal shelters. Shefali hangs on to Aisha’s every word and takes her advice as gospel, including whether she should accept the proposal of the hometown boy she likes.
Aisha dislikes Aarti, a returnee from New York (and Angelina Jolie look-alike), who seems way too cozy with Arjun.
On the other hand Arjun isn’t fond of Dhruv, Col. Singh’s prodigal son. Dhruv is very muscled and takes his shirt of a lot in this movie, and Aisha seems interested in him at first.
Because of her manipulation, eventually Aisha’s friends have had enough and leave her. Aisha is left alone to consider her sense of entitlement.
Of course everything turns out all right at the end.
I thought that Aisha was slickly produced with beautiful sets (I want to live in Aisha’s house) and gorgeous people, but while it’s a lot of eye candy, I had a problem with Aisha’s character. Rather than being a charming, well-meaning busy-body, this version of Emma came off as a spoiled snob who thinks she knows what’s best for everybody. She uses “middle class” as a real insult, and when her friends get mad at her for her judgmental views, Aisha truly deserves it. I understood why in the end she falls for the boy-next-door, but not why he falls for her. Otherwise this movie is very pretty, with the right dose of pageantry, and perfect music selections (I must download them all), but story-wise, it has an unlikable central character, which is too bad because the rest of it is rather cute. I particularly enjoyed the secondary romance with Pinky as one half of the couple. I’d say watch this for the pretty, not for the plot.
Aisha has a very nice website here.
You know I’ve never watched a Bollywood film. I find it interesting that there’s a Bollywood movie that’s also an Emma retelling although I doubt that I’d enjoy watching it as much as I liked Clueless when it first came out.
Oh man, love the Bollywood films. There’s dancing and singing! I should have linked one of the music videos (the movie is long, and there are sections that take up whole songs) to this post. I prob will do that soon.
Clueless was definitely better than Aisha, in my opinion.
So what’s your favorite Bollywood film? I should take note of it in case I can find a copy over here.
Umm.. OK I don’t watch enough to have a favorite, and the problem is that I have trouble remembering the names because they’re in Hindi! The last one I kind of liked was Taare Zameen Par (I only know this because I remembered it had to do with Dyslexia and google helped me), but I think I liked it most for the opening credits and the weird bits (to showcase a child’s imagination). If I recall correctly, there’s a bit I found on the cheesy side. But it was still good. Of course, this isn’t a romantic bollywood movie. Maybe Dil To Pagal Hai — I recall this one because I loved the song in it, Pyar Kar, but it’s been a while since I actually saw this movie. Like 10 years?
Hmm, Aisha looks like something to watch when you’re in the mood for something fluffy. I’ve only seen two Bollywood films but I do love their fashion, their music and their scenery. I can’t remember the name of the first one I saw but the other one was a Bollywood remake of Pride & Prejudice. Bride & Prejudice, perhaps? It was kinda predictable but the characters were likeable (ooh, I rhymed) and of course the music and clothes… 🙂
Yup yup. It is indeed.
Oh, yeah, Bride and Prejudice. I’ve seen that too. I think it’s one of the few Bollywood movies that’s all English. I liked that one for the pageantry and the side stories, but didn’t really love the main romance. It’s a fun movie though.
Pingback: Impromptu Austen Week Wrap-up | Janicu's Book Blog