‘Aisha’ Dazzles Cupid: Jane Austen’s Emma lightens up Bollywood silver screen

In this new-age Bollywood resurrection of the highly-successful British classic novel Emma, what makes Aisha tick? I’d say that a large chunk of the credit goes to the sophisticated treatment of an all-too-well-known plotline, and the highly admirable performance by the leading lady, Sonam Kapoor (of Saawariya fame).

Drenched in the glitz and glam world of Delhi’s elite upper class, Aisha (Sonam Kapoor) leads a rich, independent life dictated by her own set of rules. Determined never to fall in love and hence stay single and happy forever, Aisha lives a stylish life with her extremely wealthy father Mr. Kapoor (M.K.Raina).

Enter the character of Arjun Burman (Abhay Deol), the Mr. Knightley of Donwell Abbey in this tale. Things get out-of-hand hilarious when Aisha sets out to play Cupid, only to create a complicated maze of romantic liaisons as a rather unfortunate matchmaker. To add the humor element to the plot and much to Aisha’s annoyance, Abhay gets in her way, like every time.

Falling into Aisha’s messy trap were her best friend Pinky Bose (Ira Dubey),  Dhruv Singh (Arunoday Singh), Randhir Gambhir, (Cyrus Sahukar) and Shefali Thakur (Amrita Puri). What follows is a rather hilarious entanglement of confusions all the way, leading Aisha to ultimately succumb to Cupid’s wishes.

Even though Emma and Aisha exist in two vastly different eras, cultures and settings, the two respective protagonists quite obviously share similar traits in their optimism, cheerful dispositions, and their equal stubbornness. The only major difference is the whole-new 21st century Bollywood-esque approach when it comes to portray Aisha’s uniqueness as compared to Emma’s conventional way of life. Thanks to a well-developed screenplay, we are treated to 126-minutes of fun-filled drama that will demand your undivided attention, all the way to the very final moments of the movie that comes packaged to heighten your excitement a few extra notches.

The plot isn’t the only highpoint in this romantically-driven, comic flick directed by Rajshree Ojha. With a collection of melodious and upbeat songs, Aisha promises us an assortment of enthralling numbers such as “Suno Aisha” and “Shaam”. It has almost all such riveting tracks you would expect in a modern day lovey-dovey Bollywood flick.

Let it be said here that the acting of the ensemble cast deserve a round of applause for their excellent performances.  The pretty Sonam Kapoor does a rave portrayal as Aisha, the Emma Woodhouse equivalent in a Bollywood setting. She swoons, she serenades, and she charms us all with her quick wit. Abhay Deol lightens up the screen as Arjun, Cupid’s gift to Aisha. Their on-screen chemistry is powerful and equally captivating. Same praise goes to the clever performances by Aisha’s entourage. Kudos to the brilliantly-written supporting roles!

There is no doubt that Aisha will largely appeal to today’s youngsters as it has all the right ingredients of a finely-woven romantic mystery in all the right places. Go watch it for Sonam Kapoor! Aisha won’t disappoint you in the least.

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