First things first. Anil Kapoor Productions' AISHA is a family film (literally). Produced by Anil Kapoor and Rhea Kapoor, it could be very well termed show reel for Sonam Kapoor.
Secondly, Bollywood is predominantly male dominated and the heroines are chiefly meant for the song and dance opportunities. It is perhaps impossible to envisage a film without a male lead. AISHA is an audacious attempt in this regard.
Based on Jane Austin's classic Emma, AISHA is the story of a Delhi based high-class girl, Aisha (Sonam Kapoor), who thinks she is as efficient as a matrimony site. Apart from being a matchmaker, she's also an artist who loves gardening and shopping and of course spending her (rich) father's money. Pinky (Ira Dubey) is her best friend. Shefali (Amrita Puri) is a small-town girl for whom Aisha is keen to find a match. Arjun (Abhay Deol) is Aisha's childhood neighbour and friend who opines it is Aisha who needs help rather than she helping others. Randhir (Cyrus Sahukar) has a crush on Aisha while Dhruv Singh (Arunoday Singh) is a natural charmer.
Director Rajshree Ojha doesn't take much time in introducing the characters and one keeps on knowing more about them as the film progresses. Although it has an interesting blend of characters, the situations that they are in, are humdrum.
Too much prominence is given on the styling rather than the script, thereby making it a 'good looking film' rather than a 'good film'. While nothing much happens in the first half in terms of taking the story forward, the second half is a complete drag which has Aisha and Arjun whining forever. Almost everyone in the film is paired with or attracted to one another, which is difficult to assimilate.
The Arjun-Shefali track is absurd. As much as it's unclear how and why they fall in love (or do they at all?), their break up is equally ambiguous. Even the track between Pinky and Randir isn't palpable, as they suddenly realise they are in love.
However, the film has its moments. Watch out for the scene in which Pinky and Aisha have a heated argument or the confrontation scene between Arjun and Aisha in the elevator. Even the scene between Aisha and her father, towards the end is well written. Aisha using pepper spray on Randhir is amusing. In fact, there are quite a few moments which could have brought the required humour had it been well written like Randhir and Shefali left alone in the middle of the night, or the one in which Randhir proposes Aisha.
Stylists Pernia Qureshi and Kunal Rawal must be credited for making the characters look fashionable and opulent. Cinematographer Diego Roderiguez makes Delhi look amazing. Music by Amit Trivedi is astounding, with Sham and By the way standing out.
Sonam Kapoor plays her part well but lacks that required poise. Abhay Deol is charming and we are sure people will yearn to see more of him. The chemistry between Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor is notable. Cyrus Sahukar perfectly fits the role. Ira Dubey is spunky. Amrita Puri plays her behenji act to perfection in her debut film. Lisa Hayden looks glamorous but is too wooden. Arunoday Singh doesn't have much to do, though, displays great potential.
Without an endearing story, this chick flick AISHA simply doesn't click.