Aiyaari Trailer Review: It Tries Too Hard To Be Intriguing!

So the  trailer  of this Republic Day release Aiyaary is out. Director Neeraj Pandey’s success has grown by leaps and bounds since Wednesday, that taut gripping political thriller in which a Common Man played by the  uncommonly gifted Naseeruddin Shah, holds a city to ransom for wrongs done.

At the end of slickly-cut but way too Bourneish trailer of Aiyaary I saw Naseeruddin Shah warn, “Don’t ever  finger a poor man.”  Finger-touch dialogue, that.

Naseer sounded like the character in Wednesday , a decade older, feeling all the burden of  demonetization  and  GST.

The trouble  with the cinema of Neeraj Pandey is it never  grew older. The tongue-in-cheek vivacity of his anti-establishment rant in Wednesday and Special Chabbis is now a red-hot concern on national security where Siddharth Malhotra and  that favourite of  the  directorManoj Bajpai fight it out in  a counter-espionage tale that seems to suggest a lot more mystery and depth than  it actually delivers.

There  is always that tendency to dig into areas of governance where the common man has no access.In that sense Neeraj Pandey’s cinema is  a celluloid RTI. A red-flag to waive aside all the tri-colour waving. The  director just can’t stop preening  over his mastery over the language of unclassified political manoeuvrings. But Pedro Almodavor , he is  not.

With success, Neeraj Pandey’s canvas has broadened. And with each broadening his  sense  of storytelling seems to shrink into a sullen uncertainty.  The Dhoni  biopic sprawled  out like  a mansion in the wilderness which has seen better days, The world of Aiyaary  seems more controlled and contained.

The centrifugal dramatic force emanates from the two main characters played by SiddharthMalhotra , for whom this is an attempt to wear the ‘Serious Actor’ badge, and Manoj Bajpaiwho tries several  disguises  in the trailer.We hope he doesn’t do  dozens  more disguises in the full-length  film. That would be  as distracting as  a certain part of actor Willem Dafoe’s anatomy which stuck out so much in The Anti Christ that they had to use a  body double.

 The  dramatic conflict between the two  army officers takes them across several parts  of the world  and , hopefully, through at least a labyrinth of emotional evolution. But the effort to contour the mystery is strained in the trailer.

Even more mystifying  is the almost absolute  absence  of female characters  in the trailer. Though the South star Rakul Preet Singh plays  the female lead there is not even a glimpse  of her . Yup, this is  a   boys’ adventure film. A  grownup  selfconsiously  adult version  of  the Hardy Boys series .You know when things get HARD for  the Hardy Boys?

Toh shuroo karen Aiyaary ki tayaary?

Trailer rating: **(2 stars)

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