Jane Austen gets the full Bollywood treatment in this contemporary remake of Emma, which follows a well-meaning but sometimes nosy socialite in Delhi whose insistence on matchmaking often drives her friends to distraction.
In Bollywood’s answer to Clueless, socialite and impenitent meddler Aisha fancies herself a matchmaker, but she’s actually really terrible at it. When she’s not shopping, partying, or inadvertently ruining all her friends’ lives with her delusions, she’s in denial about where her own affections lie. Despite obviously being in love with her childhood BFF, big-brother-type, and all-around hottie, Arjun, Aisha is far too busy trying to manipulate her friends’ emotions to act on her own. This annoys Arjun greatly, as he views her childish antics as a waste of perfectly good talent and ambition. Can Aisha grow up and earn Arjun’s love before he’s fed up with her?
I don’t watch enough Bollywood to be familiar with any of the actors in this movie, but based on some googling, I can at least recognize some of the actors’ connections with the industry.
Sonam Kapoor as Aisha
Aisha is played by Sonam Kapoor, who is the daughter of Anil Kapoor, Bollywood Royalty and one of the producers of this film. You probably recognize him as Regis Philbin in Slumdog Millionaire, but he’s also generally famous. Sonam does a pretty good job making Aisha as sympathetic as possible, especially considering that Aisha is even more of a monster than normal Emma Woodhouse.
Abhay Deol as Arjun
Arjun is played by Abhay Deol, who also comes from another Bollywood family. But more importantly, he is really, really ridiculously good-looking. Hellooooo Mr. Knightley. Your face made this movie 500% more watchable.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Low
This is a PMS/sick day kind of movie. It’s not energetic enough for a slumber-party and also has a shocking lack of dance numbers. But what really makes this movie prime PMS viewing is what I like to call the “Celine Dion Moment.” When Aisha finally realizes that she is majorly, totally, butt crazy in love with Arjun, she succumbs to the most spectacularly pathetic wallowing montage ever committed to film. She attends parties with friends, but drinks alone by the bar! She eats takeout in a party dress! She gazes into the middle distance! She sobs into pints of ice cream while wearing high-fashion muumuus! But most importantly, she drinks champagne from the bottle, WITH A BENDY STRAW.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Adequate
This film isn’t great, and they definitely could have left at least forty-five minutes of it on the cutting room floor. It has its cute moments, its dumb moments, and its “oh my god I want to strangle you, you stupid girl” moments, but overall, it is solidly mediocre. But isn’t that kind of the point of Netflix streaming? You wouldn’t want to be watching good movies ALL the time.