After six years Karan Johar is back on the director's chair with a fresh perspective on love, friendship and heartbreaks. Yes, throughout the movie you might find him referring to some of his previous filmography but that doesn't deter you from investing in his tale. He talks about unrequited love and you so feel for his characters which could be any one of us in the real world.
Ranbir Kapoor steals away the thunder when it comes to the whirlwind of emotions. Be it his longing for love, pain, turmoil or anguish, the young lad makes you bleed hearts and you would just want to give him a tight hug. Yet another tailor-made role for the Kapoor scion!
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is one of Ranbir's honest performances where he gives you ample of reasons to love him. 'Ajeeb kahaani hai pyaar aur dosti ke rishtein ki...pyaar hamara hero, dosti hamari heroine' and the actor makes sure to give you lessons in both! This one is worth a watch.
Johar has given major screenspace to Ranbir and Anushka and they do not disappoint. It is amazing watching their friendly banter and the fun they have. The chemistry is very organic and authentic — the one thing in the movie that feels real and will certainly remind you of your best friends. Several sequences of Ranbir are par excellence — the ones where he is either alone onscreen or with Anushka.
Anushka, on the other hand is impressive with her new avatar as the woman who knows exactly what she wants from each of her relationships. Fawad Khan and SRK have very little screenspace to even comment on their performances, but you get to enjoy that sexy smile and the star persona respectively in the small bits they have. Aishwarya as Saba is what you imagine Aishwarya to be — sexy, smart, independent and someone with a great sense of self-importance.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil offers little in terms of story and fails to get the audience empathise or feel for the characters and events in the movie. What it does offer is brilliance in the name of Ranbir and Anushka, some awe-inspiring shots of Aishwarya and Fawad and a very beautiful canvas as it is shot at exotic locales of London and Paris.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil scores high on the first count. You can’t get better-looking actors than Ranbir Kapoor-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-Anushka Sharma-Fawad Khan. You can’t get more atmospheric cities than London and Paris, ohhh. And instead of New York, there’s Vienna. So far, all slurp worthy.
But Johar is unable to go the extra mile it in the other department, leaving you wanting both more and less: less of the incessant yak-yak (you want to tell these impeccably-styled people to stop and draw breath and then speak, so that they, and we, can absorb the moment they’ve created), less of the non-stop background music (if it is real, you don’t have to underline it), less of the frantic reaching for the next old Bollywood classic line or song (because too many of these, and ‘Ae Dil’ is stuffed with these references, makes your brand new film feel same old); and more silence (the most effective parts of the film happen when it’s quiet), and more fresh plot points.
This brand new film feels same old
The man who made Hindi film lovers fall in love, the master of Mills&Boon style saccharine relationships, the Danielle Steel of Bollywood, however, opts for the comfort of formula, with two significant shifts in his much-awaited Diwali release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
The first is that he takes out the so-called sacrosanctity that was given to passion. If in earlier Bollywood films, heroes romance to live happily ever after including discovering their lust, here, he is more progressive. The hero gets to hit the bed straight up as one-night stands or out of sheer passion. No baggage there.
The second is the twist that Johar gives to 'love' itself. This time he pits the battle between love and friendship with some profound philosophy that passion leads to jealousy and pain, while friendship only gives peace. So it is that 'I love you' in India might soon be replaced by girls and boys telling each other 'I friend you.'
If you like mushy romance, and going by the sniffs and sobs and claps from the cinema hall, you might enjoy the film. It is plain old Bollywood, full of colour, and Dr. Love kind of inspiration.
Heartbreak and unrequited love are gut-wrenching. Director Karan Johar makes it his mission to emotionally pummel us with them in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
Led by a supremely good-looking quartet, this romantic quadrangle is the lovechild that would result if two films — Johar’s own friendship-meets-love saga Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and the Hollywood tearjerker A Fault In Our Stars — were to indulge in a torrid affair.
Kapoor steals the thunder from the two women. His anguish and his propensity to wail when he’s dumped makes him immensely lovable. Reserve this for a one-time watch.