I was quite sure that Karan Johar‘s latest offering will leave me heartbroken and make me ugly cry. It did break my heart and also left me teary-eyed in more than one sequence. But… Well, let’s keep this ‘but’ for later.
I have been waiting with bated breath for the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ever since I watched the first glimpse of its heartachingly beautiful title track. And now, I think I know why the makers had chosen to dish out a cut of this song even before they released the trailer. The Arijit Singh number is the soul of this movie as the lyrics echo the feelings of the protagonists.
Ayan and Alizeh are two high-spirited youngsters who meet at a nightclub in London. They hit it off instantly and a priceless platonic bond develops between them in no time. The former is a ‘private jet’ kindda rich MBA student, who also aspires to be a singer. But the latter’s career, if any, stays a mystery throughout the flick. Going by a brief mention of a call that she makes to her dad, I’m guessing she lends a hand for their family business. And her home looks like the ones we see in those Interior decor magazines (PS: All the houses in the film are incredibly picturesque). After all, KJo likes everything pretty!
The duo shares a great rapport that grows even stronger when they catch both their partners (played by Lisa Haydon and Imran Abbas) cheating on them. Cry-baby Ayan finds solace in the company of Alizeh, who later tells him that he’s just sad because he’s lost his toy. She also explains to him how a real heartbreak is much more painful, referring to her own past. There’s a sequence where she talks to him about the lack of pain in his voice when he sings – a sequence that is bound to remind you of a similar conversation between Janardhan and Khatana bhaisaab from Rockstar.
But nonetheless, their camaraderie is absolutely wondrous and easy to relate to. While their fun banter will always make you smile, there are some hearwarming bits and pieces of their conversations that will stay with you.
The movie is shot across gorgeous locations in London, Paris, Vienna and a palace in India. Cinematographer Anil Mehta has fabulously captured the gorgeousness of these destinations.
Talking about gorgeousness, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Saba is fabulous AF. Saba is a divorcee poetess who bumps into Ayan at an airport. When Ayan parts ways with his friend Alizeh, he finds the benefits in a seductive Saba. But that never really stops him from missing all the craziness that he left behind with his BFF.
Fawad Khan as Alizeh’s love interest, Ali and Shah Rukh Khan as Saba’s ex-husband, Tahir – both deliver an impactful performance in whatever little screen time they have. Alia Bhatt also makes a cameo as a cute DJ just before the Breakup Song. Pritam‘s music adds a LOT this movie. All the songs are nice but Channa Mereya is just something else altogether. Hours after watching the film, I am still humming it as I type this. The dialogues are mostly good barring some one-liners that are a bit too much.
Anyway, most of us have chased an unrequited love at some or the other point in our lives… Hence, your heart WILL go out to RK’s character and the story will strike a chord with you in some capacity. More so, because of Ranbir’s fine act as a restless lover craving for his soulmate’s romantic affection. Anushka has also complemented him in every possible way with her acting chops. We’ve seldom doubted the caliber of these two actors anyway.
Johar had definitely taken off his rose-tinted glasses while penning down this tale of modern relationships. This one’s unarguably one his most matured works (even though I am a ’90s kid and am tad biased about a couple of his old movies).
BUT… Ae Dil Hai Mushkil would have been SO MUCH better if someone had decided to chop off the last 30 mintues of it at the edit desk. The plot twist in the end is almost caricaturish (specially referring to a scene when the Kal Ho Na Ho tune plays in the background) and could have been done without. I am not gonna go on abou it as I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
However, this bittersweet platter is still delicious. You might taste some flavours of Tamasha, Rockstar and Katti Batti in it though.
Watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil if you have ever imagined yourself dancing and running in slo-mo in the snow with someone special. Watch it even if you haven’t.