Cast: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Fawad Khan, Shah Rukh Khan
Director: Karan Johar
Written by: Karan Johar
Technical Aspects: 3.5
I went in with zero expectations for this film especially after the trailers made me believe that this one was going to be all about love, grief, fights and melodrama(like I expected Shivaay to be an excellent action film), clearly I have been proved wrong twice within 24 hours.
As I walked out of the theater I overheard a man carrying his baby and politely ranting to his wife about how the film was rubbish and even the baby got fussy because of the film.Maybe it was the baby or the sensibility of the man himself which made him do so.His wife like me had enjoyed the film (I presume) and chose to remain quiet with a slight grin. Well, I won’t.
Ae Dil is unarguably one of the best films KJo has produced and also his second best directorial(after My Name is Khan) if I may say so.
Script & Screenplay
Kudos to Karan Johar for writing and directing a film which is more mature than gold ol’ Kuch Kuch Hota Hai standards.This is certainly his best romance-drama but this may or may not be much of a compliment.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil traces the life of Ayan Saenger (Ranbir Kapoor) who is dirty rich even without having done anything and is living a life dictated by others’ wishes — pursuing an MBA as a singer cannot keep his dad’s business floating and being in ‘love’ because that’s what his girlfriend Lisa (Lisa Hayden) wants him to believe. Then arrives Alizeh (Anushka Sharma), a very sorted and mature woman who knows exactly what is wrong with her life, knows how to handle her “weakness” and how to enjoy life. She is also the one who makes Ayan become the real person that he is — one who enjoys cheap Bollywood songs, loves to sing and dances like no one is watching. She even mocks his singing and tells his he lacks the ‘dard’ of a ‘toota-dil’ .I bet you haven’t seen Ranbir in anything like this before, not Rockstar and certainly not Tamasha.
The rest of film traces the wax-wane cycle of friendship-love between the two of them as the rest of the characters enter and leave creating ripples in their relationships.
There’s not much of an ‘original’ plot here simply the rehashing of Karan’s own work and several other similar works including Dil to Pagal , Kal ho Na Ho etc which have been blended seamlessly with a twist to create an illusion of a new story.
Thankfully the film doesn’t run till eternity (150 minutes) and the screenplay is sprinkled with humor and pace which manages to keep you glued to the seats.
KJo is known for his brand of films characterized by impossibly beautiful people, the exotic locations, the lavish homes, the songs-and-the-dances, the zardozi and the flash — in spades.
What you could also expect is the heightened complex emotions, the turbulent relationships, and the messy love-hate-can’t live without you moments that he manages to create in his most felt work.
With Ae Dil he manages to score high on the both the counts.Where he does falter is the logic department.His impossibly beautiful people are also impossibly rich and travel in private jets only to land to in exquisite suites wearing vogue fashion without breaking a sweat.What bothers me is that only Alizeh seems to be having a job and both of them are always free no matter what.They are also estranged from their families.
So where’s all that money coming from? And even after so much spending why aren’t they broke already? Care for an explanation sir?
The film also talks about ‘tedha’ love and a place where Alizeh and Ayan sit to have some moments of ‘sukoon’.The choice of place only because it has a neon logo of ‘LOVE’ spelled backward.
Anyways, it’s still less flawed than K3G and co. and it’s meant for entertainment which it did so it’s fine.
Anushka Sharma, playing a tricky part that could easily come off as selfish, grounds the character in sheer practicality and does some of her best work here.
Ranbir Kapoor, though, who walks away with top honors, delivering a performance that doesn’t miss a beat. From comical to heartbroken to confused, his face is a canvas of complex emotions, and he makes his every moment on screen count. It’s an excellent return to form for the actor who’d been all but written off after a spate of failures recently.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is calm composed & classy, although saddled with clunky lines in the role of an Urdu poet, leaves a lasting impression in her limited screen time.I only wish she would have had a bigger role in the film.
Fawad Khan is an extended cameo and does a decent job as well.Lisa Haydon provides for some great laughs in the first half.
Like Shivaay here a few scenes that I noticed in the promos but were absent in the final cut
Ae Dil might not be liked by many due to it’s sheer unrelatability and sheer lack of a solid plot.
but the key to engaging with the film, however, is investing in its fully rounded and fleshed-out characters.Ae Dil is a character-driven film with Alizeh and Ayan being the drivers and every other character a phase or chapter in their life, not to stay forever but still leaving a definitive impact.
Dialogues, Music & Technical Aspects
The dialogues are decent ranging from generic to derivative to tributes to dumb.Some of the Urdu does leave a lasting impact though.
Pritam has struck gold with Ae Dil and KJO continues his run of having some of the best music of all time in his films.The music is aptly supported by the beautiful and deep lyrics of Amitabh Bhattacharya.Arijit Singh has some of his career best work here and has sung most of the tracks for the film barring Bulleya performed by Amit Mishra which is another gem.
The film shot beautifully especially the Paris portions .By the second half, things are quite clear as to who’s in love with whom and you will almost predict the ending. A run time of 2 hrs 38 minutes is slightly more for a romantic film and that could have been avoided with a few cuts in the post-intermission.
Nevertheless the last 10 minutes are absolutely heart wrenching and make for a brilliantly executed albeit emotionally manipulative climax.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil wins hands-down in this week’s clash against Shivaay for two reasons, better characters and entertainment quotient.Both films had misleading trailers but the film turned out to be better in the case of Ae Dil.Don’t miss this one if you are a rom-com junkie or a KJo fan or want to save up for the Marvel(pun intended) coming up next week.
Until next time….