Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - Review
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Ae Dil Hai Mushkil gives one-sided lovers hope. Not the kind that says, "ask for something with all your will, and the entire universe shall conspire to make it happen". Ae Dil Hai Mushkil gives those stuck in unrequited love the hope that says, it's ok. Because it's yours. And because it's yours it's beautiful.
I could go on and on about how Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has embraced and comforted relationships whole-heartedly. I want to go on and on. But let me get the unwanted out of the way first. The film does some very avoidable things. Some films use voice-overs; others use a character as a narrator; yet others have long-standing friends talk like strangers for the audience's benefit - all annoying tools; all indicators of lack of confidence in the script. This one uses an interview. *eyeroll* - *whatever* - *shrug off* - *move on*.
Then you have one too many film-y references, even if they are masked under characters who are self-confessing "Bollywood fantasy-livers". They are just about well-placed and stop before they get too many. Could they have cut down the 45 minutes beyond 2 hours? I bet, yes. Tributes, spoofs – notwithstanding. It also has the laziest cop-out out of a love triangle that writers take. A few more *eyerolls* and *oh-nos!* directed towards the writers. You also have the drop in pace in the first half. The couple of scenes after the "break-up song" saw my heart sink after an otherwise decent-ish start. It started treading towards the usual Karan Johar territory - tacky, slapsticky, and over-the-top. It thinks it is clutching at your heart, but it isn't quite there. But it completely recovers from this fall in the second half, even if after a couple of slips.
Had we known that this was the love triangle Karan Johar was struggling for all these years, we would have held our curses a bit through Kuch Kuch Hota Hai's superficial and simplistic take on love, Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham's devotion to family, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna's cringe-inducing take on extra-marital affairs and so on. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil doesn't go far from the one-line plot, but it goes deeper, much deeper.
Through various characters in these films, he has fleetingly touched upon the various kinds of love he has brought together in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. There's the love that exists yet can't resist the temptations of lust. There's love that's so self-aware that it refuses to fall into the trap yet another time and goes into self-preservation mode - pronto. Then you have love that is too precious to want to be lovers - friend-zoned, if you will. Alongside is the love that has lost all self-respect in the gamble. The mightiest of them all - the love that wants, nae demands reciprocation - 100% reciprocation. And they aren't mutually exclusive either. But, through this Ae Dil Hai Mushkil wants to say just one thing - it is all still love. Just different from one another.
Clearly the focus is the different forms love takes and not things that mortals have to worry about like – earning a livelihood, having other responsibilities and so on. The writers even write it off with a scene that declares them rich kids. Now, if you have a problem with rich kids who have difficulty dealing with their heartaches, you want to watch another film.
The understanding of and maturity in relationships is all they want to talk about. It could have gone all awry if it wasn't articulated well in words and their translation to film. From the captain of the boat to the different cogs that make a film work. This is not a film where one character is oblivious to the feelings of the other when it is so obvious. They are what people do in real life – in denial.
The film is sprinkled with actual conversations, something I find lacking in Hindi romantic films. The dialogue is snappy and you could miss out a witticism here and a good line there if you don't pay keen attention.
The two outbursts, one each by Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, hit target - they are brilliantly worded, well-timed and enacted with conviction. One expresses the helplessness of having failed after trying everything to get over, to move on, to find a moment of peace. The other is a frustrated expression of a different perspective on love. And then there is a scene with wonderfully written lines for a cameo. If only the actor had played a character and not a charismatic personality which reminds us of the real-life star who wants to pass on the “romantic hero” baton.
Aishwarya Rai does femme fatale beautifully. Ranbir Kapoor holds the screen well, especially in close-ups. Something, I've admired Amitabh Bachchan do. Even though his pain-ridden eyes are all too familiar, they leave their impact. Again. Though there are times he goes over-the-top, something we rarely see him do. So, I'd blame the director. I absolutely love the way Anushka Sharma has grown into the roles she takes on - bringing an uncanny reality about them. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma together too, make every bit of their relationship relatable. The ladies do goof up their diction every once in a while. And Fawad Khan's character is almost inconsequential to convince me about the hullabaloo caused by his presence in the film.
I am divided about watching this film again. My heart was beating hard while walking out of the theater for having watched a solid, good film. Enough for me to want to walk into the next show right away. But, what if I don't like what I liked about the film as much as I did in first go? I think I am eager to find out.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None. A slap or two.
- Language: Clean mostly. Abusive words muted out.
- Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of making out scenes.
- Concept: That of love – all kinds – reciprocated, unrequited, cheated on, submissive, and so on.
- General Look and Feel: A crisp film that doesn't do anything gimmicky.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Dharma Productions
- Producer: Apoorva Mehta, Hiroo Yash Johar, Karan Johar
- Director: Karan Johar
- Lead Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma
- Supporting Cast: Aishwarya Rai, Fawad Khan, Lisa Haydon, Shah Rukh Khan
- Dialogues: Niranjan Iyengar, Rahul Nanda
- Cinematography: Anil Mehta
- Background Score: Pritam Chakraborty
- Music Director: Pritam Chakraborty
- Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya
- Costume Designer: Samidha Wangnoo, Anaita Shroff Adajania, Manish Malhotra
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 165 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Relationships, Romance
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil - Trailer
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