After months of writing about Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and getting frustrated with it getting embroiled in controversy for casting a Pakistani actor, okay two Pakistani actors, the film finally released in theatres on Friday? And as a Karan Johar fan, I came back disappointed. (Spoilers ahead)
What hurt the most was that if you are a Bollywood freak and have watched films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Rockstar and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge again and again, all you will get from Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan film is déjà vu.
The whole film is an ode to Bollywood references. Dialogues such as ‘Alizeh Khan, I am not a terrorist’, ‘Rahul Naam Toh Suna Hi Hoga’ or ‘ Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Ayan, Tum Nahi samjhoge’ keep on coming your way with uncanny regularity. Talking of being self-referential, the famous dance sequence in KKHH has been recreated — where Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol dance in the rain. We rest our case.
And now, let’s come to the film’s central premise – Ayan (Ranbir) is in love with Alizeh (Anushka) but she has friend-zoned him. So far, so good. Being friend-zoned is part and parcel of relationships today. Either it has happened to us or we know of somebody who is dealing with it. But Karan Johar stretches this concept to the point of breaking. It is hard to digest Ayan and Alizeh’s non-existent love (at least on her part) in the over two-and-a-half film. Soon the plot, with acting and dialogue, start showing signs of strain due to this.
The film’s highlights were Fawad Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. He is Alizeh’s past, her handsome ex-lover who is the most interesting part of the film. He makes you go aww and feel Kuch Kuch Hota hai at least looking at him, if not anything else.
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Aishwarya is the other half of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s hotness quotient. She looks absolutely stunning in every frame and gives a tough competition to Anushka when they both share the screen space. We so wish both of them had more to do in the film. Ranbir, meanwhile, again does what he has already aced in his previous films – playing the heartbroken lover.
The film’s climax is a cliché and is unbearably long drawn. You look at your watch every few minutes as we wish for tighter editing.
The only thing that gives you a breather is Arijit Singh’s voice and some old songs, which have been revamped for this film. And mind you, there are a lot of songs in the film beyond the one you have already heard.
Karan, this wasn’t surely your best and I say that as a fan who has watched every film you made over the years and loved them all. I obsessed about the film, worried about it when there were chances it would not release and said a silent hooray when it finally did. Now even though disappointed, I am waiting for your next.