Films | Movie Reviews | Ae Dil Hain Mushkil – Movie Review

Ae Dil Hain Mushkil – Movie Review

Posted by Vivek on October 30, 2016 | No Comments

CAST: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Fawad Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

MUSIC: Pritam Chakraborty

WRITER: Karan Johar (story and screenplay), Karan Johar & Niranjan Iyengar (dialogue)

PRODUCER: Marijke Desouza, Hiroo Johar, Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta

DIRECTOR: Karan Johar

All of us are in love with the idea of love – the idea of love that transcends all bounds and limits, form and definition. The Karan Johar-verse, which borrows heavily from the YRF-verse of grand romantic dramas has always celebrated this love as friendship even though all the elements of love as passion are kept intact. With his first film Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hain it was about pyaar dosti hain. With Student of the Year it was the other way round. With his latest and seventh film he seems to have come full circle with pyaar being dosti again.

The Universe of the film is full of souls bitterly in love with the idea of love and all paying for it. Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) loves Alizeh (Anushka) but she is too heartbroken by her own former love Ali (Fawad Khan) to feel the same. Ayan gets involved with another broken soul in Saba (Aishwarya Rai) who chooses to keep emotional distance because she has seen the destructive ness love can wreak but before she knows she has given in again. Only to find it’s one-sided. While Taher (Shahrukh Khan in a cameo), her ex-husband she no longer loves continues to nurse his love for her despite their separation.

Broken hearts, like they are wont to do in globalised times, travel all over the world until they find their balms. Some find it in poetry, some in pain, some in love and some in friendship. Each of the four protagonists choose their form of love with or without each other. And the several interpretations of love that this treatment throws up are rich. Especially given it is the popcorn world of Karan Johar we are referring to.

The cast and the treatment to the characters lends a grace to this world that takes it beyond the fluff. Ranbir Kapoor as the soft-hearted guy helplessly in love is something we have seen before but the shades of vulnerability are different and distinct here. Anushka balances the hurt woman/child with the conscious adult just fine. Between the two they strike a camaraderie that lends a relatibility to an otherwise unreal world. The dialogues, the timing, the energy of the two sync to make their traumas and dilemmas real enough. Fawad Khan gets very little screen-time to really perform and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan fills her role with a breakable queenly dignity that is pleasing to watch.

The journey the lovers take is meandering, through time and space. In between there are several make-ups and breaks-up spiced with a filmy fun referencing 80’s and 90’s Hindi films and as has almost become a norm in YRF/Dharma films, referencing KKHH and DDLJ (sigh).

All the other Karan Johar staples of beautiful people, beautiful locales, beautiful clothes and houses exist in right proportion without overpowering with their glitz. It is the emotional heft of the protagonist’s journeys that take the film through, which is an achievement of the film. A lagging second half and some clichéd tropes feel like convenient / confused writing but the shades of love the film expresses and explores through its 2.43 hrs runtime are many, an attempt few mainstream films even pretend to make. Ae Dil Hain Mushkil can be a delicious, bitter-sweet and a rich emotional experience for those who believe love is an open-ended street.

Fatema Kagalwala

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