Banner: Dharma Productions
Producers: Hiroo Yash Johar,
Karan Johar, Apoorva Mehta
Director: Karan Johar
Cast: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma,
Lisa Haydon, Fawad Khan
(s.a), Shah Rukh Khan (cameo),
Alia Bhatt (cameo)
Writer: Karan Johar,
Niranjan Iyengar (dialogue)
There’s Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, threre’s Ranbir Kapoor and there’s Anushka Sharma. The cherry on the cake is Karan Johar, who has helmed this film. And, we all know what a team like this can deliver. The team of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has scored and is definitely one of the most notable films from the actors and the director.
This is a typical Karan Johar film – a good-looking lead pair, breathtaking locations, topnotch production values and a story about entangled human relationships. Though the pace does dip in places, especially in the second half, the overall result is superb.
The film starts in London, where Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) runs into Alizeh (Anushka Sharma). Ayan is a billionaire’s scion with a passion for singing and studying for an MBA degree while the vibrant and carefree Alizeh is still pining over her ex lover Ali (Fawad Khan). The two are drawn to each other at a party but after a failed one-night stand, the two become friends. Together with their shared love for Hindi cinema, they form a deep friendship. But when Alizeh reunites with Ali and marries him, Ayan realises he is very much in love with her.
A heartbroken Ayan tumbles into a relationship with Saba (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), an older poet. But he cannot forget Alizeh and falls into a spiral of relationships and friendships. How the story unfolds further forms the crux of the story.
Directorially, Johar is a master at his craft and portrays complexity of relationships with conviction. Every single frame of this film bears his signature style and the result is awesome. Besides, the songs have been beautifully woven into the screenplay and take the story forward while strengthening your connection with the protagonists. The way Johar has handled the subject and brought it to the big screen is stupendous. He allows each frame to slowly sink in and the outcome is rousing.
Although the story is far from unique, it’s the scripting that makes the movie truly an experience. Some may get a sense of déjà vu but Johar manages to deliver a film that is very engrossing. He succeeds in striking a chord in this perfect blend of friendship-relationship story.
The first half of the film is very entertaining and peppered with sweet and fun moments but the second half is quite the reverse. Some of the more memorable scenes are Ayan’s emotional outbursts; Ayan and Alizeh’s bond and their Paris adventure; and their shared passion for Bollywood and the puns that follow. Other memorable scenes are those where Alizeh visits Saba’s house for dinner, the sequences that follow, and the song Channa mereya.
The dialogue has been written fabulously Editing by Manik Dawar is to the point and firm. With a runtime of 158 minutes, the film has a firm first half and, post-interval, the story rises to another level. Johar handles the proceedings with panache. This is not Pritam’s best music but the songs blend flawlessly with the screenplay. Cinematography by Anil Mehta is fabulous. He not only captures the scenic locations beautifully but also fills each frame with finesse.
Performance-wise, Ranbir Kapoor delivers yet another layered and complex character in an unpretentious manner. Kapoor plays his part so credibly that you forget he’s anything but the character. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s presence and performance is another asset to the film. Anushka Sharma proves yet again that she is an actor par excellence. It’s the chemistry shared by the lead pair that makes the film such a treat to watch. Fawad Khan in a special appearance gets into the skin of his character. Lisa Haydon suits her part and is good. Shah Rukh Khan in a cameo is a show stealer. Alia Bhatt in a cameo is notable. The rest of the supporting cast does justice to their respective roles.
Verdict: Super hit.