Movie review – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – If you have ever been ‘friend-zoned’ then this Karan Johar film is for you

Movie review – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil – If you have ever been ‘friend-zoned’ then this Karan Johar film is for you



By Joginder Tuteja


Rating: ***1/2


Have you ever been ‘friend-zoned’? Well, if yes, then Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is a film which is tailor-made for you! To fall in love with someone is one thing, to be regularly accompanied by that special someone and taken into arms as a friend is an entirely different world. And then to see that friend go into the arms of her lover is a deadly feeling, something that only those who have fallen in love (and then lost it all) can truly relate to. In that aspect, rest assured, majority would be able to connect with this Karan Johar because admit it or not, most of us have at one or the other point in time fallen into ‘ektarfa pyaar’.


(Spoilers ahead) It is this ‘ektarfa pyaar’ that is the backbone of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil but thankfully it moves into the world of platonic relationship than ‘Darr’ zone. So Ranbir Kapoor plays a tad immature youngster who is craving for love at every point in his life. He may have broken off with a few girlfriends and then found a bombshell [Lisa Hayden] as his partner for last one month. However when he comes across Anushka Sharma, who is herself nursing a broken heart (courtesy Fawad Khan) and is now in a ‘time-pass’ relationship with a doctor (Imran Abbas), there are bells that set ringing again in his heart.


Now this is actually the best part of the film since the first one hour is so brilliant that you can’t help but begin to draw parallels with some of the most smile-through Hollywood romcoms that you may have seen in the last few years. The setting is contemporary, the stage is modern, the dialogues are relatable, the characters are identifiable and the situations are unpredictable. However, it is this very combination of narrative spun by Karan Johar and the manner in which Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma truly nail the characters that you fall in love with them both as an audience.


For any love story to succeed, what is of utmost importance is to have audiences crave for the on-screen lovers to unite. This is the key strength of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil as you want Ranbir and Anushka to continue their sweet smile-through tale till forever. However, the twist in the tale here is the fact that Ranbir is truly and completely ‘friend-zoned’ by Anushka and you just keep your fingers crossed for that moment to arrive when cupid eventually end up striking.


This means even though there are funny moments galore (many of these, courtesy Lisa Haydon) and a couple of chartbusters arriving on screen (The Break Up song and then even ‘Tere Mere Hothon Pe’ from Chandni), you just count moments when eventually it would be the call of ‘I Do’. However, the twist in the tale around the interval and then the arrival of catchiest song of the film – Channa Mereya (courtesy Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya) totally nail the true soul of the film. You can’t just help but empathize with Ranbir here as along with him, you too crave for him to unite with his true love.


That said, the arrival of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the scene brightens the narrative all over again and you do feel relieved for Ranbir. The moments that follow between the duo from here are pleasant to ears, eyes and heart, and the cameos by Shahrukh Khan is well placed as well. It is wonderful to see him in his true elements here and the manner in which sher-o-shaayari by both Shahrukh and Aishwarya here perplex Ranbir brings a smile on the lips.


However, a couple of twists that follow from this point on take the film into a different direction here. The manner in which Aishwarya’s character is dealt with is a tad un-relatable and you wonder if there could have been a better reasoning around this move. Moreover, the turns that take place in the narrative bring Ae Dil Hai Mushkil into a zone that you were least expecting. Frankly, the whole spirit and verve that the film had managed till this point in time seems to take a different route altogether and you just hope that somehow the fun element, which had dominated most of the first half of the film, is back.


Nonetheless, what one still carries home is the core of the film along with the fact that Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor totally nail their characters. Anushka is just superb in her part and it is remarkable to see the manner in which she has now turned totally delightful in front of the camera. From Sultan to now Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, she also shows two totally contrasting facets of her acting prowess. Ranbir brings certain ease to the manner in which he approaches his character and it is wonderful to let his guard go down and play a totally vulnerable character who doesn’t shy away from crying it loud when needed.


If you want to have a fair share of smiles as well as tears, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil should be a comfortable watch.

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