Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Directed by: Karan Johar
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Fawad Khan
Karan Johar's Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is full of his usual shtick — cheesy lines, sentimental love affairs, catchy music — yet it has the audience laughing and sniffling in all the right places.
And Ranbir Kapoor must be celebrating. The romantic drama is his third highest-grossing opening-day film (it released in cinemas on Thursday, October 27). All analysis is pointing to a hit, because this time the 32-year-old actor has got it right.
Kapoor plays Ayan, a rich wannabe singer, who falls in love with the fiesty Alizeh (Anushka Sharma at her most annoying, so much so that she gives the word new meaning). But Alizeh “friend-zones” Ayan, after explaining that her only true love is Ali (the irresistible Fawad Khan). Devastated that his love is destined to remain one-sided, Ayan seeks solace in the arms of Saba — Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in her most restrained turn ever. Gone is the shrill beauty queen; in her place is a mature, even-voiced woman who is astoundingly good — and looks unbelievably gorgeous — in every scene.
Johar seems to have grown up, too. The filmmaker has come a long way since his Kuch Kuch Hota Hai days, where friends became lovers with equanimity and ease. This time, Johar attempts to take the love triangle to a new dimension, and gives it depth by throwing a spanner in the works, with love's torment etched out through the themes of friendship, unrequited love and death.
But back to Kapoor, because this is his film through and through. In the face of his past flops, it’s easy to forget that Kapoor is one of the finest actors of his generation. Intuitive, and with impeccable comic timing, he steals the show, his talent shining so brightly that everything else pales in comparison.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is utterly watchable — it’s the perfect Diwali romantic movie. The only complaint is the constant, ingratiating servitude to Shah Rukh Khan that Johar displays. Not content with casting the superstar in a cameo, the director made sure the soundtrack incorporates caches of popular tunes from past SRK films. It truly is vomit-inducing, but not more than the “We Love You Shah Rukh Khan” banner that appears before the end credits roll.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is in cinemas now