Saba falls in love with Ayan.
Ayan is still in love with Alizeh. But Alizeh’s heart beats only for Ali. And
Ali’s heart wanders.
And so love doesn’t win, only
platonic friendships prevail.
Karan Johar giftwraps the
delicate theme of unrequited love with trademark fun, dance and NRI gloss.
And it works to a large extent
because of the outstanding performances he prises out of Ranbir Kapoor and
Anushka Sharma. From breaking into Baby
Doll and Hindi film songs to jetting out to Paris on a whim, the laundry
list of quirks they share makes them ideal partners except that the heart
doesn’t follow any rules. And so while they make perfect friends and Ayan falls
in love with her, Alizeh can’t reciprocate the feeling. It’s still only her old
flame Ali to whom she’ll say ‘kabool’.
Aishwarya Rai as poetess Saba
breezes in and out of Ayan’slife as the strong physical
attraction turns to love for her.But his heart still desires Alizeh who returns
to Ayan, still offering only friendship.
There’s aesthetics in the way
Karan seamlessly weaves multi-cultural identities into the narrative without
crassly badgering the point.
And Pritam’s compositions, Bulleya, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Breakup,
are all chartbusters.
Ranbir Kapoor dominates the show
underscoring once again that he’s one of the most watchable actors ofHindi
cinema today. Whether he’s in a physical relationship or letting his hair down
to Tohfaa, Ranbir delivers Ayan
without labour. Anushka has an easy body language and pulls off a complex
Alizeh without confusion. Aishwarya Rai and Fawad Khan provide the wow appeal.
But there are fault lines. Ayan
pining for Alizeh over and over again gets repetitive. Love hurts. So does a
story that doesn’t know where to go. Every time Karan is lost, he gets Ayan and
Alizeh to dip into an old RD Burman classic which loses its sense of fun when
overdone. As it is, fun times with old film songs isn’t the most original brand
of cinematic humour. It makes you smile for sure but doesn’t bring out a guffaw
of the Kantabai variety.
Another time when the story sags
and Karan doesn’t know where to head, he borrows a sentimental touch from Anand or Kal Ho Naa Ho which is an old trick again. For sure, Ranbir turning
out in Anushka’s hairstyle is a sweet moment. And the sudden appearance of an
Alia Bhatt or a Shah Rukh Khan perks up the proceedings. But for me, the
biggest drawback is that Karan Johar, the master of emotions, doesn’t tap the
tear ducts quite so effectively this time around.
For a fun ride and a close look
at ektarfapyar, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil gets a 3* rating.
Reviewed bySenior Journalist & Author
Bharathi S Pradhan