Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: Vastly Offending

Published: November 8, 2016 - 17:43 Updated: August 8, 2017 - 17:22

Just what does Karan Johar take his audience to be, lumping it with something as inane as this film?


Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM) has offended everyone, starting with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) who thought featuring a popular Pakistani actor in a ‘blink and you’ll miss him’ role was making the filmmaker and the film unpatriotic. Mohammed Rafi fans have been offended by the line of dialogue, “Mohammed Rafi gaate kam, rote zyada the,” mouthed by the heroine, Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) in the film. Farida Khanum fans should have been offended by the way her famous ghazal was transformed into a cocktail lounge song, which Aishwarya Rai tried gamely to gyrate to. The Fault in Our Stars fans should be offended by what has been done to the beautiful dinner date scene in the movie. But here is what I was offended by:

I was offended that Ranbir Kapoor, after starring in five or more ‘coming of age’ films, still doesn’t know how to kiss a girl.

Let me make this clear. Early on in the movie, boy meets girl in a bar, has an awkward make-out session with the said girl, and plants a splotchy, clumsy kiss on her lips which gets him ‘friend zoned’ immediately. Now, if Ranbir Kapoor a.k.a. our hero of the film had known how to kiss, Anushka Sharma a.k.a. our heroine would have probably fallen in lust, then love, sung a few songs, and everyone would have lived happily ever after. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and I had to sit through a three-hour cringe and whinge marathon called Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

I was offended that Ayaan and Alizeh are the 2016 blueprint of friendship and love.

Unrequited love is a many-splendoured thing. It has you feeling pain, passion and longing. It makes you cry with it in gentle, intimate moments, and admire its tragic, grand sacrifices. Unfortunately, you find all this and yet none of it in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

Alizeh is the judgmental dilettante who judges everything from Ayaan’s girlfriend (played delightfully ditzy by Lisa Haydon) to his underwear. Ayaan Sanger is a ‘private jet’ rich twit played by Ranbir Kapoor and, as mentioned, is still ‘coming of age’ and it will take a couple or more movies to really make his character’s motivation clear.

These two completely unlikeable characters bond over a shared taste in Bollywood dancing, ’80s Hindi movie songs and dialogues which, when they don’t sound inane, sound like they are from a Karan Johar or a Sooraj Barjatya film. Wait a minute, they are.

So, a few “friendship mein no sorry, no thank you” moments later, Ayaan realises that he is in love, pyaar, mohabbat, with Alizeh, who in turn, is in love with the hot but unfaithful Ali (Fawad Khan) and in her mind has ‘Rakhi brothered’ Ayaan. In steps the beautiful Saba (Aishwarya), who is a walking-talking shaayara, to raise the oomph and dialogue quotient as she describes everything – love, life, the clothes in her closet and her dinner menu in Urdu couplets.

Of course, a five-minute cameo by Shahrukh Khan and steamy kisses from ‘Aishaayra’ cannot make our man-boy change his mind, and the film twitters on to its tragic end, leaving the audience united in its ‘ek tarafa’ dislike for characters that were never brought to life on paper and definitely not on the screen. If this is love in 2016, take me back to the ’90s when watching a Johar movie made you go kuch kuch hota hai, Karan.

I was offended that the word pyaar had to be outlined in different ways in the movie.

Almost all the pieces of dialogue have to have either the word pyaar or dosti, for instance, “pyaar mein junoon hai, dosti mein sukoon hai” which later deteriorates to “Pyaar cancer ki tarah hai, bin bulaye aata hai aur maarke chala jaata hai” and the character means it, literally! And when pyaar wasn’t being spoken of, it was being sung in Hindi and Punjabi and underlined by orchestral music from Johar’s earlier films.

I was offended that the clothes and candelabra made me fall more in love than the actors.

The sheer beauty of a Manish Malhotra lehenga. The quiet elegance of a Masaba kurta. The spunky mischief of a Valentino jacket. The boudoir seductiveness of the candelabrum in Saba’s flat. Lusting after all this, I finally realised what unrequited love meant and cried quiet, precious tears over the love worthy accessories which I could never afford, even if I pawned my middle-class gold bangles.

I was offended that this is what Johar really takes his audience to be.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is full of film references, from Dabangg to Maine Pyaar Kiya, but while trawling through a friend’s Facebook post I came upon this gem of a dialogue line spoken by the inimitable Ramadhir Singh in the movie, Gangs of Wasseypur: “Hindustan mein jab tak saneema [cinema] hai, log chutiye bante rahenge.” Now that’s a dialogue line Johar should have added to the movie. Because that’s how I felt when I came out of the theatre after watching Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

This story is from print issue of HardNews