An Jo on Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Mild Spoilers –

AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL [ADHM] is one of the worst, wannabe movies coming out of the Johar stable; and that’s not because the film in totality is bad per se, but because of the disastrous attempts at surrogate-wedding of depth with glamor. All his ‘K’ films and the faux-attempt at capturing xenophobia through MNIK can be considered classics – in terms of cinematic grammar only, by the way – when compared to ADHM.

Johar tries to show his ‘maturity’ in this film but ends up showing his immaturity even more. What Johar is actually attempting here is to be Imtiaz-esqe, but falls flat at that because he is churned between Imtiaz’s high emotional-quotient and his own penchant for designer glamor and an alternative club-hopping world: The resultant is a mess of a movie that just doesn’t know where to stop and what it’s trying to convey. Remember that scene in TALAASH where Aamir questions Nawaz and Nawaz replies, and I paraphrase, ‘साब, दो दिन से खाना नहीं खाया, पानी भी नही पिया|’ And then the cell-phone in his pocket starts ringing prompting a suspicious look from Aamir who’s just trying to understand the contrast between extreme poverty and a fully-charged cell-phone having a high balance. And that’s what I was staring at in ADHM. The gap between the glaring glamor and attempted depth is so huge that one gets lost in that oblivion never to resurface again. Everyone is talking of ‘unrequited’ love. Yes, that’s the theme; and quite a rich one at that in-text but poorly handled here. Johar has been dealing with this ‘can a boy and a girl be just friends like a boy and a boy can be buddies but not gay’ theme since his KKHH days and has yet to come to terms with it: He tried the Archie comics approach way back in the millennium and now he tries to be ‘adult’ about the same theme here. Ranbir’s Ayan loves Anushka’s Alizeh, Alizeh in turn has a weakness for Fawad’s DJing Ali, and Ranbir circumvents these two after Anushka is not willing to graduate to ‘love’ from ‘friend-ship’ with Ayan and moves on to another. He, miraculously after metaphorically doing a ‘Kanyadaan’ meets a शायरा in Aishwarya’s Saba who, at first sight, hands him her book of नzम along with her phone number. The problem is, the co-incidences, even if one considers them metaphors, don’t quite gel with the atmospherics of this movie [as Lisa Haydon’s hilarious character would have put it, the ‘vatavaran’ is quite deceptive]. It all sounds so un-real; not surreal. In the scene when Ayan meets Saba for the first time, he plays a ‘same-pinch’ scenario with her. Forget somebody Aishwarya-like, I haven’t even had a chance to pinch an over-blown TSA agent at airports! [My luck has been restricted to being ‘padded’, and unfortunately, by men!].

The initial scenes between Ayan and Alizeh just go on and on and one gets irritated. Ayan is a left-over from K3G. He is carrying forward the financial legacy of flying in helicopters and private jets. They can wear shades at night, sleep, and without brushing their teeth after waking up in the morning, can shove raw bread crumbs into toasters and pour milk into their cereal bowl. [Karan, actually, doesn’t waste time here in the sense that he doesn’t dwell on the fact that these are folks that can use Euros or dollars or whatever to wipe their asses; he doesn’t spend time on showing the wealth of Ayan’s parents – Ayan just blasts his credit cards! If that’s maturity for a film-maker, so be it: Just like Trump considers revealing his tax-returns a waste of time, so does Karan believe it’s a waste of time establishing the ‘rich’ history of Ayan’s parents]. The point is established: They can go to Vienna, Paris, or wherever the hell from London in Europe to wherever else just like we try to go from Pune to Amravati.

Karan’s idea of poverty, as I alluded to somewhere, is a kid working extra hours and sweating to pay for his Ducati while his idea of wealthy is the same kid graduating to driving a Lamborghini after completing his MBA as SOTY: Be that as it may, I am not too concerned with it: [Just as one can accuse Ramu or Kashyap of excelling ONLY in dark corridors of the heart and mind.] And it’s on full display here. The trouble is when he tries to tread on Imtiaz’s territory and tries to find depth, and he struggles, and how! The ‘दिल का दर्द; दिल टूटा नहीं’ idea is a direct lift from Ali’s [not DJ’s] ‘Rockstar.’ Ayan sings pathetically and butchers Burman’s ‘गाता रहे मेरा दिल’ from GUIDE and Alizeh retorts saying he sings so badly since he has hardly experienced heart-break; a direct throw-back to Kumud Mishra’s advice to Ranbir in Rockstar

about becoming a great musician only when one’s heart is torn to shreds. ‘Urdu’ and Faiz Ahmed Faiz are used here just as mere instruments of exoticism. Ayan invites Alizeh to the woman’s house he is sleeping with who, of course, happens to be the poetess Aishwarya’s Saba just to make her ‘jealous’ that he has landed a prize ‘better’ than Alizeh! Noor Jehan’s rendition of Faiz’s ‘मुझ से पहली सी मुहब्बत मेरे महबूब ना माँग

मैने समझा था के तू है तो दरख़शां है हयात’ is playing in the background: And we are supposed to be convinced that Saba is a ‘deep’ person, who literally dances like a stripper in a club in one of the previous scenes –and no, this isn’t a sexist comment but a marker to the confusion in Karan’s mind— when she meets Ranbir after her first encounter with him. I am NOT trying to be judgmental here by expecting a शायरा to be someone clothed from head to foot in a burkha. It’s just that KJo’s attempt at wedding modernity with traditions and ‘depth’ is so exasperatingly vacuous here that it boggles the mind. [Just imagine Amitabh after reciting मैं पल दो पल का शायर हूँ jumping onto a dance-floor gyrating sexually to a Sex Pistol’s number, and you get the drift]. This is not DEDH ISHQIYA where the entire movie was soaked with Lucknowi तहज़ीब: Here, exoticism is used merely as a tool and the artificiality seeps through to the audience. So afraid Karan is of alienating the ‘it’ crowd that he doesn’t even use the originals of the many Hindi oldies but resorts to using the remixed versions!

Of the cast, Ranbir shines in some scenes but he seems clearly uncomfortable acting as the man-child. He is fantastic in the scene where Aliyah calls him from Lucknow and he asks, almost child-like and with his heart in his mouth, whether she agreed to marry Ali. Anushka is fine but is running the risk of repeating herself with her bubbly acts. But this is surely one of her finer performances. Aishwarya is the world’s most beautiful woman and she plays it THAT way; and NOT as a poetess. [Catch her ‘walking’ with her posterior swaying in the scene when she and Alizeh dismiss off as sexist Ayan’s talk of women being together as dangerous and you can catch her limitations as an actress WITHOUT a micro-scope; I missed Madhuri here, but I am not the casting director]. Fawad continues to the over-rated actor that he is but a devastatingly blessed good-looker.

Except for BULLEYA and the title song, none of the songs merit any attention. The BULLEYA song is shot poorly trying to give it a SADDA HAQ look but falls flat. How I wish the title song focused more on Ranbir’s expressions rather than his rise to fame.

Finally, the trick of using death as a unifier is such an over-used, ironically, done-to-death attempt at welling up the tear-glands that it looks like a mockery here. Even chemo-therapy is painted glamorous in Karan’s films. [In SILSILA, Yash used a plane-crash as a unifier, but that was 1982, and SILSILA was too bold a film for its time! In 2016, if you still want to use death as a unifying tool, then that talks a lot about your story-telling abilities.] Cancer, here, pardon me, sounds like a joke. The last 30 minutes are a hoot. Never ever have I seen in a seemingly ‘mature’ Hindi film a terminal disease being looked at so flippantly.

If you really want to see, in modern-times, why is it that Alizeh cannot come to love Ayan, in spite of his being the PRINCE CHARMING as suggested by Saba, go back to 2006 and watch Rani and Abhishek’s scenes in Johar’s own KANK: They sound more real and far, far better than what’s at display here. And if you want to watch folks struggling with confusions in love, just watch TAMASHA on rewind..

ADHM, then, remains an uneasy cock-tail of Imtiaz’s finer-attempts, KJO’s own cinematic references, and a vague reference to THE FAULT IN OUR STARS..


59 Responses to “An Jo on Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”

  1. Thanks for review. There were two comments. I am not sure, were they same or not? If you need correction, please comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the second/latest one was the right one.


  3. “Fawad continues to the over-rated actor that he is but a devastatingly blessed good-looker.”
    light eyes and light skin=good looks for you AJ?!?!
    I don’t find fawad anywhere close to handsome (and I watched his pakiserials to confirm) or star power or gravitas. But yhea for desi with color complexes he might ‘appear’ handsome!! He is short, slight and with poor voice.


  4. “And we are supposed to be convinced that Saba is a ‘deep’ person, who literally dances like a stripper in a club in one of the previous scenes –and no, this isn’t a sexist comment but a marker to the confusion in Karan’s mind— when she meets Ranbir after her first encounter with him”

    Come on, she was just a hottie shayara, that’s why she got no respect in the shayar circles lol


    • So what is the motivation behind making her a poetess? Just so she could spout some lines? If she were just an older seductress or a bored housewife [which of course she is] how does it take away anything from the story? After all all that Ranbir was looking for was someone who he could prove was ‘hotter’ than Anushka and more beddable..


  5. ADHM
    First and foremost, this is not a blockbuster
    If somebody is expecting a YJHD, I would recommend them to skip it as this is not a frothy romance with dances,costumes, pretty women or feel good factor.
    This is somewhat darker and appeals to different senses ( for those who have them )
    It is about unrequited love or ek tarfa pyaar as movie calls it.
    It is not a great film but a commendable effort- it would have been far easier to make YJHD part 2 and come up with a blockbuster but KJo chooses a different track.
    As it happens when Karan attempts this, it goes off the track. Karan is either not bold enough or talented enough to pull it off.
    But, atleast the effort is there and is commendable. What he does manage is to create some special moments and extract winning performances from the two protagonists.
    Ranbir is excellent even if he has portrayed an angst driven youngster before. Easily the best ‘actor’ to come out of the Kapoor khandan ( all four generations ) and head and shoulder above all Khans including Saif ( Ofcourse not Irfan ). Anushka is also superb and IMO, her best outing yet. Again IMHO.
    What derails the matters is the convoluted story line-SRK loves Ash who loves Ranbir who loves Anushka who loves Fawaad.
    It would have been much better to leave Ash out of the proceedings and her role as a cougar of sorts is hard to digest for many.
    I think mentioning cancer is hardly a spoiler at this point but that angle totally dumbs down the movie even if there are a couple of nice moments.
    BOwise,I expect a struggle Monday onwards.
    Again the huge overseas opening will be a face saver but is not going to sustain.
    Commercially, the silver lining is that Ranbir’s ability to open is still somewhat intact inspite of misfirings like Bombay Velvet,Besharam and Talaash. He is still a bigger pull than the other aspirants in this category like Varun and Ranveer.

    Liked by 1 person


    Thank you AnJo for a review befitting this monstrosity that is KJo. I am absolutely shocked that such a high profile director used cancer in the manner he has. He’s done it with comicising homosexuals & also erotica. Till Ranbir pulled his hat off there was a decent enough effort but I felt shocked with the last 30mins.

    Firstly everyone should know how devastating 4th stage cancer is. Living life to its max with joy/humour as film suggests and chemo is not a walk in the park. Just don’t touch the subject if you’re incapable of handling it.

    I agree this film is nothing but one unrequited love saga moving from one character to another & Ranbir / Anushka were good with a ton of chemistry, the film flows.

    But all of Kjo issues remain. First 5 mins lines from MNIK, KKHH spouted out, the same greeting of Rahul / Anjali used, interludes galore from all his films everywhere. It’s like he’s constantly trying to remind the viewer of his BB films. Why?

    The film can end early, why drag out 30 mins more of Rona Dhona & in the most dispiriting manner.

    No issues with ppl liking it, my wife cried throughout it. But instead of aping SRK ( still can’t avoid him ) he’s aping Imtiaz Ali. His grammar is shallow, depth is nowhere close.

    Take last 30mins out I’d be OK with it. All praise on leads for making it watchable.

    Ranbir is incredibly natural, his mannerisms are of young SRK or Dutt. Vulnerable & immature, goofy too but adorable actor. But please do not go down SRK path of repeating roles, get far from Kjo now.

    Personally Salim, Henry, Tony, Master nothing against you for liking the movie, I like reading your reviews but please don’t even try to justify cancer stuff it is a REAL topic that no one should be foolish about in any medium & enough for me to hate this film.


    • Wow,strong words Jay in the last para.
      Agree, KJo is hardly the person to go to for a
      Realistic portrayal of disseminated cancer and it is partly out of indifference or laziness. It is whole another can of worms that doesn’t suit his views on moviemaking. Was totally unnecessary and makes the proceedings laborious in the most unwelcome of ways.
      But, I don’t think he disrespected the disease or its sufferers or belittle their plight.
      Was just unnecessary and made it more formulaic.


      • Spoiler Alert

        Let’s just say if my best friend had cancer & was bald, I will not shave mine off to make them feel normal / happy / less sad etc. It’s ridiculing the disease. As it’s entertainment it’s glossed or waived over. But I can’t even believe censor board have allowed it. They’ve probably cut off the sexy, raunchy scenes I’d love to have seen for this alternate universe view of cancer!


        • But filmmakers handle all kinds of things badly so frequently (partition, rape, war etc etc etc) and whilst cancer might be the most sensitive topic for some, for others it might be any other issue. I don’t think cancer can somehow be deemed too important an issue to mess-up (I too have lost loved ones to this most awful illness, but if a filmmaker wants to portray it poorly that doesn’t bother me in any way).

          Also, yes Ranbir’s character’s behaviour might be interpreted as insensitive (I didn’t particularly appreciate it either), but felt his intentions were good. I think he was just trying to handle it in his own clumsy way (but in any case, a character doing something we don’t like shouldn’t reflect on the merits of the film no? Unless we don’t buy it, but in this case I found it pretty believable that he might do that)


          • In character it’s plausible to react like that. I was quite shocked and disappointed at how last 30mins was handled. That for me was the movie. You nail it, you get my praise. You f it up, I’ll be quite scathing. As Ajo said it was flippantly handled but I think as a director / writer you don’t need to go there if you can’t add a little justice to the topic.

            Maybe Anushka could have been heartbroken and hence not contact Ranbir & Ranbir helps her overcome mental trauma. I don’t know, I always feel like its ready to end but another issue is added to make sure the film is at least close to 3 hours.


        • “Let’s just say if my best friend had cancer & was bald, I will not shave mine off to make them feel normal / happy / less sad etc. It’s ridiculing the disease”

          You are completely off bro. Just read how often husbands shave of their heads when they wife gets cancer. In my office itself, I have 2 folks who did it. Maybe its a US thing which Karan picked but its very common gesture. You are way off on this at least!

          If you are not aware.. just google husbands shaving heads for wives cancer and you’ll get your answer.

          Its very easy to think Karan is imagining stuff but he can also be inspired from some real life examples.


          • As true as this maybe, I’m sure there will logical reasons for it.

            1) Not to show off in public for first time to wife ALA SURPRISE! I’m bald!
            2) they will gain sponsorships to aid the fight against cancer
            3) stage 4 cancer won’t look like a pedicure

            None of the characters even go to America or do anything remotely positive towards above 3. If it’s done once as real life experience then fine. Vast majority of time it’s a regressive pattern towards death and not a hoot!

            You really don’t need to feel the need to defend every aspect of the film. It’s not a Christopher Nolan masterpiece! You’ve liked it…leave it there. I haven’t gone to read what you liked & ripped it apart. It’s like you’re prepared to defend every aspect of this film. There’s no need! I’m not spreading my venom on twitter & ruining the films collections!

            It’s simply a foolish opportunity lost to portray a despised disease in a more effective way.

            And trust me if I google stage 4 cancer on Google Images the first few images won’t be bald people – I did it yesterday & it was nothing like that.

            Every filmmaker has the right of creative license to portray their story their way, be it via research or experiences. I respect if Karan experienced such things this way then fine. A guy like Gowariker may have documented such scenes with a process of death with such boredom and crazy research. It would have killed his film but it would be more real.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s not a Christopher Nolan masterpiece!

            How can it not be? It’s a story about unrequited love, so galactic in nature that it caused black holes in the universe. Those very black holes then made an appearance in Nolan’s Interstellar.


          • “You really don’t need to feel the need to defend every aspect of the film. It’s not a Christopher Nolan masterpiece! ”

            Lol. You are Simply over-reacting! All I said about shaving heads part as I’ve closely saw such situations in my life. I wasn’t even reacting to any of the comments or reviews. I guess healthy discussion was allowed and if you getting rattled by such a harmless example and just want only folks who didn’t like to comment in this thread. Go ahead and enjoy the orgy!


  7. Word out on the street is that ADHM is semi-autobiographical.

    Ranbir = KJo; Anushka = SRK; Aishwarya = Sidharth Malhotra

    & Fawad = Priyanka Chopra

    Take it for what it’s worth. I don’t mean it as an insult to KJo, honestly speaking. To paraphrase Pacino, it doesn’t matter if a man loves another man; the important thing is that the emotion is love, and not hate.

    Also, curiosity kills the cat. In my case, it was my time — did end up watching the film, and my take is closer to Rajen’s. Surprise, surprise!

    I can completely understand why Salim, Henry & Master love this film, and also quite clearly see why AnJo hates it so much. It is just that kind of film. Will elaborate my views later but will say this for now: KJo’s previous films haven’t aged well…people will be much kinder to this film in the long run!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Saket, I agree. My first thought was this is about KJo feelings for SRK and I believe it is very likely. And,again don’t mean it in a derogatory way. Am not sure about Sid,Priyanka angle but SRK-KJo angle seems very real.


    • For once, would give credit to KJo that his film has led to so many constructive comments/reviews and good old fashioned movie talk as opposed to endless BO wars.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To be fair to him he has managed this a lot. Because in an attempt to touch ‘touchy’ subjects he either impresses some or brings venom from others. He’s a personality for sure like David Beckham. Either love him or loathe him but can’t ignore him.


      • I suspect film will be safe. By that I mean economically it’s safe but it will get a respectable total. I’ve never said he does not have a fanbase. In UK he is still huge. However I doubt people will view this better as it ages as Saket said. I think far superior directors can make similar films more authentic and truer & this will be left behind. Already I feel Tamasha is a far superior film. Unrequited love is not a TOPIC itself.

        Most love stories carry this arc. Gauri feels it in Lagaan. Priety in DCH. Saif / Priety in KHNH. Abhishek / Priety in KANK. So many films. Johars just attempted a whole film round the gimmick. Love at first sight is generally a notion in Salman films. Because far greater things need detailing and time like an item song or action sequence.

        This notion that KJo has grown up? I don’t get it. He’s in his 40s anyway. He’s still a doof for me. If he was smart he could have killed Anushka off when Ranbir meets Fawad and save 30mins of my life! Or given this ‘fine detail’ talked about to cancer scenes. But he’ll always find a way to add 30mins of draining/misery to his characters whether it be Salman saying I Love You to Anjali instead of SRK or all the showdowns in K3G before everyone reconciles or Rani / SRK living in limbo for couple of years etc. Some intervention to agonise the pain further always exists. A straight answer never exists. Editing is replaced with one extra twist & another box of tissues!


        • Yes, Tamasha is definitely a superior film.

          The reason I think ADHM will have a longer shelf life is that it’s unlike any previous KJo film, at least in some respects. It’s also quite like his previous films (the cancer angle, which you’ve rightly picked on) in some respects. It’s an uneasy mix. It’s a messy film.

          There are moments that provoke thought and then KJo pulls you right out of them by almost product-placing his trademark Joharisms.

          But, in the end, it’s a messy film about two really messed up characters. Delhi Belly’s tagline comes to mind — Shit Happens, and when it does happen, the two main characters have no clue how to handle it.

          This is precisely why some people are going to hate this film…and some will end up liking it…a lot.

          This film is a lot like Rockstar. In fact, ADHM seems to be directed by Karan Imtiaz Ali Johar, so much has he imbibed from the latter that it’s no longer a simple, scorn-inducing Dharma production.

          One’s response to the whole messiness of the narrative will ultimately decide which way one’s pendulum will swing. That’s not a bad thing in my book..!


    • This is not even funny. Karan himself has revealed that its autobiographical and girls always consider him best friend and not boy friend and he once developed feelings for one of that girls and she made him her best man at the wedding. That part is autobiographical and 2nd half is story.

      Can’t believe Saket is doing this kind of pointless posts too. Sad!


      • Maybe it’s completely pointless and unreal too…that’s why I said it’s a rumor. (Word out on the street)

        Second, you didn’t take a second of your time to cry shame about a rumored piece of news about Bachchans being upset with Aishwarya for working in ADHM. So be a little sparing in your advice, bro!

        And finally, by posting that rumor, which admittedly I don’t do often (not really up to terms with Bollywood gossip; nor do I care), I wasn’t trying to be funny.

        Even if this rumor is true, like 1% true, and ADHM is a story about KJo’s unrequited love for another man (not SRK, which is the reason why I believe SRK fans would be upset), I wouldn’t want to be disrespectful about it. And I’m not, as I’ve tried to explain in subsequent paragraphs.

        The fact that you interpret my intentions in this way is a bit sad.


        • Karan Johar’s autobiography titled An Unsuitable Boy which was suppose to hit the stand in Oct this year got delayed due to ADHM-Shivaay-KRK saga and he is allegedly adding another chapter on this release and ban fiasco….

          It was publicised that he is expected to make few honest revelations about his childhood and how he was bullied by others for being different from the crowd, love, and heartbreaks.

          On the rest it’s all speculations. Pinkvilla had this Guess Who on their site recently and going by the comments which in my opinions are mostly PR of stars ( comments contain very personal info to think otherwise ) . There are all sorts of permutations and combination and one can take a pick based on the narrative one wishes to follow –

          This filmmaker fell in love with his protégé while writing the script of his latest film!

          We came across this juicy bit of blind item in a popular daily. Put on your thinking caps, and guess who is being talked about!
          It’s a love story that many cinephiles have been waiting for with bated breath. But what many don’t know is that the embattled film was written by its screenwriter when he fell in love with his protégé.

          His protégé, incorrigibly straight, in turn, fell in love with his girlfriend. The auteur’s obsession with his muse is now the stuff legends are made of: door bells ringing at 3am, the odd `tranking it’ phase even (tranquilizers for the uninitiated, darlings!) when the emotions run high, et cetera. But then again, there is nothing like unrequited love to create art. Or commerce, come to think of it.
          Any clue…!?


          • Interesting. One of the comments draws the exact same conclusions about the casting of the film. Not that it matters much. It’s just nice to know the real characters behind the plot-line.


  8. I watched ADHM and read the reviews of Salim, Anjo and comments of Saket and others who have seen the movie. I think they are all correct in this own way. This is a movie which will not be liked by all. I think KJo needs to be thanked for taking the risk.

    *spoiler alert*

    Movie is actually summation of episodes shot at different locations:

    First half episode 1: I enjoyed the Lisa Hayden track with Ranbir and Anushka, shot in London. It reminds me partially of Before Sunsrise. Ranbir and Anushka are fantastic here and direction by Kjo is top notch. 4/5

    First half episode 2: This is shot in Lucknow (originally in Pakistan but got changed to Lucknow later) and has the best moments of the movie. Ranbir is extraordinary here. Direction by Karan Johar is superb and prbably his best ever. 5/5

    Second half episode 1: This is shot in Vienna and is most idiotic and senseless espisode till the bery good climax part of this episode ending in dinner at Aishwarya’s house. The title song comes in this track and is disappointment. KJo’s direction falters here. Aishwarya is a complete miscast. SRK comes for a moment but looks odd in his unshaven look. 3/5

    Second half edpisode 2: This is a complete letdown. Shot again in london and this is where Ranbir gets to know from Fawaad that Anushka has left. From then onwards KJo choses a writing of convenience for the climax of the movie. 2/5

    Good thing about the movie is the characterisation of Ranbir and Anushka’s role. They are consistent and this ensures that the movie gets a soul. However the characterisation of Aishwarya and Fawaad goes horribly wrong.

    Overall: 3/5


  9. Great Review AnJo….
    Bilkul Faltu Film hai !! Overacting, over design, over gloss, over sex, over trying to be cool, every thing over done!!
    The title track and Bulleya are only tow redeeming feature .
    Even though she looks really hot, Anushka was irritating like hell, with her over acting.
    -0.50*/ 10.00( minus for SRK’s cameo ) lol


  10. Aside- read somewhere
    MNS + Sickular and paid Media + Ranbir +Anushka+Ash+SRK+Fuddu Khan +KJO
    could NOT beat the number of foot falls for one man- Ajay Shivay Devegan !!
    Bolo Har Har Har Har……………..


  11. Scene 1:

    Ranbir: जब में 2 साल का था तब मेरी माँ ने मुझे छोड़ दिया
    Anushka: छोड़ दिया?
    Ranbir: हाँ… वो भाग गयीं
    Anushka: भाग गयीं? Mother तो India होती है… तुम्हारी मिल्खा निकली? भाग गयीं !?

    Scene 2:

    Ranbir and Anushka are trying to recreate Chandni in the snowy mountains of France. Ranbir, who’s dressed up in leather pants and a jacket, falls down, apparently due to extreme cold.

    Anushka: Are you serious..!? मैंने साड़ी पहन रखी है! (points to her almost transparent Saree; Lifts him up and takes him to the warm confines of a cabin)

    Scene 3:

    Ranbir, who has a high opinion of his own singing talent, sings गाता रहे मेरा दिल to Anushka

    Anushka: सुर लगाने को गाना नहीं कहते
    Ranbir: हाँ, तुम तो बड़ी उस्ताद हो
    Anushka: Audience हैं…हक बनता है बोलने का

    Ranbir, after getting honest feedback from Anushka on his singing, sings the same song while cuddled up in his girlfriend’s (Lisa Haydon, who seduces him for his riches) arms. He’s essentially seeking validation from her.

    Ranbir: Are you feeling it?
    Lisay Haydon: Totally!

    These three scenes sum up the attitude that ADMH adopts during its fun-filled, silly and largely irreverent first half. As is usual in a Johar universe, the two lead characters come from wealthy families and they both love the tackiness associated with ‘80s Bollywood. You can see the friction right there. It’s the new inspired-by-Imtiaz Ali KJo trying to come to terms with his older, YRF-inspired self. There are many such instances where this friction resurfaces, and even reaches a melting point. Viewer discretion in judging scenes is advised!

    Having said that, I quite liked the humor in the first half.


  12. As always vigil idiot review gets it bang on!!!

    I cannot believe with all the time on hand kjo has so many mistakes and gaping holes. Since the movie release there are so many write up on the cinematic liberties and drama license kjo took to accomplish adhm.

    Someone said in ADHM, Anushka Sharma calls a woman ‘Darindi Vaishya’ for her choice of clothes and movie is riddled with horribly sexist stuff – what happened to Anushka so called principles ???

    Also Ranbir and Anushka get off a private jet in Paris for a weekend getaway. Two minutes later they discuss how they can’t afford the mini bar.

    Here is another one –

    What Are Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s Women Smoking In The Film? No, Seriously! How dare you? Tumhe koi haq nahi banta ke tum itni stupid lago!

    “…….I was slightly worried about Aishwarya Rai being Umrao Jaan, the LBD version and going all ‘adaab, janab’ on a punk boyfriend. But I then thought, who doesn’t need to be a little high to deal with a boyfriend on rebound? Especially if he is climbing skywalks and invading garages to sing Hindi songs in some European country?

    So off she goes at the boy, who turns out to be the single biggest threat facing the world after Donald Trump — a sloppy kisser! Now what would a smart human being do? Stop. Curse his/her luck. Tell yourself that God’s never fair to you and head out. Right? But, good lord, Alizeh doesn’t leave. Instead, she indulges in some chit chat and takes said lousy kisser out to spend the rest of the night partying. At this point, I am thinking, who knows, she wants the Nobel Peace Prize someday maybe.

    With absolutely no provocation from Lisa, Alizeh quite unsubtly hints that the former is a gold digging prostitute who is out to snare rich men. Myaaaan, ’twas litrully sooo coool that my coffee, you know, froze and turned into a frappe that very moment! Soon, the women throw wine at each other because who said women who drink are civil and intelligent people who know better, naa? #SanskaarGayiWineLene

    Ayan, again, like a proper bro, continues to have sex with Lisa but doesn’t bat an eyelid when Alizeh relentlessly insults that very woman. Because, you know, Ae Balls Hai Mushkil… Sorry, dil, that was, dil.

    However, the said mushkil-some balls and dil, have trouble bro-ing between Ayan and Alizeh, new BFFs in town. So Alizeh, who called Lisa a gold digger, hops on to BFF’s private jet and flies off to Paris. That’s stretching friendzone too far, you say? Nahin stupid! He is her best friend yaaaa!….”

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is exactly what I meant when I said- it tries to be too cool and the Super hot Anushka comes across as irritating !!
      Lekinn Raja Sens of the world ignore all these cinematic liberties kyonkee Kjo hai Kabil, koi nahee mushkil !!


    • The vigil idiot, unfortunately, does not get it bang on. The comic strips, while funny, emphasize that we ought to be rooting for losers. And what they are caught doing is hypocritical.

      The lead characters are muddled up, can even call them losers — but we are not supposed to root for them. They are what they are — juvenile, stupid, hypocritical, pigheaded — but they deserve their own story. One might not empathize with them, and that’s fine, but to judge them (and their actions) through the prism of conventional heroism, or what stands for it, is wrong.


    • Add to the above list of F ups AnJo’s brilliant take from his review-
      In the scene when Ayan meets Saba for the first time, he plays a ‘same-pinch’ scenario with her. Forget somebody Aishwarya-like, I haven’t even had a chance to pinch an over-blown TSA agent at airports! [My luck has been restricted to being ‘padded’, and unfortunately, by men!].


  13. Actually my comment with those links has more to do with Anushka than anyone else. I have posted various links since movie release on Anushka’s twitter feed. I don’t know if you are aware of Anushka’s public stance and how principled she is with her choices and movies. She made numerous interviews on why she made this and that change in Sultan or refused to mouth dialogues and the impact it would have on other women who look upto to her. She told Anupama Chopra how she never allows flippant dialogues and songs lyrics to go past her. There is a video of her refusing ali zafar to change lyrics of baby ko bass pasand hai…….

    So why agree to Kjo to bully you to mouth all these lines? It shows her hypocritical character just like she choses to be with a very public ma bahen abusing Virat Kohli where supposedly she abhors such character ……

    I need to dig those old interviews but here is a recent one during ADHM –

    Anushka Sharma: I am ambitious, but I have principles. I don’t believe dhande mein sab kuch chalta hai

    “Are you fiercely ambitious?
    I’m ambitious, but I have principles when it comes to my ambition. I don’t believe that dhande me sab kuch chalta hai. I’m not that type. I’m not someone who thinks that you can be anything, do anything and say anything because you need to get your work done. I have certain principles and a value system which I cannot compromise on…”


    • I have 0% interest in Anushka, the person. What she does, what she says, whether she’s a hypocrite or a saint, it ultimately does not add up in her performances.

      I’d choose to be mad at her if she’s a bad performer.


  14. That’s largely true but it’s very rare one enters a theater with such objectivity. …there is some sort of personal anecdotal data attached to each actor / star / director which they also try to recreate prior a movie release as part of the pre-release buzz and gives out these interviews to entice the audience to watch his /her movies.
    Critical analysis of the performance can follow and audience can judge that later.


  15. For guys interested in Ayan’s (Ranbir) playlist in the movie – “Jolly Good Bollywood,” It is available on Saavn app or even online. Songs include Chandni, Maqsad, Himmatwala etc.


  16. On BR’s blog, I have been accused of being anti-women by the ‘liberal’ folks because of a sentence I wrote accusing Karan Johar of making Aishwarya’s character dance like a ‘stripper’ in the scene where she meets Ayan after 3’s my response to that..

    OK. I am addressing this to you ONLY – and some sane minds. I knew the sentence would be taken in the wrong ‘anti-libretti’ format: And that’s why I wrote 2 sentences after that mentioning that I am talking about the confusions in Karan’s mind with regard to what he wants to convey. It’s already established that Saba is a devastatingly-beautiful woman who has a mind of her own. She can have a life or life-style of whatever she wants. She can have whatever sex life she wants and she can be a cougar or a nymphomaniac –should I write down here a couple more sentences mentioning that men can be considered or labeled ‘womanizers’ and in my dictionary, it is as judgmental or as bad as mentioning women as ‘gold-diggers’ or character-less? To be safe, let me write this, else with the fantastic deductive logic that ‘understands’ that only strippers can dance like ‘that’ or enter clubs, I might start facing lawsuits – or whoever or whatever the hell she wants to be. That’s not the point here is it? My concern is with what Karan’s trying to convey something and what he is actually showing? Ayan calls up Saba after 3 months and Saba is already flirting with him: The message is out there. She is ready to take it further with him. Ayan knows it, and Saba is bloody well ready. What does she say? : ‘Hey, I am the one who’s getting impatient that I am not getting the call from you’: Booty call or a facial call or whatever the hell is considered ‘modern’ and represents a , you know, ‘liberal’ attitude. Mr. Ayan’s cheeks – butt or facial — blush. AFTER this, Karan films a scene in a club where Saba asks, with her fingers, to shut his pie-hole [oh right, and he Apple maps her from her eyes to her breasts! Go figure..] and get on with the action. Really, was this needed? After that phone call? After a ‘painting’ of a woman answers your call with the ubiquitous message of, ‘I am the one missing you.!!’ The reason and the language I used of making Saba dance like a ‘stripper’ was the ‘bludgeoning’ of gloss and glamor that Karan’s immature mind refuses to let go. And this reaction came from me after witnessing a ‘series’ of scenes that hammer you underlining the fact that the characters in this film are 0.1% of the real people you might meet in your life: I have GOTTEN that: Silent music clubs, arranging for a plane to be flown to Heathrow at 2 am in the morning from Paris or wherever the hell those 2 decide to get drunk. I get it: I GOT IT. You are either Ambani’s or Mittal’s child. You still need to beat my senses to death with even a ‘SHAAYARA’ being a ‘hot’ and a ‘cool’ woman at the same time? I hope I have answered the reasoning behind the ‘shameful’ sentence of Saba dancing like a ‘stripper.’ Maybe I am a poor writer, I will work on improving that, but I hope you got the ‘fakery’ that forced me to write that sentence.

    Coming to the fact that he made Saba a SHAAYARA, what’s the purpose? OK, I get that Ayan uses her couplets in his songs. What does the title song, ADHM, however, have to do with Saba’s couplets? DID she write those lines? No she couldn’t, since there is no pining for a lover from her side! She’s moved on! How could she write about ‘unrequited’ love? How do you explain, in Saba’s life-style and her experiences, this line?
    जुनून है मेरा, बनूँ मैं तेरे काबिल
    It’s my obsession that I become capable and deserving of you;
    तेरे बिना गुज़ारा, आए दिल है मुश्किल
    Difficult for my heart to lead a life without you;
    It’s explainable in Ayan’s context. How’s it explainable in Saba’s context, if that’s where he’s deriving his lines from?
    OK, as I mentioned before, it is a ‘series’ of cinematic scenes that, as they say, was the last straw to break the camel’s back. The last straw was actually Karan’s depiction that reduced cancer to a joke: But I will leave it at that since I was literally puking at that point.
    From Anushka and her Doctor fiancée’s liberal usage of ‘Urdu’ in UK to the ‘itemized’ depiction of Lisa Haydon’s character, Karan’s ‘fakery’ is at display at large here. [It’s pretty clear here that KJo was targeting the Muslim population in the Middle-east as well as the Muslim NRIs – that’s why it sounds so weird the sudden shift from Lahore or Karachi [& I don’t blame him for that, maybe it’s MSN pressure-tactics] or wherever to Lucknow, INDIA: वालिद, वल्दा from a ‘Lucknowi’ doctor who doesn’t hesitate to make-out in the men’s bathroom; what was he moaning about when Lisa’s hands were on his privates? ‘Oh MERE वालिद, वल्दा, खुदा?? Just curious.. since KJo is such a honest and ‘stereo-type’ breaking film-maker ]. Pray, coming to the national award that Karan’s being online-bestowed upon for ‘breaking’ the stereo-type of a शायरा who writes but who wears torn jeans and goes clubbing or has a house that the Ambanis’ Antilla would be jealous of, shall we consider what Alizeh’s character calls Lisa’s character? A ‘दरिंदे वैश्या – a despicable whore [these days, one’s got to spell-out or translate everything, else, one runs the risk of being labeled a ‘regionalist.’ This doesn’t mean you don’t understand Hindi or Urdu; you know, it’s just me trying to be safe {what if the ‘South-Indians’ call me anti-south, just as BR Saab tried to be safe against MNS ransom of 5 crore?’}] Really, that’ s all in fun eh? Calling Lisa’s character a ‘gold-digger’ and a whore and not just a whore, but a peanut-brained whore! That’s fine. That’s all in the ‘flow’ of the film: Hey that’s just mocking ‘tacky’ Balaji tele-films’ production and the ‘80s’! And, it’s a woman calling another woman a whore! God forbid a man would utter that word..

    ADHM is as though Johar took SRK, Alia, Ranbir, Aishwarya, Anushka, and that irreproducible cross-border talent in his private jet and landed them on Imtiaz’s helipad and told them, ‘Hey, have fun folks, but in a KJo way’!

    It’s a KJo barbecue-party all the way with liberal, borrowed, copied dosages of barbecue sauce being brushed onto KJo’s hatchlings.
    This is a film-maker who made Senator Obama the President of the US during Katrina in 2005 in New Orleans to fit his attempt at projecting SRK as a fine actor in MNIK: And this film-maker, today, is considered a ‘stereo-type’ breaker because Saba is portrayed as someone who is not Manto’s better-half in spirit or physicality and who can let her hair down in a night-club.. Next on Johar’s list? A Tibetan monk who drinks Old Monk and dances in a night-club in Lower Parel..or better yet, in Vienna, you know, just to let his hair-down [whether he has hair or not] and take a break from the Chinese oppression..

    Talking of KJo’s ‘maturity’, consider the dinner-table scene housing Ayan, Sabah, and Alizeh from ADHM derived from KANK…of course, that it is childish to consider Aishwarya’s gaze to be as mesmeric or powerful as her father-in-law’s would be idiotic.. but what would life be without them..ADHM..

    I could maybe even have warmed up to this film if Imtiaz hadn’t existed in this universe..But having seen Ali’s superior takes on such subjects, it’s stunning that folks are seeing ‘originality’ in here..
    I actually decided I was wrong..I decided to watch it again [Oh God the pains you subject me to in the name of cinema..watching a Karan Johar movie a THEATER..on a bitter cold night on the East coast..] I had a couple of swags of whiskey just so that,, you know,, I could feel the pain of the pot crushing my chest..[no not the breasts like Lisa’s, since I unfortunately do not have them]. After all, how could I, who cried copiously when SRK lifted a placard in that fake film called MNIK crying out, ‘CAN REPAIR ANYTHING,’ not be moved, if not to tears, at least sniffles, at this SO-BO’s home-grown kid?? It didn’t help, the whiskey made it far clearer that this is far more insincere film attempt…


    • I give Kjo this. He has created a movie (!) again that straddles both positive and negative takes. Very few directors do this. I’d probably watch this again one day & delete last 30mins.


    • There are some very juvenile, childish personalities on BR blogs (P) who would manipulate someone’s writing and read it in the way they want to read it, twist it, in turn get/feel hurt accusing you of victimising them and pout-sulk and become cry baby, incessant attention seeking behaviour on display. I think they all deliberately ganged up on you. I don’t think they are worthy of your attention. I don’t think you should have gone thru’ ultimate act of masochism, namely watch it again in theater!! I cannot bring myself to think even about watching it on dvd or watching it even if I was paid to do so! I have no interest in ultimately insipid plot lines of triangles that kjo or imtiaz makes. I am not even sure why or how imtiaz’s movies are great forget kjo. I still wonder why a personality of Ash would do such a movie. Anushka, Ash, Ranbir (in that order) drive me crazy with their dialogue delivery. cringe worthy 😦
      I am wonder how a person like BR got impressed by such a movie. I think he is just trying to increase footfalls on his blogsite.


      • LOL..Di no machismo there..I have done it before too..Satyam forced me to watch D3 twice!!

        I genuinely felt maybe I was watching with blinkers on for ADMH or just not getting it..realized my first instinct was true and the response didn’t change..

        About Imtiaz, I have seen a lot of growth in him as a film-maker since his TV days and JWM days..and that has impressed me..So far, he has been able to stay away from pretensions..Maybe his weakest was LAK post his JWM days…


  17. Munna – you may relate with this piece !

    Dear Bollywood, We Desperately Need to Unsee ‘DDLJ’ and ‘KKHH’

    “This isn’t yet another piece about Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ( because God knows we don’t need one more). This is an alarmist piece on how Hindi cinema is in imminent danger of never being able to make an iconic love story ever again (actually right now, I would even settle for a decent rom com).

    Can you remember the last love story in the last five years that made you a little giddy or made you smile all silly? I can’t and I am seriously perturbed (I would have said ‘worried but ‘perturbed’ adds more nuance so there)

    Let us start with the basics. Why do good love stories work? Because they give you two characters who make you invest in their lives and their feelings. At end of the tale, their union gives you a great deal of happiness or their separation/death gives you that slightly hollow feeling in the pit of your tummy.

    For THAT level of emotional investment, the story then as my mum would say needs to have Dum ( not to be mistaken with the Vivek Oberoi – Dia Mirza starrer of the same name from a prehistoric era). And it is precisely this Dum which has gone out of our storytelling…”


  18. The last time I connected with innocence in a love story ( not the movie in whole as such ) was Eega. This had remnants of Ghajini love angle too which was again first rate and Asin was love at first sight. Eega had Samantha and I wish she did Hindi movies…..

    But both cases were beautifully portrayed and very well done and one immediately started to root for the two characters.


  19. From BR’s blog..


    @ MANk:
    I bow before before you for explaining far, far better than I could ever dream of with regard to the problems I had with this ‘sham’ of a Karan Johar film. Thank you. I know you are kinder than me and the film worked better for you than for me. But am grateful to you for positing so finely what I have been complaining about, obviously, in a failed manner here..

    With regard to the dishonesty of KJo and his ilk trying to usurp Imtiaz’s territory and the lack of obvious ‘truthfulness’ – not realism — that’s the fundamental problem I have had with this film: And that’s why I decided to watch this movie, once when not drunk, and once when I was drunk..The sham was crystal-clear to me..especially post-Imtiaz’s works..
    I wanted to write EXACTLY the same thing you wrote about TAMASHA and Imtiaz’s conceit..but you did a fantastically better job at that… and thank you for sparing me the time..

    @ Anu:
    Apologize if you felt I was ‘hyper-ventilating.’ With Karan Johar’s films, just tea-bags don’t do the work, you need real stuff..It was condescending to me, but fine, it was at least not as insulting as ‘only strippers visit night clubs’ am grateful to you for that..
    And I hope it’s quite clear by now what my complaints about this film or the ‘stripper’ line is..the ‘aesthetics’ of a Karan Johar film versus the societal consumptions of a woman who’s not afraid or shy of her sexuality; of a woman who has her own mind.
    I am still not clear as to who you think wrote the lyrics for the title song, Sabah or Ayan..yes, it’s quite clear that he has endured pain by that time..still doesn’t explain.. well, I will let it go.. after all, this is a ‘mature’ film where Alizeh and Ayan take a private jet to Paris or where-ever and Alizeh still admonishes Ayan not to indulge in the mini-bar since it ‘costs.’…

    And the reason I was so ‘defensive’ about my explanations was the tendency I observed — especially since May 2014, about ‘boxing’ in people, especially from the broad-minded liberals..I don’t have any degree in anthropology or women’s studies..but I have my bloody basics right..and i know to respect women and their choices: .there, I said that..

    The greatest laugh for Karan Johar — apart from laughing all the way to the bank — is the fact that an ‘academic’ critic like BR Saab’s post got around 200+ comments..

    There’s a difference between the ‘cultural appropriations’ that BR Saab talks about and this sham that’s ADHM..
    AGNEEPATH owes much to DEEWAR; it’s a modern DEEWAR, but what Mukul Anand brought to it was a fantastic originality in terms of the wedding of technology with the rich Ja-Salim-Javed masala of the ’70s. DEEWAR owes its roots to GANGA JAMUNA as well as to Brando’s ON THE WATERFRONT; But you see the difference here honest film-making? Please watch — and I am not being condescending to you or anybody by alluding that you haven’t watched — each film on its own merits and decide for yourself, with the same thread binding all the 4 films, why as an audience, you come out richer each time…

    I rest my case here; wouldn’t like to accord the mature KJo more honor..

    I will wait for the next ‘most personal film’ of Aditya Chopra — you know, the film where he had a personal chat with his dead father Yash Chopra — on Dec 9th where one of the most personal scenes could be the one where Vaani robs a mannequin of his underwear or where Mr. Ranveer decides to walk into a party of fully-suited men and women with a red undie..

    I rest my case here; for folks who found ‘maturity’ in this film, very happy for you, for folks who didn’t, well, better luck next time.. perhaps you need to beat your chest a couple more times with a tulsi pot…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s