Ae Dil is classic Johar. Exotic locations, good-looking actors, decently-written characters, great music, but clumsy story. Ayan’s love for Alizeh is something I couldn’t comprehend. Why? Why is this guy in love with this overly-bubbly, yet likeable girl? His motive is not in the picture. Alizeh sticks to her guns throughout the film, making her the most well-written character. Then there’s Saba, a shaaira (female shaayar). A character tailor-made for Aishwarya Rai. DJ Ali is of vital importance to the ‘story’ but hardly does anything.
Ranbir Kapoor once again slipped into his role easily and really hit the bull’s eye with his comic timing. Aishwarya Rai was sincere despite her half-written character. So incomplete a character that it seems Johar got tired of her. Anushka Sharma is easily the best of the top-billed cast. She grabs your attention in almost all of her scenes. I really didn’t know what Fawad Khan was doing in the film and going by his performance, neither did he. Lisa Haydon stole a scene with her act and Imran Abbas was ‘also there’ (it was hilarious to watch him dance). Alia Bhatt had a cameo of a cameo. Shah Rukh Khan had one scene and owned it with his charm and dialogue. Niranjan Iyengar and Johar’s dialogues were awful. They were good in some places but seemed utterly unoriginal otherwise. There were also too many revisitations of other Dharma films. Pritam did a fine job with the music, except the opening riff of Bulleya. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics were beautiful. The editing was a little abrupt and shoddily done. Anil Mehta once again showcases his abundance of talent as a cinematographer. This is perhaps his brightest film in terms of colours. He brought the locations alive with his work. The problem lay in the story. It seemed like a half-hearted attempt at writing one. The comical bits stayed comical but the drama should have been more real and more in substance. Johar’s direction was also off the mark, though not as much as his writing. He seemed to be in many minds about scenes and the film suffered. Also, half the budget seems to have been blown on buying rights for classic songs. Wish there had been more of a time- and mind-based investment on the script.
All in all, not the worst film in the world but not a must-watch either. Basically, you might as well watch this if you can watch a Salman Khan film. Fortunately not as bad as K3G, K2H2, and SOTY.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: 2/5