Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil created a lot of anticipation as this year’s big Diwali release. It hogged a lot of limelight — some wanted and some unwanted. But, as it ran in the theatres, a few criticised it saying that it’s an ‘old wine in a new bottle.’ For others, ADHM was a concoction of Rockstar and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with references to all other Karan Johar directorials like Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Kal Ho Na Ho.
Let’s look at the bigger picture now. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil might not have fallen at par with the hype it created before its release. But, it’s not that bad either. The film talks about complexities in a relationship. It talks about celebrating life even when you know everything is going wrong all your way. It tells us that it’s completely fine if you try hard to get something and still you don’t achieve it. ADHM somewhere teaches us to make peace with our lives. Aren’t these good enough reasons to like this film or at least not ‘hate’ it? Just how many Hindi movies have talked about the situations in our relationships when we pit ourselves against our inner-self? Or fear losing a person so badly in life that we are happy to be just around that person irrespective of what relationship we share.
Yes, Bollywood has been producing love stories since time immemorial. And if you observe them closely, all of them seem connected somewhere. But should that be a reason to not like a film? What if Karan has brought yet another love story? What if he’s doing the same kind of work he has offered us before as well? Shouldn’t he deserve appreciation for doing what he does the best? And experimenting with his storytelling ways even if the larger matrix is the same?
ADHM might be a love-story where you have characters you’ve seen before — a jilted lover, a woman denying love, another woman who can’t fall in love and so. But, the essence of the film is quite different. This, Karan Johar film, is not just only about pretty faces, stunning locations and back-to-back melodies. It has got more to it. It is about being at peace with the pain in heartbreaks. And how sometimes you have to prefer taking decisions you ‘should’ over the decisions that you ‘can’ or you ‘want to.’
Never ever have we seen Karan Johar breaking his own shells of storytelling. ADHM seems like his first step in the direction. There’s no extended family drama happening in the movie. In fact, all characters in his film are completely aware about their feelings and are ready to accept what they want in their relationships. Isn’t that a kind of maturity we should look for in the characters of our romantic Hindi films?
Another quite interesting myth that Karan has broken this time is ‘Ladka-Ladki dost nahi ho sakte.’ Alizeh loves Ayaan. Ayaan loves Alizeh. But, she has friend-zoned him. He tries to change equations between them. But, finally realises that this is the beauty about their relationship. He can keep loving Alizeh. She doesn’t have problems with that. But, the fact that she refuses to be in a relationship with him is that she’s completely aware about ‘her kind’ of bond with him, is appreciable. If you don’t love a person, you don’t need to fall for that person for the sake of his/her feelings. There’s no compromise in love. And you can’t force love on yourself. Yes, the film has a dramatic ending, but a beautiful message to it. A message that requires you to read between the lines.
Love might make things easy in your life, but it’s a complex feeling in itself. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil tries to bring that complexity out. It might or might not does it successfully, but it doesn’t fail in doing that either.
“Pyaar tedha hai” and so is Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Liking ‘tedhi‘ things is not everyone’s cup of tea *wink*.