Second Take: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

With no new movies out in the cinemas for us to review, it is high time we start revisiting some of the movies we loved or loved to hate or just hated. So in this series of #SecondTake, here is revisiting one of the Karan Johar’s least liked films – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.

A very common response of most of the viewers who saw the movie was – what was wrong with the girl? How could she not love him back, despite the boy doing ‘’so much’’ for her? Perhaps that was precisely the point Karan Johar, in his (arguably) most mature work till date wanted to make. That Pyaar dosti, nahi hai!

Yes – in a way ADHM could very well be the anti-thesis of his most popular but perhaps most candy-flossed movie – Kuch Kuch hota hai. While KKHH thrived on the belief of friendship being the first step of love, and created a generation of young teenagers who could never believe that a boy and girl can be friends, ADHM tried to address this point heads on by portraying how the two feelings are completely different and one always cannot and need not transform into other. While in KKHH, the former friend falls into love very conveniently with his old friend after his wife has passed away and he has been lonely for 8 years; In ADHM the friend never falls into love with her best friend who stands by her all along through her marriage, separation and as she battles cancer. This stark difference of thoughts – that love cannot be created or felt in response to someone being there for you – but it just happens when it has to, happens when you feel it is the point that Ae Dil Hai Mushkil tries to drive home. Also that a romantic relationship is not always the happiest culmination of two people’s journey together – it can also be friendship, as it very beautifully shows – Dosti me sukoon hai, Pyaar me Junoon hai.

But of course, the dreamy tale of boy meets girl, they become friends and then fall in love with each other will always be loved more than the one where they don’t. Hence while KKHH is a national favorite and regarded a classic, ADHM could not achieve that cult status. The philosophy aside, even otherwise the movie boasted of some great music – Channa Mereya is a classic and an anthem for the rejected lovers alright; some great performances – watch out for Ranbir’s expressions in the whole sequence of Alizeh’s wedding, they are heartbreakingly real; and a great extended sizzling cameo by Aishwarya which alone was worth the ticket’s price. In today’s times when the conversations around consent and diverse gender equations have become mainstream, maybe it is a good time to re-watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil on Amazon Prime and fall in love with it!

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