Karan Johar’s Ae DIl Hai Mushkil has received good reviews from critics. The film has scored an average of ‘3 stars’ from 22 reviews so far.
ADHM Review by Indicine
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil feels like a Bollywood romantic drama movie, if we have ever had one in recent years. Karan Johar does well to highlight the moments of bonding and friendship between his two young leads and then uses the lightness of those moments to trap the viewer into feeling for the characters. He is skilled at extracting emotions from every line of dialogue and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is no exception. The gripe that people can have with the movie, however, are the decisions taken by the characters, which border on stupidity. Still, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is an entertaining movie which keeps things interesting till the climax.
ADHM Review by Bollywood Hungama
Karan Johar’s films have always centred around relationships and emotions, which are woven together with larger than life opulence with music playing an integral role. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL also falls in the same space. Ever since the time the promos of AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL were out, it had only upped the curiosity of the viewers about the film. The film, in totality, is worth the audiences’ expectations. The film’s taut screenplay (Karan Johar) makes its very realistic and extremely relatable to today’s relationships. The film’s dialogues (Niranjan Iyengar, Karan Johar) are really vibrant and its situational one liners will surely find resonance with the audiences (esp. the youth). Even though there is nothing new in the basic story premise of AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL as the audiences have seen this several times in the past, what sets the movie apart from others is its screenplay and utmost maturity with which Karan Johar has treated the film. AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL, which has all the required ingredients of a typical ‘Karan Johar’ film, oozes universal appeal in abundance. The film will surely be liked by all the age groups (majorly by youth), despite its mature storyline.
ADHM Review by Sukanya Verma on Rediff
It thrills, it inspires, it heals, it hurts and it’s always dramatic. To love is to experience a constant state of flux. It’s not possible to calculate or contain this sentiment, but an inherent need to control everything we feel compels us to define it constantly. Uphill as it is, there’s something soothing about the exercise given how ill equipped and fragile we become under it grip, reciprocated or otherwise. As evident by his body of work, filmmaker Karan Johar has a sweet spot for this attribute — the rapture and anguish it prompts around individuals, how it dictates their impulses. But he accomplishes it maturely and memorably in a passionate ode to matters of the heart, as he knows it, in the splendidly romantic and richly satisfying Ae Dil Hai Mushkil . In his dazzling world, often so easy to inhabit on silver screen, love is, truly, a many splendored thing.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
There’s always something new to expect from every Karan Johar film. This time, he questions the definition of love. There is also the emphasis on one-sided love and to Johar’s credit, he handles it with maturity. He captures the friendship between Ayan and Alizeh brilliantly – without letting Ayan’s attraction for her spoil the relationship. The moments are real and the setting (London, Vienna and Paris) is filled with romance. The winter look adds to the beauty of the film. ADHM is conversational, intimate, complex and fierce in terms of its approach towards love. Ranbir Kapoor is a delight on screen, no matter what he does. From dancing to Jeetendra’s songs to doing Sunny Leone’s steps from ‘Babydoll’, he is magic on screen. When he cries in ‘Channa Mereya’, you cry with him. But ADHM belongs to Anushka Sharma who delivers her most nuanced performance. As Alizeh, her sincerity is so severe that she steals every frame she is a part of. This performance clearly establishes her as the finest actor of her generation. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks stunning and is excellent despite not having much to do. Lisa Haydon is absolutely adorable as bimbette, making you wonder why we don’t see more of her.
Review by Ananya Bhattacharya on India Today
The film is shot well. London and Paris both look gorgeous on the big screen. As do the lead actors. Karan Johar has moved out of his comfort zone for this story but this is no Bombay Talkies. He proclaims out loud that ‘Love tedha hai’, and throws in a handful of other pyaar-dosti cliches in the process. The screenplay is knit well, but you can’t invest yourself in the characters. The runtime also doesn’t help much. All the songs of the film have been on people’s lips ever since they were released, all plagiarism allegations apart. Channa Mereya and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil are both pleasant numbers. In all, watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil for the performances. And Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Fawad Khan.
Review by Suparna Sharma on Deccan Chronicle
The film is, of course, pretty. And it has pretty people — Aishwarya looks gorgeous. Fawad Khan hardly had a role. In total he is probably on screen for all of three minutes. But man, he really does light up the screen — he is drop-dead gorgeous.Anushka and Ranbir have nice, boisterous chemistry, but that’s courtesy mostly him. She’s good, of course. But he is powerful and can make your eyes well up in seconds. He carries the pain of one-sided love in his eyes, and it’s powerful.
Review by Nihit Bhave on The Times Of India
The laughter comes from genuine chemistry between the leads. The sadness comes from real consequences of heartbreak that Johar has always shied away from, but not this time. Karan, the writer, overpowers Karan, the director here. Anushka Sharma plays the most well-rounded character with abandon; she’s remarkable. Ranbir’s portrayal of the clumsy, turned-down one-sided lover is heartbreaking; his honesty comes through yet again. Seeing Aishwarya in the role of a confident seductress is a welcome change. On the downside, there’s a bizarre twist in the last 15 minutes that could have been replaced with a scene or two of good conversation, but if you have an appetite for melodrama, you might just like it.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Of the actors, Sharma comes off most familiar even when she is the one who is given a clear departure. Rai Bachchan is eye-catching as the older, experienced woman but I wish she was given more time to channel hurt. Poor Fawad Khan, over whom so much controversy broke out, is dishy but doesn’t really have much to do. Lisa Haydon comes on in a walk-on part as a ditsy girl and is a hoot. But the one who lifts this film, or as much as he can, is Ranbir. As the fellow who crumbles and cries and shoves his aching heart on his sleeve even when letting a pretty thing wipe his eyes, he is terrific. There’s a nice bro-moment between Fawad and Ranbir when the film sparks to life. And you wonder if this pair shared more screen space, would the se ‘dils’ have been in a little less ‘mushkil’ ? I’m going to think more on that, and listen to some weepy old songs, and hope that Johar will come up with something newer and sharper the next time around.
Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
The principal characters in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil are not governed by established Bollywood rom-com rules. They thrive in open, undemanding relationships, in which neither the man nor the woman calls the shots. It is the heart – and occasionally the mind – that does. The film dwells upon the many shades and purposes of amour. If one girl rues the fact that her boyfriend was her zaroorat (need) while she became only his aadat (habit), another, a more mellowed woman, is not content to be a man’s zaroorat. She aspires to be his khwaish (desire).
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
The key to engaging with the film, however, is investing in its characters. Sporting a straight-off-the-runway look Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, although saddled with clunky lines in the role of an Urdu poet, leaves a lasting impression in her limited screen time. In one particular scene, a teary confrontation, she conveys volumes with minimal lines. Anushka Sharma, playing a tricky part that could easily come off as selfish, grounds the character in sheer practicality, and does some of her best work here. It’s Ranbir Kapoor, though, who walks away with top honors, delivering a performance that doesn’t miss a beat. From comical to heartbroken to confused, his face is a canvas of complex emotions, and he makes his every moment on screen count. It’s an excellent return to form for the actor who’d been all but written off after a spate of failures recently. Despite the occasionally mawkish undertones and the blatant attempt at emotional manipulation in its final act, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil gives you a hero that makes you care. I suspect you’ll be a slobbering mess at the end of the film, a puddle of tears when the lights come back on. Johar knows how to do that. It’s a skill that’s stayed with him even if his grammar has changed.
Review by Tushar P Joshi on Bollywood Life
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s biggest flaw is the lack of chemistry between its lead pair. For a film whose protagonist experiences love and loss multiple times with different people the execution of the narrative gets lost in translation. Ayan and Alizeh start off as friends only to get caught in a web of mutually unresolved feelings. When we revisit them in the second half their track is still stuck on an endless loop. Dialogues are too heavy and sound off when used in every day conversation. Sabah being a poet can speak in that dialect but when Alizeh and Ayan start their banter it just gets repetitive. Shah Rukh’s much hyped cameo fizzles out before you take that collective sigh. The plot goes downhill once Alizeh’s terminal illness track sets in. The scenes gets heavy and that cloud of ‘been there seen that’ looms till the very end. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil has some really nice moments, but they are few and suffer the curse of a weak second half. Nevertheless watch it for Ranbir and Karan’s interpretation of love, loss and longing.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
To be fair, at heart (and there is enough heart for you to go mental), this is still a movie about real issues — whether you think they’re trivial or not is another matter. It questions the point of a relationship, when a break-up is inevitable anyway, and it hits you in the same way as a close one’s death. Why go through it, when one can be friends: “Pyar mein junoon hai. Dosti mein sukoon hai.” Corny, but true. It also makes this the sort of picture where the reactions will necessarily swing to extremes. There is already a gender like divide among audiences for this genre. I’m a sucker for good, soppy romantic comedies (there I said it!). They depend so much on the lead pair. As I said, the ones here deliver, like how. As do the other hotties on screen. Shah Rukh Khan makes a cameo by the way. As does Fawad Khan — it’s an extended cameo at best.
Review by Kunal Guha on Mumbai Mirror
Ranbir Kapoor, as an actor, has always delivered, regardless of his character’s demands, inadequacies in the script or a cat-napping director. Playing a jilted lover yet again (Rockstar, Saawariya), he tempers his character’s emotional graph with decided fervour. Anushka Sharma can’t be blamed for her Alizeh, whose character graph swings like a pendulum from overenthusiastic to subdued. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, whose svelte frame and sharp features garnered much curiosity and whistles in the trailer, makes for much more than a pretty picture. She lends a charismatic flair to her Saba and packs her Urdu one-liners with much shiddhat. Fawad Khan, who has created quite a stir recently, barely gets enough screen space to justify the storm that loomed over this release. If you’re an Arijit Singh fan, there are a lot of earworms here, the title track being the best. Extending the boundaries of his pet theme of love and friendship, Johar attempts to be Imtiaz Ali here. But in this regard, he fails miserably in drafting his character’s journey. Clearly, the most-awaited release of this year, KJo deserves no ladoos this Diwali for letting down his ardent fans. Hopefully, he will soon learn that like the heart, showbiz is also quite mushkil.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
Starting with Ranbir Kapoor who is in his comfort zone and gives a charmingly entertaining performance playing to the gallery as and when required. Anushka Sharma is outstandingly brilliant. She is absolutely riveting as Alizeh who has an opinion and is strong. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan fascinates with her beauty and delivers a mature act. SRK in a cameo is pleasing. Lisa Haydon leaves her mark. The actress seem to have the knack in standing out in brief cameos – who can forget QUEEN. Music is a major highlight and Pritam Chakraborty has winners in the title track, Bulleya, Channa Mereya, and the break up song. A true chart buster. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is a treat to the eye. And production values are top notch. Costumes in Karan Johar productions hardly go wrong. ADHM is all-good feel-good candy-floss and a nicely packaged new outing from Karan Johar but the big argument is why is Karan Johar still grappled with the temptations of repeating himself instead of forging a fresh path even after delivering the goods in MY NAME IS KHAN six years ago.
Review by IANS on Sify
By the time ADHM gets into a full-on Devdas mode, we are in no mood for tragedy. But what to do? Karan Johar won’t let his characters enjoy their self-inflicted pain without a pay-off. These people love the good life and must pay a price for it. Ranbir is adept at exhibiting designer-angst. But his feelings for the ‘heartless’ woman never rises beyond youthful desire. At heart, he remains a philistine who thinks Mohammed Rafi cried rather than sang. “Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan…”.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Review by Indiaglitz
The first half is totally interesting as well as highly entertaining. The whole Ranbir – Anushka bonding track is amusing.There are some enjoyable scenes which go perfectly with the flow and mood of the film. It’s only the songs and some enjoyable moments that keep you glued to the silver screen. Dialogues are captivating, especially in case of Anushka and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The cinematography by Anil Mehta is of top notch and matches up to the brand image of the Karan Johar style of films.
Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The second half of the movie rapidly goes the Katti Batti way and you want to run out and ask the projectionist to rewind the film to the guest appearance of Aishwarya’s husband (the man who has made outstretched arms into a love trope). Alas, the film becomes more of a mushkil than a tale of dils. Suffering from a case of ‘One-sided love’? Then rest assured, you will be cured of the affliction.
Review by Raghav Jaitly on Zeenews
‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ puts forward friendship before anything else. It will also make you realise the power of one-sided love. A classic Karan Johar film, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is the outing that your family deserves this Diwali. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and, most importantly, it will make you celebrate life.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
The two outbursts, one each by Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, hit target – they are brilliantly worded, well-timed and enacted with conviction. One expresses the helplessness of having failed after trying everything to get over, to move on, to find a moment of peace. The other is a frustrated expression of a different perspective on love. And then there is a scene with wonderfully written lines for a cameo. If only the actor had played a character and not a charismatic personality which reminds us of the real-life star who wants to pass on the “romantic hero” baton. Aishwarya Rai does femme fatale beautifully. Ranbir Kapoor holds the screen well, especially in close-ups. Something, I’ve admired Amitabh Bachchan do. Even though his pain-ridden eyes are all too familiar, they leave their impact. Again. Though there are times he goes over-the-top, something we rarely see him do. So, I’d blame the director. I absolutely love the way Anushka Sharma has grown into the roles she takes on – bringing an uncanny reality about them. Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma together too, make every bit of their relationship relatable. The ladies do goof up their diction every once in a while. And Fawad Khan’s character is almost inconsequential to convince me about the hullabaloo caused by his presence in the film.
Review by Sweta Kaushal on Hindustan Times
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil offers little in terms of story and fails to get the audience empathise or feel for the characters and events in the movie. What it does offer is brilliance in the name of Ranbir and Anushka, some awe-inspiring shots of Aishwarya and Fawad and a very beautiful canvas as it is shot at exotic locales of London and Paris.
Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who plays an alluring poetess, does what’s asked of her. Saba, her character, pouts and purrs. But her role doesn’t go beyond what you see in the trailer. Also, loving Alizeh and Ayaan wasn’t instantaneous. It takes time to warm up to them. By the time you connect to them, Johar inserts an emotionally-manipulative, tragic twist to the entire farce. Fawad Khan, who is written on the credit rolls as “special appearance” isn’t given much heft to make his role special. His love story with Alizeh, which showed immense promise, seems to have been killed unceremoniously. What went wrong between Alizeh and his character is skimmed over and leaves you wanting more.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
Johar has delivered a beautifully written film with some touching lines, melodious music and a relatable story. All those who have undergone a heartbreak or have been friendzoned by the love of their lives, will surely connect with the film. If that was not all, the film has been shot at beautiful locations with an expert eye, which makes the film a visually appealing fare too. On the flip side, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil seems to be influenced by many past films-Rockstar, Tamasha, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho and Katti Batti, which may make you feel that Johar was serving the same old wine in a sparkling new glass. Granted that Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is more mature than Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, but the mere fact that some scenes of this film reminded us of Johar’s debut, might adulterate your joy.
Review by Caitlin E. O’Conner on Bollyspice
What looks like the start of a bit cliché one-of-them-doesn’t-want-to-love Gen Y romance quickly gets a whole lot more complicated and less relatable, albeit set to an excellent soundtrack.
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