Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, ADHM, ADHM review, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil review, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma

A heartbreak is worth a few films; and who better than Karan Johar understands it.

The director’s latest attempt to address the theme of uncompromising love is refreshing in terms of style, but lags hugely in terms of originality and substance. The initial acts always force us to revisit Imtiaz Ali’s exceptional works – Love Aaj Kal, Tamasha, and Rockstar – while the the post-intermission portions appear to be recycled from Johar’s very own blockbusters from the late 90s and early 2000s.

As a result, what we get in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is a mix-bag of I-Have-Seen-It-Before-Tales. It is watchable but lacks originality.

An awkward hookup attempt between Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) and Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) leads to a narrow-lined friendship. The former is depressed about a routine fight with his girlfriend; the latter, meanwhile, appears to be full-of-life on surface, but hides deep agonies from her recent breakup.

They speak, they talk, and then they converse; and the more they converse, the better understanding they develop about each other – a premise that reminds us of Before Sunrise’s Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, albeit being fragmental. Just in this case, it is only the man who falls in love, while his counterpart consider their relationship as platonic.

Over the next 2 hours and 35 minutes runtime, we see Ayan and Alizeh protecting and attacking each other in the name of friendship and love. And the beauty with which Ranbir and Anushka play them help us believe the torments each is going through. Their performances help you invest in the journey, however cliched it may look from the outset.

There are many instances in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil that simply tugs off your heart. My personal favourite is when Ayan begs Alizeh to stay away from him; that “he can’t take it anymore”. Another one is when he admits his love for her on her wedding night.

And then there is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s poetic Saba, who appears to be the distraction Ayan truly needs, but mostly ends up being a reminder of his true innermost desires for Alizeh. Aishwarya plays her part elegantly, especially during a confrontation scene with Ranbir – simply beautiful.

Johar interweaves the conflicts perfectly and is helped by music director Pritam to raise the bar. In fact, the music works almost in line with the storytelling; it is a beautiful soundtrack, something comparable to AR Rahman’s Rockstar, minus Sufi.

Despite the awkward emotional manipulation it tries to sell, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil comes out as a flossy amalgamation of Rockstar, Kal Ho Na Ho, and 500 Days of Summer. I’m going to give it three and a half for the performances and the music. Take your handkerchiefs with you!


Ugly Perfectly Demonstrates the Concept of Inner Demons

In one of the most riveting scene from the movie, we see a father struggling to cope up with the kidnap of his daughter, while trying to file a complaint with the help of a ruthless policeman who is more interested in knowing how caller ID on smartphones displays the picture of a person calling.

In this 10-minute pitch-perfect sequence and many that follows later, director Anurag Kashyap perfectly captures the horrors of Ugly – a nail-biting tale about men’s inner demons.

We see this dark world through the deeds of too-many monsters – a failed actor (Rahul Bhatt) whose viciousness cost him his family, his suicidal and alcoholic ex-wife (Tejaswini Kolhapure) who spends most of her time at home watching TV and blaming her past, her aggressive husband (Ronit Roy) who leaves no-stone-unturned in making her life hell, and the centroid of their relationship – a blotted out, stubborn little girl – who gets kidnapped in daylight on one ill-fated day.

Adding further to the proceedings is a mischievous casting director (Vineet Kumar), an iPhone-loving crook (Sidhhant Kapoor), an opportunistic actress (Surveen Chawla), and none the less, the very same thaanedar (Girish Kulkarni)  I discussed above.

Kashyap places all these scoundrels in a glass and shakes out a plot of lies, murder and betrayal. Not for a moment you feel like shifting your eyes as you dwell into their horrors. This cocktail looks “Ugly”, but yet remains a thing to sight for.

And indeed, you expect it from the cinema of Kashyap. You want horribleness, and he delivers you right on your platter. In the meantime, he makes you smile in portions where you would be screaming in disgust. You simply experience the beast in each frame he designs for you, filled with dark setups, foul-mouthed discussions, spine-chilling background scores, black humors and some hell-of-a-realistic performances.

Ugly literally shines by taking credits for its impeccable darkness. Kudos to Kashyap who delivers yet another masterpiece. It might get unnoticed, doesn’t mean it is unnoticeable. If you are wondering to take a break from regular popcorn flicks, a good way to spend your money this week is by watching Ugly. This one is here to stay.

Rating: 4/5