I watched ADHM for the second time last night – some of you must have thought I’m crazy or extremely courageous, some must be high-fiving my inner admirer of Karan Johar and his aloof cinema.
This scenario had happened last year with Tamasha when almost half the people on my facebook timeline despised it and half couldn’t get enough of it, I am proudly in the latter half. But with ADHM I couldn’t make up my mind the first time around, I didn’t despise it in my first watch but I didn’t go gaga over it either.
After the second watch I realised what hadn’t worked for me and still doesn’t and what did, and still does –
Firstly, ADHM is Karan Johar‘s humble way of asking his haters to go fuck themselves. The film is an unapologetic indulgence in everything Karan Johar loves, stands for and is proud of. So, you’re going to see his characters quote his own films, Kal Ho Naa Na Ho and KKHH playing as the background score, dialogue ranging from ‘I don’t like jokes’ to ‘it’s the time to disco’, ‘his tribute to the tacky songs of the 80s, and of course, his tremendous love for ‘lag jaa galein’ – you name it and he’s indulged in it.
Keeping this aside (honestly, being an ardent fan of Karan Johar movies I did enjoy these moments, although they went way too overboard in the first 20 minutes.)
The actual story for me started after the dreamy Fawad Khan entered the film, for me that moment was the Inciting Incident – came wayyyy too late in the narrative.
Post this, the story headed in a direction. Ayaan’s heart broke and he found his purpose (Rockstar, I know), he meets the gorgeous Saba in the second half, played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with utmost ease and conviction, although her character had no more purpose than to make Ayaan transform from a stubborn boy to a stubborn man.
The songs are mesmerizing and some of the scenes work so well. I was reading how to analyze a scene before I went to watch ADHM the second time. I realized that the scenes that fell horribly flat had absolutely no subtext to them, for eg: every scene in the first 20 mins that were there only to show us the lavish lifestyles of rich brats and their way of having fun. But scenes like – Saba keeps turning around to see Ayaan and he thinks of Alizeh instead – that makes your heart cringe. My favourite part is the entire Channa Merya portion upto Ayaan confessing his unrequited love with extreme anger and unfulfillment.
To be honest, yes, way tooo much urdu was happening for people born and bred abroad, and all of this can’t be neglected by saying that Karan Johar wanted to indulge. It’s made for the audience too and if they don’t like the last 20 mins of the film, I understand.
But overall I had a good time. I had moments when I teared up, I had moments where I was marveling over Anushka’s luscious hair and then the lack of it. The songs and Fawad’s beard kept me asking for more.
If we spend our hard earned money over films like Dabbang and Wanted, ADHM is an honest attempt at the quintessential KJO film-making by the man himself.
I had hated SOTY, but ADHM is a winner for me! More or less, in bits and pieces.
Watch it for Niranjan Iyengar‘s dialogues saving the day. (I really genuinely feel that if it wasn’t for him, KJo wouldn’t have shown so much depth in the dialogue department)
Watch it for them beautifullll lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya and music by Pritam Chakraborty.
Watch it for Lisa Haydon‘s performance – she’s the only one who showed some variety.
But mainly watch it for Shah Rukh Khan’s deadly cameo. Uff!
If you’ve been caught in unrequited love, then give this a watch.