Love has been quite overrated. Very underwhelming. Sometimes. It does not have enough legs to stand on, yet it professes to be around.
Friendship, on the other hand, has a definite premise and yields a lot on ground, during the playing out of the relationship.
Love suffers because of the immaturity but friendship thrives. Love asks questions of us that threaten to disturb the whole balance but friendship rarely, if ever, asks these disturbing questions. Love always speaks of this immense giving in a relationship to make it work. Friendship professes no such lofty principles.
So, why do people look to fall in love? Rankle themselves enough while knowing that a comfortable and cozy friendship is just there. Always there. Trusting. Easy and unobtrusive.
Is it the classic "wanting more" syndrome? The well injected custom of being good girl or boy and so have to marry to prove love. And belonging?
Ayan is a chap who's a bit shallow. Thoroughly spoilt and aimless, he sets his aims on simple love. Alizeh is a girl who's wanting more from every moment that she is in. But a girl who's actually defeated in love. They go through a faux friendship process that's unconvincing even for their limited worlds. And then she decides to marry her old beau. She admits to her defeat in the hands of love and walks away to a future that she thinks is sustainable.
Ayan frets the fact that he could have given her more in love and searches for love more than ever. Enter the poetess. Who teaches him the ways of amour in more ways than one. But they aren't in love. It's more the kind of teacher disciple stuff. Alizeh comes back. The teacher walks away. Ayan is left to grapple with another bout of love. This, when Alizeh tells him that they were much better off with friendship.
No one walks away easily from such abject propensities. It's foretold. We know it's coming.
Johar writes a very tough story. There aren't any pretty pictures here. I mean, cinematically there is, but the story inhabits a much gloomier space.
There are unfortunate let ups. I could not wrap my head around the Paris trip. Neither could I understand why Sabah, the poetess, wanting or clamouring for such a physical relationship. It was kind of, weird.
Anoushka and Ranbir had their great moments. But the absolute killer was the one scene Shahrukh. The compelling romantic actor in him just shone so brilliantly in that one scene that it paled all of Aishwarya's work till then effortlessly. Ah, that actor still has it. Still!
In a way, this film reminded me of Devdas. See it my way and you'll know.
Ae dil hai mushkil.