Bollywood’s big Diwali release examines love and friendship among the beautiful and super-rich elite in urban India. Fans of Hindi cinema’s biggest director Karan Johar’s candyfloss melodramas will not be disappointed. We know what to expect: exotic locations (London, Paris, Vienna), catchy tunes, big emotions, flowery dialogue, fabulous costumes and, of course, a ‘sometimes happy, sometimes sad’ climax.
Uptight Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) falls for carefree Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) when they meet in a London bar and sing a couple of cheesy ’80s Bollywood tracks. Alas, Ayan’s love is unrequited: Alizeh still has the hots for her ex Ali (Fawad Khan). Ayan then starts a torrid affair with divorcee Saba (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), who teaches him that friendship may be more important that love.
Johar yet again addresses the emotional dilemmas of his characters with a laughter-and-tears approach. He is aided by his four attractive leads, all seasoned performers in the genre, and who have sparkling chemistry. Non-Bollywood fans may not care about these private-jet-owning characters, and the film’s obsessive referencing of old Hindi potboilers may alienate. An unexpected twist towards the end may further infuriate some viewers, but its intended audience will love it and gleefully cry into their tissues.