Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Information

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil () is a 2016 Indian romantic drama film written and directed by Karan Johar. It features Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles and tells the story of unrequited love. It was released on 28 October 2016 during the Diwali festival.

The film earned worldwide against a budget of . At the 62nd Filmfare Awards, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil received nine nominations, including Best Director for Johar, and won four awards for its soundtrack.


In London, a chance meeting between Ayan Sanger (Ranbir Kapoor) and Alizeh Khan (Anushka Sharma) ends up with them kissing instinctively. They spend the night together knowing about each other and become close. Later, when they discover their respective partners are cheating on them they break up with their lovers, Lisa D'Souza (Lisa Haydon) and Dr. Faisal Khan(Imran Abbas), the two go to Paris to spend a week together. While Ayan falls in love with Alizeh, she considers him to be only a friend. One day, Alizeh stumbles upon DJ Ali (Fawad Khan) her ex-boyfriend, who wants to reconcile. Confused, Alizeh stops hanging out with Ayan and they cease communication. A few days later, Alizeh calls and invites Ayan to her wedding with Ali in Lucknow. Ayan is petrified on hearing this but agrees to the invitation. At the wedding, he tells Alizeh he loves her but she rejects his feelings causing Ayan to leave the ceremony heartbroken.

At the airport to board a flight to Frankfurt, Ayan meets Saba (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), a poetess, who is leaving for Vienna. She consoles Ayan and gives him a note with her poetry and number on it. Ayan calls after three months stating that he is in Vienna and wants to meet her. Saba meets him at a disco and they end up sleeping together. Ayan learns that Saba is divorced and has no place for love in her heart. Ayan also meets Saba's ex-husband, Tahir Taliyar Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) in a gallery, who tells him that one sided love is not a weakness but empowering. Ayan who had blocked Alizeh from everywhere, finally calls and reconnects with her. Ayan begins to send pictures of Saba to Alizeh to induce jealousy. One day Alizeh informs Ayan that she's coming to Vienna and wants to meet him. Ayan invites her for dinner, but Alizeh thinks Ayan has found love in Saba and is happy for him. Meanwhile, Saba begins to develop feelings for Ayan, but he loves Alizeh. Seeing his love for Alizeh, Saba leaves Ayan.

Ayan continues to harbour love for Alizeh and becomes a famous singer. He meets Ali one day and realises that they have parted ways. Ayan goes to Alizeh's favourite point and waits there until she arrives.

Alizeh tells Ayan that she is diagnosed with cancer stage IV and will not live much longer. Ayan and Alizeh try to make the best of their time together. Ayan tries to make Alizeh love him, to no avail. This leads to a fight between the two, and Alizeh decides to leave Ayan. Eventually, Ayan makes peace with the fact that he and Alizeh can at best be friends and nothing more. The screen blacks out and goes back to the beginning where Ayan, still a popular singer, is giving an interview based on the love of his life. Ayan sings the song "Channa Mereya" which is inspired by Alizeh, then finishes the interview.


  • Ranbir Kapoor as Ayan Sengar
  • Anushka Sharma as Alizeh Khan
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Saba Taliyar Khan
  • Fawad Khan as DJ Ali
  • Imran Abbas as Dr. Faisal Khan
  • Lisa Hayden as Lisa D'Souza
  • Shah Rukh Khan as Tahir Taliyar Khan (cameo)
  • Alia Bhatt as DJ in "The Breakup Song" (cameo)
  • Neha Dhupia as the Reporter (voice)



The film was first announced in November 2014. Writer-director Karan Johar said that for the past year and a half, he had been developing a story that he needed to work on for several months. However, while he was in New York, the idea for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil came to him and he wrote the screenplay in 30 days. When he came back to India, he spoke to the three lead actors and they all signed on immediately. Johar stated that he was motivated to cast Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in the film after getting to know them by acting with them in Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet (2015). He added that he was excited to cast Aishwarya Rai Bachchan after several unsuccessful attempts to cast her in his previous films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001), and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006).

Actor Fawad Khan was cast to play a role of a DJ, describing his role as "not exactly a cameo but it becomes a backbone for a certain conflict of a character in the movie." Lisa Haydon has also confirmed that she will appear in the film. In September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival, Johar confirmed that Shah Rukh Khan had also filmed a scene for the movie. In October 2016, he confirmed that Alia Bhatt would also make a cameo appearance in the film.

On 6 February at the India Conference at Harvard, Johar revealed that in the film Ranbir Kapoor plays the character of a Hindu boy named Ayan and Anushka Sharma plays a Muslim girl named Alizeh. The two leading female characters were originally supposed to be Pakistani women. However, Karan Johar decided to change the female characters to Indian Muslims to avoid further trouble after the film ran into controversy over the casting of a Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.


Principal photography began in September 2015 with Kapoor and Sharma in London. At the end of September, the team filmed some portions in Paris. In October, they began shooting in various locations in Austria, including the city of Vienna. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan joined the crew in Vienna in mid-October after the release of her film Jazbaa. In March 2016, Kapoor, Sharma, and Khan were seen filming in Mandawa, Rajasthan. In July 2016, Johar tweeted a photo of Kapoor and Sharma on set in Mumbai for the last schedule.


Screening issue

On 8 October 2016, Indian political party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), proclaimed that they would not allow the release of the film, following nationwide protests surrounding the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 18 September 2016 and the decision by Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India preventing the release of films with Pakistani actors in four states - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Goa. Citing the casting of Pakistani actor, Fawad Khan, in the film, the MNS warned theater owners around the country to not screen the film, threatening them with vandalism. Announcing that security will be tightened at theaters along with sufficient police protection, Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, commented on the issue, saying, "Anyone found taking the law into their hands will be dealt with firmly." He also informed that 12 MNS members were sent to judicial custody after they barged into a Mumbai theater and held a protest on 19 October 2016.

Commenting on the ruckus behind his film's release, director Karan Johar said that the circumstances in which the film was filmed in 2015 were completely different. "Going forward, I would like to say that of course, I will not engage with talent from the neighbouring country, given the circumstance. But with that same energy, I beseech you to know one thing - that over 300 people in my Indian crew have put their blood, sweat, and tears into making my film, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. I don't think it's fair for them to face any kind of turbulence on account of other fellow Indians," he further added in a video statement. He was heavily criticized by news and social media for buckling under pressure. However, people from the film fraternity like Mukesh Bhatt and Shyam Benegal supported Johar and his film, and requested the people to consider the film and its release without giving importance to the actors' nationalities.

On 20 October 2016, filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt said that his discussion with Union home minister, Rajnath Singh, had been consequential, and affirmed that the film will be screened throughout the country without any violence. However, he promised that he would not make any more films with Pakistani actors.

Box office

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was made on a total budget of over 100 crore ($15 million), including marketing and distribution costs. Prior to its release, the film had already recouped 75 crore ($11.2 million) from music, satellite and digital rights, so it needed to recover only 25 crore ($3.7 million) from the domestic box office. Worldwide, the film earned ?90.84 crore ($13.6 million) on its opening weekend, while ComScore reported an estimated $12.8 million from 14 markets. As of November, it has made $21.3 million worldwide.

In India, its domestic market, the film had to compete with Shivaay which was released on the same day during the lucrative Diwali weekend. On its opening day the film made 13.30 crore, the third biggest for both Kapoor and Sharma, and the sixth biggest for a Bollywood film of the year. Through its opening weekend, It scored a debut of 35.60 crore ($5.3 million) net in its three days on 3,200 screens, equating to a gross 49.84 crore ($7.65 million), the ninth-biggest debut of the year and the best ever debut for Johar, beating My Name is Khan ?31.50 crore ($4.7 million). On Monday, it saw a hike in ticket sales, earning 17.75 crore ($2.65 million) due to holiday. In its first full week, the film earned ?80.19 crore ($12 million) in India alone and $20.2 million worldwide. The film continued to dominate the box office in its second weekend, earning $3.2 million from 2,000 screens (?1,200 screens). In just 10 days, the film earned 97.17 crore ($14.6 million) net and has become the sixth highest-grossing Bollywood film in the country. Moreover, the film now ranks as the highest-earner for Aishwarya, beating Dhoom 2s 82.30 crore ($12.3 million) in 2006; the fourth biggest for Anushka as well as for Ranbir.

In the United Kingdom, it recorded the biggest Bollywood opening of the year with ?4.88 crore ($772,891), debuting at eighth place at the U.K. box office. However, this is inclusive of previews. Including previews, Sultan would be the clear winner with a $1.3 million debut in July. But excluding previews, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is ahead of the former. In the United States and Canada, the film received a limited release across 302 theaters and grossed 14 crore ($2.13 million) in its opening weekend finishing in tenth place.

By the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed 160.69 crore in India and total 237.56 crore worldwide.

Critical reception

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 58% score based on twelve critic reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 40 out of 100, based on four critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

Bollywood Hungama gave 4/5 ratings and commented, "a contemporary and a progressive take on relationships from the master story teller Karan Johar".

Raja Sen and Sukanya Verma of respectively rated 4/5 and 3.5/5 and said, "Thank you, Karan Johar for this film feels like a sob. Johar has improved massively as a storyteller, this film is more polished and assured than anything he's done before." and, "As evident by his body of work, Karan Johar has a sweet spot for this attribute, in the splendidly romantic and richly satisfying ADHM."

Nihit Bhave of The Times of India rated 3.5/5 and said, "a beautiful-looking film that isn't bereft of logic".

Subhash K. Jha of Deccan Chronicle rated 2.5/5 and said, "ADHM is one good looking film with actors who epitomise human beauty." Sweta Kaushal of Hindustan Times rated 2.5/5, saying "ADHM offers little in terms of story and fails to get the audience empathise or feel for the characters and events in the movie."

Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express rated 2/5 and said, "Johar is unable to go the extra mile, hope that Johar will come up with something newer and sharper the next time around." Mike McCahill of The Guardian rated 2/5 and said, "Despite controversy over the casting, Karan Johar's romance, has a failure of nerve about Hindu-Muslim relations."

The Hindu commented, "ADHM is the latest in the brand of cinema that isn't so much as plot driven as it is focused on characters, relationships and interactions."

Reuters commented, "ADHM has neither gravitas nor the charm to be worth remembering."


The film's soundtrack was released on 26 October 2016 by Sony Music India. The film had five initial promotional singles released from the soundtrack. Audio Jukebox was released at YouTube on 2 November 2016.

Pritam received the Best Music Director distinction at the 62nd Filmfare Awards, while Arijit Singh won the "Best Playback Singer Award" for the title song of the film. Amitabh Bhattacharya won Best Lyricist" Award for "Channa Mereya".

Track listing

The reprised versions of songs "Bulleya", "Channa Mereya" and "Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo" were released separately in the deluxe edition of the album, but not added in soundtrack album. However, the latter of these, which is written by Fayyaz Hashmi and was originally composed by Sohail Rana, was recreated and featured in the film too.


Award Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
Filmfare Awards 14 January 2017 Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Music Director
Best Lyricist for "Channa Mereya"
Best Playback Singer - Male for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
for "Bulleya"
RD Burman Award for New Music Talent
Best Playback Singer - Female for "The Breakup Song"
Screen Awards 4 December 2016 Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Music Director
Best Male Playback for "Bulleya"
Best Lyricist for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
Stardust Awards 20 December 2016 Best Film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress (also for Sultan)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)
Best Costume Design Manish Malhotra, Anaita Shroff Adajania and Samidha Wangnoo
Best Music Album Sony Music India
Best Music Director
Best Lyricist for "Channa Mereya"
for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
Best Playback Singer (Male) for "Channa Mereya"
for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
Best Playback Singer (Female) for "The Breakup Song"
Mirchi Music Awards 18 February 2017 Song of the Year "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (song)"
"Channa Mereya"
"Channa Mereya (Unplugged)"
Album of the Year Pritam and Amitabh Bhattacharya
Male Vocalist of the Year Amit Mishra for "Bulleya"
Arijit Singh for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
Arijit Singh for "Channa Mereya"
Female Vocalist of the Year Jonita Gandhi for ""The Breakup Song""
Shilpa Rao for "Bulleya"
Music Composer of the Year Pritam for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
Pritam for "Bulleya"
Pritam for "Channa Mereya"
Lyricist of the Year Amitabh Bhattacharya for "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil"
Amitabh Bhattacharya for "Bulleya"
Amitabh Bhattacharya for "Channa Mereya"
Best Song Engineer (Recording & Mixing) Shadab Rayeen, Sunny M.R. & Ashwin Kulkarni for "Bulleya"
Best Background Score Pritam

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