T-Series Films and Vishesh Films’ Aashiqui 2 is the second film in the Aashiqui series and is the story of Rahul Jaykar (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Aarohi Shirke (Shraddha Kapoor). Rahul is a superstar singer who is on a self-destructive path. Despite fame and glory, he has gotten into the habit of consuming alcohol day and night. Producers have stopped giving him work and show organisers are wary of signing him on because of his unprofessional, unpredictable and erratic behaviour. He is also in the habit of getting into fights with people as he has become short-tempered, frustrated and irritable. His secretary, Vivek (Shaad Randhawa), has been warning him to mend his ways but his love for the bottle has made him blind to reason.
One day, he hears Aarohi singing his song in a shady bar in a small town and instantly falls in love with her voice. Promising to make her a big singing star, he brings her to Bombay where Aarohi’s poor parents live. Once in Bombay, Aarohi tries to establish contact with Rahul but is unable to do so due to some reasons. Assuming that he had fooled her, Aarohi takes up a job as a singer in another shady bar, this time in Bombay itself. But soon, Rahul traces her and clears the misunderstanding. Thanks to Rahul’s efforts and training, Aarohi soon becomes a very popular star who also wins a prestigious award. Meanwhile, Rahul keeps drinking himself silly till his career is almost finished. Unable to bear the taunts of people who cast aspersions on his motives for helping Aarohi, his frustration increases. He is also unable to bear the humiliation heaped on him when people fail to appreciate the fact that he, too, was a singing sensation not very long ago.
Aarohi, who is now in a live-in relationship with Rahul as they both are in love, realises that Rahul’s frustrations are troubling him. Even while her career is going great guns, the ever-grateful Aarohi takes time off from work to help him quit booze. Rahul reforms but he can’t keep off drinks for too long. Cracks now start developing in their relationship forcing Aarohi to take a decision which can change her life. What is the decision? Is it acceptable to Rahul or is he against it? Does Aarohi have Rahul’s support? Does Aarohi grow and continue climbing the ladder of success? Do Rahul and Aarohi live happily ever after?
Shagufta Rafique’s story is interesting and the angle of the grateful girl, Aarohi, is quite exhilarating. Aarohi’s sacrifices and her concern for her mentor strike a chord in the audience’s hearts. The drama moves in a logical fashion as Rafique’s screenplay takes care to not sacrifice logic or sound reasoning at any point, especially as far as the relationship angle is concerned. However, Rahul constantly and all through downing bottles of alcohol does get too much for the viewer because, after all, Rahul is the hero. Also, if Rahul’s superstardom would’ve been more established, it would’ve added to the happiness quotient of the otherwise tragic drama. However, Shagufta Rafique’s story begins from Rahul’s downturn. In that sense, not much changes in the graph of Rahul as a character, throughout the film. Since his frustrations are born out of his own doings, the audience’s sympathy doesn’t go out to him as much as it ought to have gone. For, it is not as if he is sincere and dedicated but yet out of work; he is out of work because of his highly unprofessional behaviour. Yes, the pains he takes to make Aarohi a singing star are touching but they should’ve been underlined much more. The writer has not explained why he is on a self-destructive path.
The drama has tragedy and gloominess written all over it and this would restrict the film’s appeal to an extent. Although the film is targeted at the youth, the tragedy may not appeal universally because today’s youngsters prefer watching happy films. Had the tragic hero been a big star, it would’ve been a different case as the star’s charisma would have added to the appeal of the character. Having said that, it must be added that what stands out in the tragic drama is the character of Aarohi even if the character of the alcohol-consuming Rahul may not be too heroic. Climax leaves the audience dissatisfied. Shagufta Rafique’s dialogues are good at places.
Aditya Roy Kapur does well although it must be said, his character may have inherent limitations because the Indian audience may not like to watch a forever frustrated, alcohol-consuming hero, that too, if he isn’t a big star in the public’s eyes. Shraddha Kapoor does a fine job, approaching her difficult role with a lot of understanding and care. She looks nice and acts with an ease that seems natural. Ideally, of course, the role of the heroine demanded an established star just as the hero’s character could’ve done with a star name. Shaad Randhawa is fairly good as Vivek. Mahesh Thakur stands his own in the limited scope he gets. Salil Acharya makes his presence felt in a friendly appearance. Milind Phatak, Shubhangi Latkar, Chitrak Bandyopadhyay, Shekhar Shukla, Partha Akerkar, Gagan Gupta, Bugs Bhargava Krishna, Chayan Gour, Pushpendra Kumar, Ashish Bhatt, Nickk, Soumyajit Solanki and Gaurav Sharma provide reasonable support.
Mohit Suri has made a fine film, using all the narrative skills at his command to keep the audience engrossed and involved. His direction is mature. Music, composed by Jeet Ganguli, Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari, is intoxicatingly excellent. ‘Tum hi ho’ (lyrics and music by Mithoon) is a super-hit song with a haunting melody. ‘Sunn raha hai na tu’ (music: Ankit Tiwari; lyrics: Sandeep Nath) is also an excellent number. All the other songs are also melancholic (with excellent lyrics by Irshad Kamil; one song penned by Sanjay Masoom) but they are a bit depressing. Song picturisations (Raju Khan) are routine and could’ve been better. Raju Singh’s background music is praiseworthy. Vishnu Rao’s camerawork is of a good standard. Rajat Poddar’s sets are nice. Editing, by Deven Murdeshwar, is sharp.
On the whole, Aashiqui 2 is an entertaining film with hit music and the sacrificing nature of the heroine as it biggest trump cards. It will keep its distributors smiling.