Aashiqui 2 Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

Since the past couple of years, Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films has only invested in sequels: JANNAT 2, MURDER 3, RAAZ 3… but it’s after a really long gap, of 23 years to be precise, that the premier production house and Bhushan Kumar [of T-Series] revisit one of their triumphant stories — AASHIQUI. A film that revolutionized the music industry then…

First things first! AASHIQUI 2 is *not* a sequel. Nor is it a recreation of the successful film. Nor does it set in motion from where the first part concluded. So why opt for a title like AASHIQUI 2? Follow-up of winning titles are easy to market for the reason that a victorious franchise bestows the film-maker that thrust, a certain brand value with a popular title, besides guaranteeing a potent start at the box-office even if it stars relative newcomers [like in this case]. Talking of AASHIQUI 2, this one’s positioned in the current times and the only resemblance it has with the earlier part is that it’s a true-blue romantic saga.

After having watched AASHIQUI 2, I wish to clarify a pertinent point: AASHIQUI 2 is *not* the present-day avatar of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s cult classic ABHIMAAN [1973]. That film was all about jealousy and ego clashes between a married couple, who are playback singers, while AASHIQUI 2 is entirely different. AASHIQUI 2 brings back memories of A STAR IS BORN, which was made thrice in Hollywood — in 1937, 1954 and 1976. The Hollywood film/s is regarded as one of the most riveting heartbreak dramas to hit the silver screen. However, it’s important that AASHIQUI 2 lives up to the mammoth expectations, since AASHIQUI had worked for two significant factors — splendid music and strong emotional quotient.

Is Mohit Suri’s take on the lives of two singers as enchanting? Let’s analyze…

AASHIQUI 2 traces the journey of a young couple and the turbulence in their lives… Rahul [Aditya Roy Kapur], a singing sensation, falls in love with the voice of Aarohi [Shraddha Kapoor], who aspires to be a singer and sings at lowly joints. Rahul takes it upon himself to make Aarohi a singing star, builds her confidence and even arranges for her audition with the music baron [Mahesh Thakur]. Gradually, Rahul and Aarohi fall in love…

Aarohi’s career continues to sky-rocket, while Rahul’s career spirals downwards. Aarohi decides to give up her career to be with Rahul, to help him come out of his disruptive predicament…

Like I stated at the very outset, AASHIQUI 2 bears no resemblance to its namesake. This one prides itself with a contemporary plot, has far more complex and intricate drama and offers abundant scope to its lead actors to display histrionics. At the same time, Mohit shoulders a colossal responsibility because the soundtrack was a game changer… it is, in fact, dew fresh to this date. Although it would be unfair to compare Mohit with either Hrishi-da [who directed ABHIMAAN] or Mahesh Bhatt [who helmed AASHIQUI], I must add that Mohit’s take on romance and heartbreak is compelling in entirety. Actually, AASHIQUI 2 is more of vintage stuff. It demonstrates, in abundance, the romance we witnessed in the 1970s and 1980s, which is misplaced in Hindi movies in the present day.

Another strong point of AASHIQUI 2 is its musical score [more on that later!], besides the emotional quotient. Although the talented director has attempted thrillers in the past, he seems like an expert at handling the fragile emotions as well as the dramatic sequences with profound ease. The romance is lively, but it is the drama that catches your eye. Clearly, Mohit takes giant strides with this one. Besides Mohit, writer Shagufta Rafique deserves brownie points for focusing on the core plot, enhancing the film with some remarkable moments. The dialogue, also penned by her, are noteworthy.

AASHIQUI 2 is embellished with a lilting score that stays with you. The soundtrack is credited to multiple composers, the output is melodic and at least four songs deserve multiple hearings — ‘Tum Hi Ho’ [singer: Arijit Singh], ‘Bhula Dena’ [singer: Mustafa Zahid], ‘Sunn Raha Hai’ [singer: Ankit Tiwari] and ‘Piya Aaye Na’ [singers: Tulsi Kumar and KK]. Vishnu Rao’s cinematography is top notch.

AASHIQUI 2 seems like a renaissance for its two actors, who have appeared in Hindi films earlier. Aditya Roy Kapur’s depiction of the intense character is outstanding. One can feel the agony and desolation his character is going through. The fact that it makes the spectator’s heart flutter and bleed clearly demonstrates his potency as an artiste of caliber and competence. Shraddha also gets to sink her teeth into this challenging character and the attractive youngster is simply amazing, more so towards the demanding moments in the second hour. Furthermore, the chemistry between Aditya and Shraddha is incredible, which also proves yet again that the right casting can work wonders.

Shaad Randhawa is first-rate in an important role. In fact, the actor, who appears on the big screen after a hiatus, carries some tough moments with astonishing ease. Mahesh Thakur is effective as the music company baron, while Salil Acharya is adequate.

On the whole, AASHIQUI 2 brings romance back on the Hindi screen — intense, pure, selfless and heart wrenching. A stirring account with brilliant moments, bravura performances, strong emotional quotient and addictive music, this one’s an absolute must watch for the romantics.

Rating: 4 Stars.


  1. Author
    aryan 11 years ago

    4 stars unbelievable movie dekna padhega.

  2. syed imran 11 years ago

    stars par mat jao… movie kuch aur hi rehti hain cinema hall main… dont 4get aashiqui 2 team were in bollywood hungama office recently for their promotion…. to taran adarsh ka bhi 4 stars dena ka haq banta hain na yaar!!!!!! wat say???? still will wait for its WOM nd then watch the movie in theatre…

  3. sputnik 11 years ago

    Aashiqui 2 TOI Movie Review by Anupama Chopra


  4. Author
    aryan 11 years ago

    “At 17 I had turned to prostitution” – Shagufta Rafique

    Disowned by her real mother, Shagufta Rafique has finally discovered her identity. From dancing at mehfils to writing blockbusters, she has re-scripted her life.

    When kids her age were enticed by crayons and fairytales, she was plagued by an identity crisis – trying to figure who her mother was. When her classmates were fussing over the pubescent pimple, she precociously danced her way in sleazy mehfils to gather the strewn notes home. When her friends flirted with roses and verse, she had already moved from ‘one man to another to another’, her need to fend for her foster mother blinding the humiliation.

    But the stoic Shagufta Rafique is not bitter about having lived life in the murky lanes. Rather it gave her the raw material to write and now direct. After having written hit films including Raaz 2 and Murder 2 based on adaptations for Mahesh Bhatt’s Vishesh Films, the super success of Aashiqui 2 has given her the courage to direct. “I don’t see myself as a writer anymore. I want to see my own images on celluloid. Bhatt saab tells me you’re a closet director,” says Shagufta all set to direct her film on a rape victim. From a bar dancer to a baton wielder, Shagufta’s womb-trembling story could make trivial even the starkest bestseller. With Bhattesque candour she says, “People expect the latkas and jhatkas of Rakhi Sawant from me. They’re disappointed I don’t dress like a bar dancer. I’m not a tits and ass person.”

    While she has found a medium to exorcise her demons vis-à-vis films, she confides she’s still caged to her past. That perhaps explains why the lonesome Shagufta has a horde of birds for company at home – all unconfined. “My pets roam around in the house. I’ve netted my windows. They sit on my shoulder, talk to me and wake me up in the morning.” And though she has several dreams, late singer Noorjehan’s number Ja apni hasraton pe aansoon baha kar soja (Pakistani film Susraal) remains her soul cry…

    “The strongest rumour was that I was my sister Saeeda Khan’s love child”

    My childhood was spent in confusion. I didn’t know who my biological mother was. I was adopted by Anwari Begum (yesteryear actress), whom I considered my mother. Through time, I was given three different versions of my origin. One was that I was Saeeda Khan’s (late yesteryear actress, wife of late director Brij Sadanah and mother of actor Kamal Sadanah) illegitimate daughter, she being in love with someone before her marriage to Brij saab. The second was that my mother, a destitute, had a relationship with a rich man, a barrister and I was their illicit child. The third was that my parents were from a jhopadpatti (slums) and had thrown me off somewhere from where I was picked up. But the strongest rumour was that I was ‘my sister’ Saeeda Khan’s love child. I was two when Saeeda got married to Brij saab. Often when people from the industry spotted me with Anwari Begum they’d say, “Nani ke saath jaa rahi ho!” This left me perplexed.

    “My tastes were too expensive for a slumdog”

    Many believed I looked like Saeeda apa. My voice sounds like hers. Beyond that there’s nothing similar. Saeeda apa hated movies, I love them. I’d like to believe ‘the barrister’ version. When I see my aggression, my graph, my thoughts, my traits, I’m convinced that I don’t come from a ‘nobody’ background. My argumentative nature is like that of a barrister. Also, my tastes are expensive. Even when I was young, I’d grab the costliest thing in a shop. If you’re a slum dog you’d be intimidated by wealth. When I daydreamed, I saw myself in big cars, in five star hotels and being photographed.

    “I was like an animal, given birth and then tossed away”

    There was always a snigger around me. I was called the haraami girl. It made me a weepy and lonely child. One industry friend of Saeeda apa had the audacity to say, ‘Meri saheli kisi haraami ko janam nahin de sakti.’ Unmindful that I’m human too. There was so much suspense around me that I turned brutal. I quit school. I fought with everyone not because I hated people but because I felt hated. Then I thought why should this woman, who’s too scared of her husband to own me, be my mother. Bachcha toh ek kutta bhi paida karta hai. I was like an animal, given birth and then tossed away. I resigned myself to the fact that Anwari Begum was my mother; she was the one who was constantly with me. Anwari Begum’s second husband’s name was Mohammed Rafique. That’s how I became Shagufta Rafique.

    “Brij saab hated me”

    Brij saab hated me because he was not sure who I was. Also, because we (Anwari Begum and Shagufta) were financially dependent on him. Brij saab was justified in his anger. He probably felt that when Anwari Begum had a son why should he help us. He was a bundle of confusion, his films were flopping and that’s why he did what he did.When the tragedy happened (on October 21, 1990 Brij Sadanah shot his wife Saeeda, daughter Namrata and then himself with a revolver under the influence of alcohol), the maid came rushing home to inform us. Saeeda apa lay bleeding on my lap in the car as we drove to the hospital. She kept saying, ‘Namrata’s dead, I don’t want to live’. I was 25 when Saeeda apa died. I was attached to her as a sister, motherwala roop toh maine nahin dekha. But yes, the way she used to stand for me, cry for me, fight for me… was a little different from that of a sister. Once, my mother Anwari Begum put it cleverly, “If anyone asks you, is Saeeda your mother, say yes.” On being told this, I went into flashback about Saeeda’s apa’s affection towards me and tried putting the pieces together. My relationship with Kamal (Sadanah) has been good. He’s been generous and responsible. He helped us. I had reassured him, ‘once I get work I swear I’ll not bother you.’

    “I’d dance for money in bizarre and shady flats”

    I could have gone into drugs and alcohol. But the one thing that kept me stable was the realisation that my mother Anwari Begum loved me and had stood by me. She had once seen wealth. When I saw the same woman selling her bangles and later utensils to survive, it was heartbreaking. Since I had trained in Kathak, I took to dancing in private parties when I was 12. These parties, held in shady flats, had the atmosphere of a brothel where respectable men came with their mistresses and prostitutes. They were high ranking officers – cops, ministers, income tax officers! I’ve these vivid images of picking the notes and collecting them in my jholi. I’d be exhilarated with the money. It was more like giving back to the family that had looked after me. I did it till the age of 17.

    “To lose your virginity to a stranger Is traumatic”

    At 17 and a half I turned to prostitution. To lose your virginity to a stranger is traumatic. And it went on from one man to another to another… right till the age of 27. My mother knew I’d taken to prostitution. I’d become the man of the house. But it gave me happiness that I helped my mother get off the bus and travel in a taxi. We could afford chicken curry, prawns… from just haddi ka salan (gravy cooked with bones). I bought her gold bangles. For years I had seen her wearing glass ones. Being troubled about the life I was leading, I took to namaz to hold myself. It helped me through the dark times.
    Then when I was 27, someone suggested that I should go to Dubai, where I could make 10 times more money by becoming a bar dancer. There I sang everything, right from Latabai’s (Mangeshkar) songs to Ashabai’s (Bhosle) songs like Dum maaro dum, Aao huzoor tumko till her numbers from Ijaazat. This was better than going around with men in Mumbai with the fear of the hotels being raided and earning just about ` 3000 per night. I stayed away from prostitution in Dubai because I was scared of the Arabs. But when my mother fell ill with the cancer of the colon, I returned and continued doing shows in Bangalore and Mumbai. She died in 1999.

    “A lot of life had crept into me… I wanted to write”

    I had gathered a lot of data about life and relationships after having met many girls from Philippines and Russia. I had slept in chawls, on dirty pillows; on dirty mattresses, where several girls had slept before and entertained multi millionaires… I wanted to write it all down. I believed I had a career in Bollywood. At the age of 36, around 2002, I told Mahesh Bhatt saab I wanted to write. I didn’t get a chance to write till 2006. After writing two scenes for Mohit Suri’s Kalyug I got to write Woh Lamhe and then Aawarapan, Raaz 2, Jism 2, Murder 2, Raaz 3 and now Aashiqui 2.

    “Bhatt saab and I are like twins – we’re soulmates”

    Bhatt saab’s date of birth is the same as mine, I am also an illegitimate child just as he says he is. He understood my angst. We react similarly. We are like twins, soulmates. His family would earlier wonder who this beast is whom he’s getting attached to. It used to hurt initially. But somewhere it died down. Yes, I do believe in love. But unfortunately, the men I met couldn’t separate me from my past. It would hurt that they didn’t mind having coffee with you or sleeping with you but when it came to settling down they weren’t interested. But there was a Pakistani I met in Dubai 10 years ago. He fell in love with me and wanted to marry me; he gave me respect and sympathy. But he was suffering from a heart ailment. During his last call he said, “I don’t think I’ll survive.” There was no one after him.

    “I don’t trust men”

    When I see nice people, I wonder how nice they really are. Because I’ve seen ‘nice’ people coming to the bars and going berserk, falling, using vulgar speech. I don’t trust men anymore. You’re only good till you haven’t had a chance to be bad. Even in showbiz, it’s the same. When a director sleeps with his actress, when a producer eyes a newcomer, when an actress eyes a hero and vice versa, it’s the same thing. I’ve seen heartbreaks here and heartbreaks there. People sleep for money there, you sleep for work here.
    I have plenty of low moments. I’m not a happy soul. I often wish had my mother and my sister been alive, I’d have taken them for my trials. I miss them. It’ll take another 37 years to remove the past from my body. If I do get married, I’d like to have a child. Life gives, takes, gives, takes… so I don’t complain. God, somewhere, redeems you. Most people live regular lives. Not many get to live this unusual one. But you should have the will to change your destiny.


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