Love is a subject that has been being dealt, discussed and interpreted by different people in different ways for ages and will continue to be so. Love stories have always been the favourite subject for writers and filmmakers. Especially in India where the social acceptance for male-female love is still not felt in the real sense, the audience is fond of watching on the screen what it’s not able to do or get in real life. I happened to watch Mohit Suri directed Aashiqui 2 (2013) which provoked and revived certain thoughts in my heart regarding the concept of love.First about the movie. True to its title (which means love), it’s the love story of Rahul (Aaditya Roy Kapoor) and Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor). Rahul is a singer whose popularity is on the decline because of his own negligent and self-destructive attitude. He has turned into an alcoholic and lost all his interest in singing as well as life. Suddenly he happens to come across Aarohi who is a talented singer and wants to make it big in life. And out of the blue, in her he gets a purpose for his seemingly purposeless life. He coaches Aarohi himself and ensures that she gets the right break in the world of music. He falls in love with her and develops one and the only wish in him to see her on the top of the world.
On the other hand, Aarohi also falls in love with Rahul but gradually she feels less out of gratitude and more out of her love for him that he needs her care. With the passage of time and observance of Rahul’s alcoholism and self-destructive approach towards life, she loses her interest in her singing career and becomes more and more interested in taking care of Rahul. Rahul whose career has come to an end, feels that by diverting her attention to himself, Aarohi may lag in her career. His pessimism towards his life leads him to end his life which appears meaningless to him. Now it’s up to Aarohi whether she wants to leave the world of music forever and get lost into oblivion or continue with her career the way Rahul wanted her to.Assessing the movie, let me admit that it’s really a well made movie and the writer (Shagufta Rafique) and director (Mohit Suri) are able to convey what they purport to convey. The thing is whether what they think (and therefore present) is agreeable or not. All the aspects of the movie including music are good. Both Aaditya Roy Kapoor and Sharaddha Kapoor have done excellently. Shaad Randhawa as Vivek, the secretary cum friend of the singer hero, has also done admirably. The supporting cast did not have much to do in this movie.Now I am willing to ask the filmmaker a very significant question – what’s understood by love ? Generally I feel that love means to care and to share. Plus love involves sacrifice for the sweetheart wherever required. The writer as well as the director of Aashiqui 2 seems to have misunderstood the meaning of sacrifice. Firstly, sacrifice should be meaningful and required. Secondly, it should be made by understanding the desire of the sweetheart from his / her viewpoint. Imposing own viewpoint and thought-process on the sweetheart and ignoring what he / she wants or likes can be anything but love. And that’s where this movie has faltered.
In this movie, the hero who has become slave of his own alcoholism and is moving non-stop on the path of self-destruction, decides everything for the heroine from his side without giving even a single thought to her desires and liking. It is his desire to see the heroine on the top of the world but it is by no means her desire. She finds her happiness in loving and caring for him. Once she realizes it, the progress in her singing career has lost its meaning for her. She would have got pleasure, had the hero improved himself and his approach towards life. He promises to her in the ending reels that he will join gym and lead a disciplined life and above all, quit drinking. However it’s his inner weakness that he finds himself as unable to fulfill that promise and runs away from life. The heroine very rightly terms him a coward in the end. But my point is – he’s not just a coward but also a self-centred person who could not look at the things from the angle of his sweetheart.
In a discussion with his secretary cum friend, the hero expresses his opinion that name and fame should come to him / her who is starving for them and not to someone who does not need them. Very true. This thinking of him holds good for the initial part of the movie and accordingly what he does for the heroine, appears to be quite logical. However there’s no need to destroy oneself through alcohol-addiction even when one does not feel any need for name and fame. Life is much bigger than such things and a different (and better) purpose for it can always be found out. Besides, later on when the heroine does not feel any hunger for name and fame and seeks her pleasure in serving and caring for him instead, then should he not mold his line of thinking as well as his way of life ?
The hero not only gives a lot of pain to the heroine in his lifetime but even after his death when the heroine is ready to quit singing and move to some faraway place, the hero’s friend (who was earlier against his paying this much attention to the heroine’s career) convinces her to continue with her career and fulfill the deceased hero’s desire to see her on the top of the world. Is it not utter selfishness (of the hero being conveyed by his friend) ? Love means to understand your sweetheart and not to impose your thoughts and desires on him / her. Besides, escapism is no solution to any problem. The hero chooses the easy path of ending his life and avoids the difficult path of mending his ways. Is it love ? No ! In fact, it’s the heroine who shows her sincere love towards the hero after his death by deciding to continue with her singing career against her own will.I was fortunate to get someone’s sincere love in my life years back and the thing that I learned from my own experience is that seeking your own pleasure through the acts of the other one is by no means love for him / her. If you really love someone, try to understand wherein his / her pleasure lies and then act accordingly so that your sweetheart gets genuine happiness. A lover tries to change oneself the way his / her sweetheart wants and not the other way round. A true lover always perceives his / her happiness in the happiness of the sweetheart only. Aashiqui 2 shows just the contrary from the side of the hero. In my considered opinion, it’s not at all love (or Aashiqui). It’s sheer selfishness. And love can be anything but selfish.
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