KJo did some lateral thinking with help of some psychedelic drugs to come up with a plot like this. It is even more convoluted than magic quadrant flyover on Mekhri Circle, Bangalore. On this topsy-turvy journey you would often find turns where you'll feel pukish or sleepy. So, please keep that air sickness bag (which you stole from Indigo Airlines) and some cold water handy.
After KANK, he has surpassed his own record with this K(AL)ANK. One of the best advantages of such a plot is that no body can accuse you of plagiarism. This plot is so "down to earth" that any normal homo sapiens with IQ above 100 wont get it. You need to come to KJo's lowly level of IQ 40-50 to get the crux of it. It is an abstract art which most sane people won't get it and that's why Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma fell for it. It challenges their ability to act natural and classy.
Fawad Khan smelled something fishy-porky-beefy in this magnanimous love saga. So, he staged a big Geo-Political drama to got all his scenes chopped. Except the scenes where he is laughing unabashedly. Don't know why he felt that he'll still have the last laugh.
Aishwarya Rai pleaded KJo for a simple 20 min slot with a linear story line. Her entire life and career has been a roller coaster ride and she didn't want any more profound experiments. It must have pained KJo but merciful he granted her wish.
Plot (Spoiler Alert)
Just imagine you are watching Big Boss (I know its difficult but still). There are these 2 useless characters who are Bollywood Encyclopedia. They love discussing irrelevant uninteresting Bollywood trivia through out out the day. They are the master of cliches and don't miss a chance to hurl those cliches at each other. With their sick mentality, they dig some shameful moments of Bollywood for e.g. "Tohfa Tohfa Tohfaaaaa" and song from Maksad "Oye Oye Oye Garmi hai kahan" and enjoy discussing them. Even the artists who had performed these disgraceful acts have forgotten them and moved ahead. What if I say, those 2 utter useless senseless jerks are lead pair of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. They derive such sadistic pleasure from these sub-standard moments of Bollywood that they become inseparable and fall in love. "Kayanat ki koi shakti unhe alag nahi kar sakti".
Unless that #Shakti_the_Power is carrying some rare OST of Sufi music and best quality weed from Kasauli. Whammm.. Jerk #2 falls for it and breaks up from Jerk #1. Jerk #1 becomes a master storyteller and get hold of #Babe_da_hot. #Babe_da_hot has everything any man can desire but stills falls for Jerk #1 coz she is insomniac and Jerk #1 can make her doze off in a split second. It is later revealed that #Babe_the_hot is a witch from Hogwarts and takes Jerk#1 there. There they meet #Dude_the_cool, who engages in a duel with #Babe_da_hot with toughest rarest Urdu spells. Jerk #1 being a muggle doesn't get any wind of it. With time Jerk#1 gets smarter and unable to bore #Babe_da_hot to death and she dumps him too.
By then Jerk #2 has also dumped #Shakti_da_power as he ran out of weed and his music collection is widely available on torrent. To avail her LTA, she makes a trip to Tirupathi and comes back learned. She realizes that its not love, it was a mere attraction. Real love is platonic love which is also called as fraandship. Thats why in Bollywood, most of couple say we are just fraands. With such profound Gyan, Jerk #2 becomes a #Baba and move ahead towards world peace!
Lets get serious
In this entire Crapola (which lasts for unapologetic 155 minutes), those 20 minutes of Aishwarya Rai is like a whiff of fresh air. Her role is a blessing in disguise which prevents audience from asphyxiation. I never believed I would ever write this but I loved Aishwarya and every bit of it. Only character in the film who is crystal clear about her intentions and plays it perfectly. Be it her sensual appeal, catchy dialogues, confident demeanor or facial expressions. I don't think anyone could have played it better than her. Absolutely marvelous! For others, I would say it is a shame to be a part of this film which would go down in the history as one of the costly disgraceful film with negative ROI. In terms of music, Bulleya and Channa Mereya are beautiful songs. Others are just average.
It disheartens me that KJo managed to get excellent ratings from all renowned critics - Rajeev Masand 3.5/5. Raja Sen 4/5. Nihit (TOI) 3.5/5. If you think, I am biased then how would you justify 5.5/10 on IMDB with 2700+ votes.
My Hypothesis (Spoiler alert)
Now this is a far fetched hypothesis but still seems logical to me. I feel that the character of Ranbir is inspired from KJo in real life. Anushka's character is inspired not from a girl but a married man (may be a top notch celebrity), who can't reciprocate the same feelings towards KJo. He can only offer his fraandship and platonic love to him. Aishwarya's character is inspired from a newbie "student" hunk who is attracted towards KJo or at least he feigns his attraction. Now with this angle, story makes a lot of sense and intentions of all the characters looks clear. I wish, KJo had the courage to present the story in actual form and not metaphorically. It would have definitely gotten rave reviews and audience's respect
Verdict: If you had to choose between ADHM and Krishi Darshan on DD1, better learn some skills to identify good quality Sona Masoori rice.