Connect with us

Bollywood News

“I feel for the first time I am validated as an artiste” …Karan Johar



karan Johar

“I feel for the  first time I am validated as an artiste” …Karan Johar , Basking In The Success Of  Rocky Aur Rani  Kii Prem Kahaani, Speaks On His  State  Of Mind as the World Showers Love  On His  Labour Of Love

Have you seen how the audience reacts  to  Tota Roy Choudhury and Ranveer Singh  dancing to Dola  re dola?

I have! Just like in the song Tum kya mile I pay a homage to my favourite filmmaker Yash Chopra in Dhindora  baje re  and Dola re dola the entire set  is a homage to  Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Someone asked me if I got inspired  by Sanjay  Leela Bhansali’s aesthetics. My response was, ‘No. I copied it.’ Inspiration is   a mild word.I copied it as I am huge fan  of his artistry.

So you consciously leaned towards the aesthetics  of Bhansali?

When I was creating that Durga Puja set it was only normal thatI lean on the genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. So there is a homage to  two of my favourite filmmkersin this  film: Yash Chopra  and Sanjay Bhansali.Also, a lot of the family values are derived from my growing up on Sooraj Barjatya’s cinema.

The use of old Hindi songs  in Rocky Aur Rani is amazing?

My mother trained me to love Hindi  film music.At the age of 6 when my friends were listening to Wham and Madonna, I was listening to Lataji, Ashaji, Rafi Saab and Kishore  Kumar. I remember  Lataji’s  Lag ja gale and  Tujhse naraaz nahin were the songs that touched me  deeply at the age of 9-10. As a child  I felt  different from the others. My work is always looking back to the  time I was growing up  with deep impressions of Hindi cinema and music.

You have used vintage  songs so effectively  in Rocky Aur Rani…especially  Abhi na jao chhod kar?

There is no song more romantic than Abhi na jao. I used some of my favourite songs like Ek pyar ka nagma haiSuno Suno Miss Chatterjee…that was my writer  Ishita Moitra’s find.She came to me one day and said we have to use it.I hadn’t even heard this song. What is  gratifying is the  young generation is looking for Abhi na jao online. That is my biggest victory.Even if a tiny population goes back to the golden era of film music. I  feel I have succeeded.

Is  Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani your most personal film?

I’d say it’s personal on  many ways. It is personal for my love of Hindi and Indian cinema. It is   a  homage  not only to the  filmmakers I respect, it’s  homage to the music I grew up on. And also some  personal feelings that have seeped into the characters, especially that  of Alia’s father played by Tota Roy Choudhury.Like him, I used to  dance with abandon. And my father clapped along. But when I danced in front of my friends, some of them giggled and laughed.

How did that  make you feel?

It made me feel I was less of a man. My father would make me dance in front of his friends. I would dance to Dafli wale.And  none of his friends found it unusual. It  was only when I stepped into  the outside world that I got the sniggers and the laughs,people pointing at you for your body language.

How does  it feel to be back in the theatres  and that too  with a film everybody loves?

Firstly  I never realized  there was  such a long gap,and that I wasted so much energy on things  other than making movies. Of course there were some practical issues: I was earlier supposed to make Takht before Rocky Aur Rani. That was two-and-a-half years  of preparation gone to  waste. Then there were two years  of the pandemic . So technically I am just three years late. But even then that  is three years too many.

You missed the process of directing a film?

Like  hell! I realized I was investing my energy in  other  activities and  not  what I love  doing the most. When I look at my filmography I feel  this cannot be my  seventh  film in twentyfive years. It’s not  a great record to have for any  filmmaker.  I should have  made many more  films. I feel  I should direct  much more.

So is that a post-Rocky & Rani resolution?

Yes, good  bad hit flop is secondary. I just need  to make more movies now . If you are  a filmmaker  you need  to put  out  a film much more often. A filmmaker needs  to tell stories and  create  new worlds.  I feel I haven’t done enough of that. I realized what  I had missed out on when I  released  Rocky Aur Rani on 28 July this year.  The last time I released a  film directed by me  was Ae Dil Hai  Mushkil on  28 October 2016. I  realized  this was  just plainly ridiculous.

It wasn’t as  if you were sitting  idle?

No, I wasn’t being  lazy. I was busy strengthening  my company  and a lot of other  activities, some of which I now feel I should have been curtailed.Of course I enjoyed whatever I was doing.  But now  the  focus has  to be on making films.

Perhaps you were spending too much time grooming and  nurturing new talent?

Let me make it very clear that I really enjoy the process of  nurturing new talent, But now I’ve  come to realize that one of my  my happiest place to be is  the film set, interacting with my team   while making film…Of course  my happiest place  is  my mom and kids. But after that, it’s the film set.There is  no bigger and better joy than creating a  film on  a set. I feel when I’m behind the monitor watching the execution of my written material, that joy is irreplaceable .

What next?  A sequel To Rocky Rani?

Someone asked me where do these two Rocky  and  Rani  land up eventually? Will they  stay at Randhawa  House or at the Chatterjee house? If  I know them well, then I’d say they would move out to be on their own. If you ask me, why  tease  a story that has no bumps  on  the  highway? Who knows I may take wrong turn  I may land in a ditch.

Closing thoughts?

I am writing two films as we speak. Something very different from Rocky Aur Rani…Phir se woh kiya toh kya kiya? You never know I might decide to announce another film in a few months. But I do know I’m back on the set next year.

No  seven year break this time?

No, the seven-year itch is done with.Now I want to be in a committed relationship.


Continue Reading