“From innocence… to cynical… to abandon,” Karan Johar’s films have reflected his evolving views on love.
However, Karan is surprisingly cynical about the idea of audiences being more accepting of different films today. “I think we are still very deep-rooted and judgmental about most things. Don’t go by what you read on Twitter or what’s posted on social media about evolution and progression. Even today, we are an exceptionally traditional country and brush emotions under the carpet. We are rather hypocritical by nature when it comes to admitting our flaws. It also comes to a stereotypical version of a perfect household, no matter what the chinks in our armour or grey areas in our life are. I don’t think we’re still ready to accept infidelity, homosexuality, or even anything which we immediately get judgmental about.”
Ouch, that is a tad harsh… but all too true. However, homosexuality has been portrayed interestingly in his production, Kapoor & Sons and also by Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Padmaavat… He calls it “an extremely bold move by our filmmakers to put it out there”. Proud of how Shakun Batra handled the entire story in Kapoor & Sons, he feels it was told beautifully. “But anything in your face, which is extreme like I mentioned, is going to meet with a storm in our enormous teacup. Everyone’s running afraid of putting things out there. Because then they become ‘less commercial’. K&S was also understated for a reason because we were afraid that if it’s too in your face, then it would bother an audience, which I find, is quite unfortunate. I feel as a filmmaker, we must tell stories with abandon. It was liberating for me to direct the first Bombay Talkies short because I spoke about repression in a marriage and homosexuality.”
Karan has a second omnibus film he is making for Ronnie Screwvala, called Love and Lust. And we can’t wait to see what sort of ‘forbidden story’ he has in store this time around!