Bitter reality check for Karan!

31 01 2010

Now he needs an anti-depressant. “I need a break from grim happenings. I’m going to do another season of Koffee With Karan before I direct another film. Of course, I can’t go back to the gossipy, bitchy format. This time Koffee …will be more probing, sober, more about a reality check than the pay cheque.”

Like Ranbir Kapoor’s Wake Up Sid, Karan Johar has finally woken up. Hurt, wounded and for the first time openly resentful about the lack of solidarity, affability and a basic compassion in the film industry, Karan for the first time says he won’t go out of his way to praise his colleagues’ films.

This, coming from a filmmaker who has constantly gone out of his way to heap lavish praise on his contemporaries’ creations, is a tragic comment on Karan’s disenchantment with his fraternity.

“Why should I praise other people’s films when nobody praises mine? Maybe my films aren’t worth praising. Maybe others are dream directors and I’m just a director who dreams?” says Karan bitterly, directly referring to the way colleagues bitched about his films Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan released last year, so much that both his directors Ayan Mukerjee and Rensil D’Silva have gone underground.

Says Karan, “I’ve realised in our industry people can’t tolerate their own unhappiness and other people’s happiness. It’s useless to go out of my way to be good to people when they don’t reciprocate.”

Karan is dismayed by the way it is being insinuated that he is drifting apart from his friend and mentor Shah Rukh Khan. “That’s a laugh. Professionally, I can’t see myself ever making films with anyone else. When I close my eyes, Shah Rukh’s image is imposed on all my creativity. He has been integral to my cinema from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to My Name Is Khan. On a personal level, he is family, a friend and that elder brother I never had. I need him more than he needs me. So, where’s the question of moving on?”

Apparently, Karan was very disturbed by the rift between Shah Rukh and director-choreographer Farah Khan and even tried to mend the bridge between them. Says Karan, “Whatever has transpired between Shah Rukh and Farah is none of my business. I’ve enough worries of my own. I’ve got a release coming up which has taken a lot out of me.”

So troubled is Karan by the theme and the execution of My Name Is Khan that he wants to make a lighter film now. “My Name Is Khan wasn’t easy. It’s the socio-political journey of Shah Rukh’s character Rizwan from the age of 4 to 40. In his journey, Shah Rukh encounters major political upheavals from a communal riot in India to 9/11 in the US. But my film is not about any specific political event. Nor is it about the Asperger’s Syndrome. My hero is autistic. He couldn’t be neuro-typical because he had to see l ife with a direct honesty and clarity denied to normal people.”

The buzz is that Karan is taking his passion for fashion designing to another level by designing clothes for actors other than Shah Rukh. Karan shoots back, “Are you referring to the outfit I’ve supposedly designed for Imran Khan’s engagement? It was not actually designed for the occasion. It was something Imran liked and selected from my collection with Varun Bahl.”

Karan is starting his new film with Shah Rukh, though not immediately after the release of My Name Is Khan. “But I want to direct another film this year. At 37, I fear for my future. I see people much younger than me acting really batty. Who knows what would happen to my mental faculties tomorrow given the crazy ways of this industry? No, it’s not wisdom, it’s age. I’ve woken up like Sid, not woken up with Sid!”

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