Friday, July 19, 2024

Chandigarh

I read my criticism before the praise: Karan Johar

IANS | April 01, 2024 10:03 AM

CHANDIGARH: Stressing that from an early stage, he has believed in closely reading his criticism from diverse quarters without assuming that it is a conspiracy theory, producer-director Karan Johar says, "To evolve, it is paramount that I am around people who are closer to the ground, and draw from those who have talent."

In conversation with film critic Namrata Joshi during the session titled, 'Between Larger-than-Life Romance and Grassroots Love Storiyaan -- the Dharma of Entertainment' at the Cinevesture International Film Festival (CIFF) in Chandigarh, the star director revealed that 'Kill' will be released in July, there is a digital version of 'Student of the Year' that Reema Sengupta is directing, and new work for an OTT platform.

"I would like to direct five films this decade. I sleep barely four to five hours a day, and have complete faith in my team, making it a point not to interfere in their creative space."

Admitting that he had fumbled early in his career, Johar asserts that his production house has invested in diverse content, debut filmmakers, actors without any experience, and writers who floored him with their scripts.

When 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham' was released, and went to be a huge hit, there were four other releases -- 'Lagaan', 'Dil Chahta Hai', 'Chandni Bar' and 'Gadar'.

"Well, that made me question -- 'Did I make a path-breaking film?' I was assaulted by cinematic missiles."

Stressing that taking over Dharma Productions was the toughest phase of his life, considering he had no clue how to run it, and even thought about shutting it down, he adds, "When I look back now, the journey was a learning curve, that evolved me both as a person and professional."

He says complete trust in others who knew their jobs, an open door policy and depending on his instincts brought about a metamorphosis for the production house.

"We have worked with 28 filmmakers. I am part of all film festivals in the world and closely watch all new cinema that is being made across the country. There is no apprehension in calling filmmakers whose work moves me, and inviting them to create with us. And yes, Malayalam cinema is the best cinema in India."

Even though he has made several films that have been a huge success at the box office, he smiles, "I want to make my 'Lagaan', which will always be in the archives of Indian cinema. That one is yet to come..."

When asked about his ground rules, he made it clear that there were none.

Stressing that he has learnt everything on the job and that we all are born with a superpower -- our instinct which many of us seldom use, he says, "When I have a story or thought, that is the instinct and that is something one must go with. No matter what advice or circumstantial evidence you have been given. When I sit and sign a deal, I know if I want to sign it in minutes. And when you work as a filmmaker, delegation and trust are things I follow. You have to delegate, if you don't, then you don't trust. All people in my organisation are on my WhatsApp. It is extremely important to be a people's person."

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