Karan Johar gets candid about mental health, admits to having 'deep-rooted anxiety' before 'Rocky Aur Rani' release

The filmmaker remains steadfast in his convictions, crafting a film with the aim of captivating audiences across multiple generations

By CT Desk

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Published: Wed 9 Aug 2023, 11:11 AM

Contemplating upon the resounding success of his latest cinematic outing, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, director Karan Johar shared his musings. He expressed his apprehensions regarding the triumphs of the current releases, Barbie and Oppenheimer, which graced Indian screens just a week ahead of his film's premiere. While the two Hollywood blockbusters claim supremacy at global box offices, the Rocky Aur Rani has surpassed both within the Indian landscape.

This romantic comedy-drama has amassed a staggering Rs109 crore within India and a commendable Rs 200 crore worldwide. In contrast, Oppenheimer recently crossed the Rs100 crore threshold within India, and Barbie hovers in the vicinity of the Rs30 crore mark.

During an interview a news outlet, Karan Johar articulated his thoughts on the matter, reflecting on the wave of success propelled by South Indian cinema in the past year, coupled with the emergence of streaming platforms. He acknowledged that contending against Hollywood's influence seemed challenging at first. "At first I had apprehension and fear and then there was deep-rooted anxiety because both these films also performed very well in India," said Johar.

However, he remained steadfast in his convictions and crafted a film with the aim of captivating audiences across multiple generations. “So even the Gen X, Gen Z kids, the millennials and the boomers, who’ve grown up watching the old Hindi film music, all of them collectively love the film for various and different reasons,” he said.

As per his perspective, the crucial factor lies in avoiding making politics preachy. “Because otherwise you lose an audience when you try and be extra preachy and try and give a sermon that doesn’t actually connect to you in an emotional way because you’ve got to love the people, then love what they say. The world is, of course, far from real. If you see the homes, they’re exaggerated versions of what could be. In Delhi I know, I’ve seen ostentatious homes but the house of the Chatterjees – there’s no such size of house in Delhi… I think what is working for the film are the characters, within the world of melodrama, and notched up level of everything, dialled up to 11, the characters are still empathetic, they’re still saying things that are relatable…”

“Everybody had gotten a little confused about what tonality to do, forgetting that we have our own strengths, and we have to constantly leverage them,” he said talking about the turbulent phases of Hindi cinema. “Take that strength in the writing, put in cinema and just make good films. And we won’t need to fight with anyone. We will go back to being an individualistic force that we’ve always been. We went through a phase where we were a bit lost. We’re finding our paths out of this jungle.”


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