Shah Rukh Khan
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Karan Johar turns 44 today and we wish him a very happy birthday. Karan is feeling super happy and rejuvenated after losing nine kilos after a visit to a spa in Austria. Acting, hosting, writing, judging, directing, producing- you name it and Karan has done it. Kjo, as he is fondly called by his near and dear ones, was born in Mumbai to Bollywood’s film producer Yash Johar, founder of Dharma Productions and Hiroo Johar. Karan debuted as a child actor with the TV serial Indradhanush and then made his first screen appearance in Kajol and SRK’s DDLJ (1995). He played SRK buddy in the film. Karan Johar became the head of Dharma productions after his father’s demise in 2003. In 1998, Kjo debuted as director at the age of 25 and stunned everyone with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the film starred Shah Rukh Khan his all time best friend and Kajol. The film won eight FilmFare Awards and was one of the highest grosser in India as well as abroad. Critics love Karan for his style of filmmaking. Karan’s films are high on emotions, melodrama and always larger than life. It is because of Karan Johar that Indian Wedding have now turned into ‘Big Fat Indian Weddings’. Karan Johar made us realize how important is a girl’s wedding lehenga (Remember’s Alia Bhatt’s obsession with the ‘designer lelehenga’ in Humty Sharma Ki Dulhania). On his birthday today, let’s take a look at some aspects of his filmmaking which make him stand out of the crowd.
When we think of Karan Johar, the very first thing that comes to our mind if “huge mansions, exotic locales” everything larger than life. That is precisely what makes his movies a visual treat. For eg: Amitabh Bachchan’s house in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham used to be a castle with obviously a huge garden. The outdoor scenes of the Raichand family mansion were shot at Waddesdon Manor. The song "Deewana Hai Dekho" was filmed at the Great Court of the Blenheim Palace, thus becoming the first Indian film to have been shot there.
Karan always has something new on the platter; he doesn’t make movies just for the sake of it. He makes sure he experiments. For eg: Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, is about the intricacies of infidelity. Karan was indeed criticized by everyone but he had the guts to show that staying in a loveless marriage is not always a great option. In his short film for Bombay Talkies, he touches the taboo subject of homosexuality, while showing an open kiss between its lead male actors. Now say he is not experimental!
Karan’s movies are not complete without a love triangle. Even Karan knows that it’s a tried and tested formula. From 'Anjali-Rahul-Tina' in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to 'Rohan-Shanaya-Abhi' in Student Of The Year, he creates a love story so gripping that it totally hooks the audience.
You will never see the students in Karan’s films in classrooms- studying! But his students will be excelling in sports and dance competitions and all other extracurricular activities. Bascially students will be seen doing everything else but studying-but that doesn’t stop them from topping exams.
Big, exotic or ofcourse desi- a wedding is necessary in a Karan Johar film. Designer outfits, extravagant set-ups and super sexy gorgeous brides. For eg: Kalki's grand wedding in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani to Kajol’s wedding Kuch Kuch Hota Hai- it all about songs, dance and food. Excited parents, super curious chachis, well choreographed sangeet performances is all we need for a big fat Indian wedding.
A KJo movie is incomplete without the glamorous heroines. Remember, Kareena played Poo in K3G , Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Shanaya in Student Of The Year are a few examples. We see these leading ladies strutting their designer stuff to flaunting the firang accent.
In Kuch Kuch Hota Hai while the first of the film focuses on the cool western modern life–Rahul meets Tina and asks her to be his friend by giving her a friendship band. And the friendship bands became a rage in schools and colleges. Then a British loving Johnny Lever is seen singing bhajans with the kids at the summer camp. SRK’s dialogue, ‘My Name is Khan…and I am not a terrorist’, became a catchphrase soon among the youth after its release. We saw how SRK and Kajol though stay in London are still very much Indian at heart (Kajol makes sure she wakes up SRK every morning with her bhajans in K3G). We see youngsters partying at the pubs as well at celebrating a traditional Diwali at home.
By Ketaki Khedekar
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