Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dude, take a break!

Let me start this post with a disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Karan Johar and his films. They, almost, always have a unique viewpoint and are class apart. But lately, in my opinion, he’s making movies that fall outside the realm of his expertise. He might try and position them as “love stories,” but nah! Somehow his experimental films don’t work as well.

The Bollywood buff in me and the film addict in my husband recently watched Karan Johar’s newly released film, “My Name is Khan (MNIK).” The movie, in my world, has sparked a few debates. Johar, as always, has done a marvelous job capturing beautiful locales and making everyone look pretty. The cinematography is phenomenal.

Kajol has gained a few pounds, in comparison to Fanaa, and is a tad bit extra vivacious, for my taste, in the first half of the film, but she does remember to act in the second half. Other than that, she was quite pleasant. Her mane of hair and smile are still gorgeous! Shahrukh Khan, for a change, didn’t overact, which was refreshing. Maybe others feel differently, but I actually thought he put effort into the movie.

Their son, Sam, deserves an entire paragraph. In the movie, Sam was shown as this gentle, magnanimous and nice looking chap but kinda unwise. I mean, on one hand this kid didn’t freak out about his mother marrying an autistic guy, which was remarkably mature; but on the other, he was dumb enough to challenge four boys, bigger than him, until they beat him into a pulp. See, I am all about standing up for the truth and fighting for your rights, but there is something called tact. There is something called sensibility. And there is something called strategy. But this boy was brazen. He died because he was foolish. Since the movie has not-so-subtle messages behind it, I pray no teenager, who ever watches this movie, thinks what Sam did was cool.

Here is what baffles me: What is Karan Johar’s ultimate objective about making movies? I am sure a big part of is to watch the cash registers ring at the box office? But are his movies pure fantasies? If that’s the case, I suggest he get help because he has issues. To me, it seems, Karan Johar is trying to convey social messages via his movies—at least the last couple of releases. And if that’s true, he needs to be more responsible.

In “Kurbaan,” Karan Johar painted a dark picture of the Muslim community. In case you haven’t watched that movie, don’t even bother. It’s an upsetting film that represents every stereotype that one could imagine about Muslims, Islam, and violence. Just because he calls it a love story, one can’t overlook the other gory details and the suggestive tone of the film. And then he makes a movie like “MNIK,” where he uses a religious, devout, Muslim fellow, suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, to tell the world that not all people belonging to his religious faith are terrorists. Is it really so simple to take on a journey most people would fear?

Bigots will be bigots. And people like us, who don’t confirm religion before making friends, could care less if the person sitting next to them was a Hindu, Muslim, or of any other faith. But what about the sub-set of impressionable folks? You think MNIK can control the damage done by Kurbaan? One can tell Johar is a talented filmmaker who believes in his films. I can’t help but wonder if MNIK was Karan Johar’s way of apologizing for “Kurbaan.” His own manifested guilt. If Johar thinks he can change or convince people with his movies, why make an insinuating film like “Kurbaan” and then pray for penitence with “MNIK?”


More until next time, 


Copyright © 03. 04.2010


“I make films I believe in. Today my strength is emotional drama. I know I lack courage to do a variety of films but I am getting better.” – Karan Johar




Pradeep Srivastava said...

"See, I am all about standing up for the truth and fighting for your rights, but there is something called tact. There is something called sensibility. And there is something called strategy. But this boy was brazen. He died because he was foolish."

The above is true! Bollywood tends to glorify physical strength, especially, when it shows that one unarmed Indian hero can defeat a dozen armed goondas. In real life, the guy would not dare to step outside his house without being flanked by bodyguards! I don't promote cowardice, but I always believed in the old axiom, "Discretion is the better part of valor"

Sahar said...

I totally agree on your view about the film Kurbaan. As an Asian American Muslim living in post 9/11 world, I give kudos to him for taking this issue and handling it with all the sensitivity required because most of the Muslims around the world are moderates & have similar point of view! I can't begin to tell how much it touched among my circle of Muslim friends & family! It was a affirmation to our core beliefs esp. when you have popular mainstream actors & director handle the subject so beautifully.

The movie was clearly exaggerated as all Bollywood flicks but the heart of the story was a social message & I stand by Karan Johar & SRK sincerity!