Justalkin Episode 60: How to identify a Karan Johar movie
Lights, camera action is too mainstream. For Karan Johar, it’s drama, drama and more drama! This is JusTalkin brought to you by in.com. Karan Johar is the top guy at Dharma, and by the looks of it, the top guy in Bollywood when it comes to connections. He’s the guy all the gossip begins and ends with. And sometimes he’s also a part of it. He had a phase where he named all his films starting with the letter ‘K’ till he overcame it. But those aren’t his only quirks! Here’s taking a look at signs that scream out and tell you it’s a KJo movie.
It’s never about one person or one couple for Karan Johar. He writes a whole load of parts for one single movie and still casts industry stalwarts for every small role. Sometimes even really insignificant ones. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai brought Shah Rukh, Kajol, Rani, Salman, Reema Lagoo, Anupam Kher, Johnny Lever together. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham had Hrithik, Kareena, Shah Rukh, Kajol, Amitabh and Jaya amongst the main protagonists. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna had Amitabh, Abhishek, Preity Zinta, Kirron Kher, Shah Rukh and Rani, and even Arjun Rampal for kicks. He probably likes throwing a party on set so he brings half the industry together for one single film. Probably was the go-to guy for the Ambanis to bring all of Bollywood and turn them into back-up dancers for one single wedding! Just send a message to KJo’s broadcast list!
Song and dance at the drop of a hat
Why say it in dialogue is you can say it in song? This is a formula that has worked very well for Karan Johar. If a girl wants to find out a guy’s name, she’ll sing! Like Poo did in K3G. Keeping a fast for Karva Chauth and want the whole world to know? Just sing and dance! Broke up with your boyfriend? Take inspiration from Anushka Sharma and yell out ‘mere saiyaan jee se aaj maine break up kar liya’. Fought with your best friend? Bring the whole college together and sing like KKHH. The only upside of this whole charade is that functions in India, which we have too many of, will never run out of music.
Karan Johar picks locations for his movies depending on which embassy makes it easiest for him to travel with his huge cast, crew, and equipment. K3G was shot in London, Kal Ho Na Ho was set in New York, My Name is Khan was also in the USA, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna was in the USA too, SOTY had a wedding in Thailand, and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was shot across some beautiful European locations including Paris and Vienna. Bollywood takes you places. If you work with Karan Johar, that is.
Complicated love stories
Karan Johar loves complicated love stories. He loves creating love triangles. And if he’s feeling generous, there’s a love square for people to deal with. But it’s never simple. There’s either the concept of extramarital affairs, or homosexuality, or an illness, sometimes a critical one. Even friend zoning hasn’t escaped his complications if you look at Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Simple is too old school for KJo.
It’s so much about the family for KJo, that it even was the tagline for one of his films - ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, it’s all about loving your parents’. And his messages are anything but subtle, like mothers knowing their sons have reached because their feet touched the land of the same property as she’s standing in. Mothers convincing their sons to remarry even if they have no clue where the girl is! Dads ruling over their sons’ lives but sons still wanting to live up to their expectations! He either had parents put on a pedestal, or makes them absolutely ridiculous, like Saif Ali Khan’s over the top Gujju parents, and Amitabh and Kirron Kher in KANK who get busy on the side. There’s no middle ground for Dharma.
Over the top characters
Over the top is regular, if you’re Karan Johar. He makes them either super sweet or downright evil, like the granny who is mean to her son’s illegitimate child in Kal Ho Na Ho. And an extra crazy Johnny Lever to balance out the extra tyrannical Amitabh Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. And every character seems over the top now in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai because it was made so long back. Anything but “cool”, like SRK’s chain reads.
Why be the guy with connections in the industry, if you can’t make your friends play your small parts? Karan Johar has a lot of side-plots in his films but he still casts industry insiders for all those tiny roles too. Farah Khan, Nikhil Advani, Ayan Mukherji, Kajol, John Abraham, Vaibhavi Merchant, he gets people from all backgrounds in Bollywood, and they are more than happy to make cameos in his films. He probably gives them small roles based on how nice they’ve been to him.
Karan Johar has a weird fetish for shooting bench scenes. Like the scene in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai where SRK admits his feelings to Rani while also pacifying Kajol. Or when SRK and Hrithik find out they’re estranged brothers in K3K. Or when SRK and Rani run into each other moments before she’s about to marry Abhishek. Or even the ending in Kal Ho Na Ho. All of them shot on benches in beautiful locations! If KJo was a football coach, he’d bench all the best players and think he was doing them a favour!
Karan Johar’s films can be about love, family, illness, adoption, anything under the Sun, but it can never release without a big fat helping of drama! This is JusTalkin brought to you by in.com.Read More