This week, BollyCurry brings to its viewers another edition of the Director in the Spotlight series, on one of the most successful and well known directors ever seen - Karan Johar. A film director, producer, screenwriter, costume designer, television host and actor by profession, Johar is said to have carried on the legacy of his legendary producer father Yash Johar without failure.
Karan formally stepped into the industry by portraying Raj's (Shahrukh Khan) close friend in the 1995 blockbuster movie Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. He was an active Assistant Director and a costume selector for Khan on the same movie. Johar's directorial debut came a few years later in 1998, when he presented the world with a movie worthy of everyone's appreciation - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. The movie revolved around a young girl who aspired to find her widower father another chance at love with his college best-friend. Shahrukh Khan, Kajol Devgan and Rani Mukherjee played the lead roles and the movie is still one of the biggest commercial and critically acclaimed films till date. This movie not only carved a niche for Johar as a cult director, but it went on to win Karan numerous accolades including the prestigious Filmfare award for the Best Director.
Johar's next directorial venture based on family drama proved his mettle as a director and announced clearly how he was here to stay. Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) included an ensemble cast, boasting industry's biggest names like Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol Devgan, Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in the lead roles. Based on the sensitive issue of parent-child relationships, the movie was another film that went down in the history books as a commercial and critical success.
After a four year gap, Johar brought Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna in 2005 which received mixed reviews from audiences. Built around the story of two unhappy married couples who later end up tangled in an extra-marital affair, the movie was a bit too bold and conservative for the social norm of the country. Despite featuring Bollywood's top stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee and Kirron Kher, the movie failed to please the viewers given its controversial storyline. Nevertheless, the movie managed to have itself recorded as one of the highest grosser of its time.
Next on the list is My Name Is Khan (2010) which brought back the magical couple Shahrukh Khan and Kajol Devgn together after a period of eight long years. This was another cult movie and a diametric opposite to Johar's earlier work. The film depicts how a Muslim man Rizwan Khan (Shahrukh Khan) suffering from Asperger syndrome, struggles to strive against the obstacles put out for him in his journey to meet the President of the United States, with one goal in life, to prove to the world that he was not a terrorist. Though the film gained mixed reviews, it went on to become one of the highest worldwide grossers that year.
With Johar's latest directorial stint Student Of The Year (2012), he launched into the glitz world a batch of three promising talents - Alia Bhatt, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. Loosely similar to his directorial debut, the movie also revolved around a love triangle along with their ambitions and desires playing a catalyst in the story. The movie was an instant favourite among the youth and akin to his previous works, this film also became a commercial hit.
Apart from his diligent work as a director, Johar has been quite an active producer and the head of Dharma Productions founded by his late father. The company has numerous successful movies to its credit, like Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Dostana (2008), Wake Up Sid(2009), Agneepath (2012) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013). Simultaneously, he has been an impeccable host on one of the most popular talk show in recent times - Koffee With Karan, a jury member in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and India's Got Talent,and a part of another talk show Lift Kara De.
Till date, Johar has played only cameo roles but he is ready to play a fulltime actor in Anurag Kashyap's next - Bombay Velvet (2015) also starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. Through his journey in Bollywood so far, Karan Johar has surely made a legacy for himself and has managed to make space in millions of hearts worldwide. From a mere cameo role to directing four films that are considered some of the highest grossers in international markets, he has surely come a long way. We, at BollyCurry, wish the man all the best for his next ventures.
Writer - Pooja B.
Editors - Komal P. and Gunia K.
Graphics - Komal P.
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