Karan Johar recently engaged in an open and honest conversation with Nikhil Taneja on We Are Yuvaa, where he delved into various subjects such as his upbringing, his experiences in the film industry, and the impact of influential cinema. During the discussion, the renowned filmmaker expressed his insights on the changing portrayal of protagonists in the Bollywood industry and how contemporary Hindi cinema has been influenced by the South Indian film industry.
In a candid conversation, Karan Johar expressed his perspective on Indian cinema, remarking that it has portrayed the ‘most flawed interpretation of what a man should be.’ He highlighted the impact of phrases like ‘don’t cry like a girl’ or ‘be a man’ on our perceptions of gender, questioning,
”What does ‘Be a man’ mean?” He went on to say, ”Man up means what? Raising your hand at a woman? That’s not being a man. This is all rubbish that has been drilled into people’s heads.”
”We have no hero now. The South has given us one type of hero. We don’t need a Vijay to save us or a Raj to rule our hearts. We need our content to be impressionable in a good way,”
Karan Johar made an observation, noting that there existed a ‘layer of misogyny’ ingrained in characters like Vijay.
When questioned about Bollywood’s transition from characters like Vijay to Sid and more recently to Kabir Singh, and how masculinity is often depicted as inherently violent, Karan Johar remarked,
”Hindi cinema has derived this from South cinema. This is not our core being, this is our derivation. Suddenly we are deriving it because KGF and Pushpa are big hits. And we’re deriving it in an inauthentic manner”.
Karan Johar rationalized that South cinema is capable of effectively handling such themes due to their unwavering conviction, while, in contrast, Hindi cinema appears to lack a clear direction in this regard.
”We don’t know what we’re doing, me included. We’re all walking around like headless chickens trying to find our feet,”
Karan Johar concluded.