Karan Johar owns one of the biggest production houses – Dharma Productions but post Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the filmmaker is being trolled hard on social media. He has already been proven guilty without proper evidence and is now being treated as a big mafia villain in the Hindi film industry. In India, social media verdict has become bigger than its laws and courts. Is it fair?
The Good Side
He is one of the friendliest filmmakers and many film personalities feel relaxed communicating with him as he makes everybody comfortable around him. Indeed, he comes from a film background as his father Late Yash Johar started Dharma Productions and therefore, he knows the whole Bollywood family, including all the star children. Does he give more opportunities to them?
Well, he mostly works with established stars in his directed films. The only exception was ‘Student of the Year’ (2012). In the Hindi film industry, filmmakers are never considered stars. Siddharth Malhotra, who was the other lead debutant, does not come from a film background.
When one analyses movies from his production houses, he only works with established stars, including many established outsiders like Akshay Kumar, Randeep Hooda, Sushant Singh Rajput, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Kiara Advani, etc. Karan Johar must be business minded as filmmaking involves a significant investment and he cannot risk making movies only with new actors.
Johar has launched many filmmakers under Dharma Productions, who don’t come from film backgrounds. The list starts with Nikkhil Advani in ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ (2003), Soham Shah in ‘Kaal’ (2005), Tarun Mansukhani in ‘Dostana’ (2009) and ‘Drive’ (2019), Rensil D’Silva in ‘Kurbaan’ (2009) and ‘Ungli’ (2014), Karan Malhotra in ‘Agneepath’ (2012) and ‘Brothers’ (2015), Shakun Batra in ‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’ (2012) and ‘Kapoor & Sons’ (2016), Abhay Chopra in ‘Ittefaq’ (2017) and Shashank Khaitan in ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ (2014), ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ (2017) and ‘Dhadak’ (2018). Is it really fair to judge a filmmaker for nepotism only on the basis of actors launched?
Films are box office driven and therefore filmmaking is not charity. The aspiring actors from outside the fraternity will have to strive hard, take smaller roles, prove their performances and climb the ladder. They cannot expect ready made films being launched. Anurag Kashyap has rightly told that there are many filmmakers, who are more receptive to outsiders as their film budgets are less. It is easier for them to take a risk with an outsider.
There is long queue of actors for Yash Raj Films or Dharma Productions. They mostly make big budget films, where you require a well-known face as an actor. The actors are an important marketing brand tool for good box office returns. There are lot of good actors in the film industry but not necessarily stars because you need to hold the charisma around you.
The Bad Side
In an interview with BollywoodHungama.com in 2011, he said, “Student of the Year will have everything that I love about movies. It will have songs, dances, happiness, fun and frolic all around.” Little he knew, he would be blamed for being the God of Nepotism in the Hindi film industry years later. He has been accused by the audience to run the biggest nepotism network racket in Bollywood.
‘Koffee with Karan’ has created more problems for him even though it is an entertainment show. His bitchy attitude as a talk show host has been criticized. There are a few controversial questions and answers, which have been wrongly highlighted by all concerned but were not really exposed when it was aired.
Sushant Singh Rajput starrer ‘Drive’ directed by Tarun Mansukhani was very average and would have been a sure shot flop at the box office, if released in theatres. Karan Johar has taken a good business decision to release the movie on Netflix. OTT platforms are becoming a big thing in India and has a big future. The demise of Sushant Singh Rajput created a different perception about him.
Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi starrer ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’ released on Netflix on August 12, which is produced by Dharma Productions is in some sort of trouble, even though the poster does not contain his name or his company’s name. The Indian Air Force (IAF) wrote a letter to complain to CBFC over their negative portrayal in it. As expected, several Twitter users took to social media to slam Karan Johar, once again. Should Karan Johar be given a break?
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