Karan Johar is indeed a happy man. His Dostana has worked and how. Defeating the stereotype, going completely unconventional, boasting of hot bods and eventually making a statement, though in its own subtle manner and humorous undertones, Dostana is now being branded as the first ever hardcore commercial film that has explored relationship between two people of the same sex.
We get into an exclusive conversation with Karan as the film completes its successful first week run and is all headed for quite some bountiful in days to come. Here Karan talks about the success of the film, it's prospects in days to come with Yuuvraaj being a biggie to compete (he dislikes the very essence of competition here though) while also defending the mixed response that the two halves of the film and Bobby's presence has got from audience as well as media.
The trend of a Dharma Production doing particularly well in cities has continued with Dostana too, right?
I have great faith in my audience and even while making Dostana, we knew that the film is mainly looking at big cities business. We understand the kind of demographics we were catering at. This is why in the overseas too it has been such a big success. I am particularly gladdened by the fact that despite recession, the film has performed globally. All those talks of economic meltdown affecting film business as well have been evaporated with the collections of Dostana which has taken one of the best opening weeks in last so many months.
But did you actually see such success coming?
The responses I received on Day One made sure that Dostana was headed in the right direction. Of course every movie comes with feedback which represents two sides of the same coin. Even in case of Dostana, there was positive as well as negative feedback. Some loved it but some hated it too. That's ok, its show business and this is why we are here for. What is overwhelming is that those who loved the movie far surpassed the ones who didn't. The collections for the films only convey the same!
So how much does the success of Dostana eventually mean to you?
It absolutely means a lot to me because first and foremost it is a validation of all the hard work from the team. Also, the brand image that Dharma Productions stands for has been taken care of after Dostana. I had to maintain a quality of production house and I am glad that the film has only added on to it.
Beyond the obvious drool factor, did you actually believe that John would be able to deliver as an actor as well?
My film is about a gay couple. The two men had to be macho and yet come with a great sense of humor. John just fitted the bill since beneath a great body, he also has a good comic timing. I had seen him in Garam Masala and knew that he would fit in well. Priyadarshan did tap his comic side slightly but I wanted him to go full on. I knew from my heart that John could be very funny. I just told Tarun that 'hey, let's go and get on John. He can pull on comedy.' The next thing we knew, he was on board!
Bobby's presence in the film has met with a mixed response though.
I respect your point of view but then as a filmmaker you can't always cater to everyone's sensibilities. If you ask me, it was a tough role for Bobby to play and he pulled it off rather amazingly well. He was so sincere and his dedication showed. He brings in a certain dignity to the proceedings.
Second half v/s first half debate has been on as well. It has been unanimously acknowledged that first half is a riot though things are just not the same in the second half.
There have been point of views and there will be point of views. I respect them all. At the end of the day, the whole package is meant to entertain you and in this context, Dostana has succeeded, isn't it? Look at it this way. The film is about life, love and friendship and while between the two halves of the film, each of these elements had to make their presence felt. This is why I stand by every frame of the film. After all, creativity follows its own process, right?
Though you sound confident about the film's prospects in weeks to come as well, this weekend would be crucial considering Yuvvraaj is coming. How much of it is a competition by the way?
I am hoping that both the films do really well. I know for sure that Yuvvraaj too is touted to be heavy on multiplexes. I really hope and pray for Subhashji that it works as well as Dostana continues to keep entertaining the audience. I don't even want to be competitive when it comes to these two films.