Filmmaker-producer Karan Johar in his recent interview reflected upon the rise of south films and the lessons which the Hindi Film Industry needs to learn from them.
In one of the interactions with film critic Mayank Shekhar at ABP Network's Ideas of India summit, Karan said that Hindi cinema sometimes falls prey to a herd mentality where filmmakers tend to follow popular trends instead of setting new ones. He admitted that he too, has done the same.
The director said, "I am putting myself in the same bracket when I say that Hindi cinema, I feel sometimes we fall prey to herd mentality. We shift the focus from the eye to the ball and go to what's happening around us. We tend to do that all the time. I've done it myself. I've done the same, I have followed the same. I have not created many paths. I have followed trends. That is what happens in Hindi cinema. We sometimes lose the courage of our convictions and so filmmakers also get carried away with this wavering energy."
He further pointed out that the South Film Industry is not looking at what Bollywood or Hollywood is doing and is instead doing their thing. "They're not looking at what we are doing or what Hollywood is doing. They're doing their thing. Their syntax has remained the same, they have up their technology and we have a lot to catch up with," Johar said during the discussion.
He continued, "But I feel sometimes as we lose the courage of our convictions, there are certain filmmakers who haven't, like Sanjay Leela Bhansali does what he wants to do, Rohit Shetty too does what he wants to do, he is not listening to intellectuals, critics or Instagram. He's doing his thing."
Karan said that he is impressed by the box office collection of SS Rajamouli's RRR and also talked about Allu Arjun's Pushpa: The Rise tasting massive success across the nation especially in the Hindi-speaking belt. He said the true crossover can be witnessed from the fact that people today are listening and dancing to the film's Telugu songs.
Speaking about the enthusiasm for South films, he explained that it's due to the digital explosion. The director said that the South film industry has held on to their stardom because of their content and the way they position their films.
Citing example of the Telugu Film Industry, Karan said that they have certain kinds of films which are all about its inherent heroism. At the same time, there are a few, wonderful female actors who have done solo lead films. On the other hand, the Hindi Film Industry hasn't held on to heroism like them.
KJo said, "The way we position Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s, which actually began the entire concept of heroism. We changed our syntax later, whereas Telugu cinema, specifically held on to it, their heroism was kept intact."
The Ae Dil Hai Mushkil director said that when it comes to Hindi cinema, it is the age of an actor and that we are no longer living in the age of superstar. He gave example of superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Hrithik Roshan, and called them 'massive movie stars' whose legacy can't be wiped out.
He added, "But today we talk about the actors of this generation, it's going to go into a zone of an actor, the age of an actor. It's no longer going to be the age of superstar or star. I don't think it's possible after creating that euphoria that the names I just mentioned have had."
When asked about how he reacts to the vilification of Bollywood on social media with hashtags like #HateBollywood, #BanBollywood, Karan admitted that he was initially affected by the negativity, but later chose to look at the love and support that he receives from a large section of people.
"I've got to analyze it within and I said to myself, why am I sad about faceless, nameless people thinking about me. I shouldn't care about them. I should actually be grateful for the love that I get which is in larger numbers. That's what I've chosen to do," he said on a concluding note.
Speaking about movies, Karan Johar is donning the directorial hat after a gap of almost six years for Ranveer Singh-Alia Bhatt starrer Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.