Karan Johar heaped praise on the South film industry and Bollywood filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Rohit Shetty for carving their own niche and “not following” popular trends.
The 49-year-old filmmaker was speaking at ABP Network’s Ideas of India summit where he discussed the rise of the South film industry and the lessons for Bollywood. “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 on the ball and go to what’s happening around us. We tend to do that all the time. I’ve done it myself,” Johar was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“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 added.
Johar further commended the South film industry for not copying “what we are doing or what Hollywood is doing”. He added, “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 further said, “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.” He was particularly impressed by the box office collection of the recently released pan-India movie “RRR”, helmed by SS Rajamouli, whom he referred as the “biggest Indian filmmaker”.
“Telugu film industry has made certain kinds of films which are all about its inherent heroism, there are few, wonderful, female actors that have done solo lead films. But we in Hindi cinema have got widely eclectic in terms of our storytelling choices.
“We haven’t held on. 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.”