In an interview last year, Karan Johar had said, “There are few things that I have done with my kids at a very young age apart from the emotional encouragement that one has to always give them about making sure that they don’t fall into stereotypes”. Not only his kids, the filmmaker himself, too, has lived a rather unconventional life, making choices that don’t conform to the norms. And while he may have not done so consciously, he surely has managed to shatter a few stereotypes in Bollywood films as well. Don’t know what we are talking about? Read on:
Letting someone you love go
Before we witnessed a lovestruck Aman giving away the love of his life Anjali to the love of her life Rahul in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, little did we know that love can sometimes even mean letting go of the one you adore. Even if you’d have shipped Rahul and Anjali for the duration of the entire film, you’d be lying if you claim to have not felt that Aman didn’t deserve to be ditched at the altar.
Raising someone else’s child as your own
Jaya Bachchan’s role as a single mother Jennifer Kapoor in ‘Kal Ho Naa’ is in itself a pathbreaking one. But while her running the family is inspiring, what’s commendable is how she accepts her husband’s daughter from another woman as her own. Not only does she provide for her, she even cares for her just as much as she does for her other kids. All this despite her mother-in-law’s disapproval. In a world of cruel stepmothers, Jenny sure was a refreshing change.
Bollywood has come of age now and is comfortable with depicting same-sex romances in a full-fledged feature but it wasn’t the case earlier. Karan Johar started the conversation, even if it was with comedy. While there was no homosexuality angle in ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, the sequences where Rohit’s maid Kantaben mistakes him and Aman to be a couple are hilarious. Not only did it add a comic twist to the drama, but it also recognised the fact that such relationships exist and are normal.
Finding love outside marriage
Adultery is a tricky subject no matter how it is presented. Some would argue that it is unjustifiable. But Karan Johar spun a film around it, lending acknowledgment to couples in unhappy marriages who meet someone with who they connect. While it still raised eyebrows and drew flak, it managed to address the elephant in the room so that it could be discussed and analysed.
The power of one-sided love
Karan Johar may have become pickier about the films he gets behind the camera for, but when he does, he still manages to sprinkle his magic dust over it. In ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ he chose to focus his attention on unrequited love and how, to love someone, one doesn’t need them to reciprocate. With Ranbir doing his bidding, Karan spun a tale of friendship that graduates to one-sided love and eventually leads to a tragic but beautiful end. In a world of films with couples walking off into the sunset, Karan celebrated the ones who love unconditionally.