Karan Johar, who’s all set to turn 46 tomorrow, often jokes about struggling in Malabar Hills, one of the most posh localities in the city of Mumbai. He’s all set to complete two glorious decades in Hindi Cinema this year. His journey may have been comparatively easier to the other aspiring filmmakers, as he came from a film family, but the acceptance and appreciation that every director desires, didn’t come easily. Yet, one cannot deny that his cinema offers the kind of escapism that many people would want in their real lives too.
As the Dharma scion is all set for his 46th birthday on the 25th of May, we revisit some of his most memorable films yet:-
1. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)
If the late Yash Chopra showcased a love triangle set against the backdrop of a dance troupe in Dil To Pagal Hai, just one year before Karan Johar was about to make his directorial debut, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the very film in question, placed the very same situation in the St. Xavier’s college. But unlike Dil To Pagal Hai, this Karan Johar film was not as much about love as it was about friendship. “ Pyaar Dosti Hai”, said Rahul, a character immortalized by the charm of Shah Rukh Khan. FUN FACT:- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai also became the first Indian film to open at the Top 10 UK Box Office in 1998.
2. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
Often criticized for being too overlong and melodramatic and also throwing away logic and reality out of the window, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham still continues to attract viewership on the small screen. Why? Because despite being grand on scale and larger-than-life in its portrayal, the film is rooted in a very simple plot-point- It’s All About Loving Your Family, which also happens to be its tagline. Revisiting K3G while being away from your family may make your tears weep, especially if you happen to be a hardcore consumer of Karan Johar’s brand of cinema.
3. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006)
This still remains Karan Johar’s bravest experiment yet. The man, who redefined unrequited love in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and incessant longing for the family in K3G, was the same man who dared to portray infidelity and callousness on the celluloid. It may not have attained cult status, but still remains a bold take on extra-marital relationships.
4. My Name Is Khan (2010)
Far removed from the world of true love and glamorous songs, came My Name Is Khan, a film hardly anyone would’ve expected to be directed by Karan Johar. This time, it was neither about Pyaar nor Dosti, but about religion, terrorism and what it is like to be a Muslim in the 21st Century. Not a major commercial success, but still an admirable and a heartfelt film that connects straight to the heart.
5. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016)
A film that stemmed from Karan Johar’s personal space, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil made us realize why a one-sided lover should never feel as a victim, but embrace the same. Despite an underwhelming climax, this film still managed to connect to a lot of people, thanks to the songs and three fine performances by the leads.
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