Karan Johar's debut film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai turned 21 earlier this week, and he had a few things to say about Shahrukh Khan's character in the film. Starring Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji in key roles, the film released in 1998 to a phenomenal success.
However, Johar is now skeptical about the film’s ethics and gender politics, as he dissected Khan's character in an interview with Mid-Day. The film-maker said that his character lacked a spine as well as a coherent backstory.
He continued to say that “Rahul does not stand for much, given that he plays the protagonist in the film, he is a deeply confused character who doesn’t know what he wants and, really, didn’t do much in the movie."
Johar admitted the shortcomings in the character he built, claiming that, "Whatever happened to him was because there were people pushing him - his dead wife’s spirit, his eight-year-old daughter, and Anjali herself."
The director further confessed that the only thing which made the role interesting was Khan's charisma aside from which, there was no logic or backstory to his character.
"What made him endearing was his charm, his large heart, and Shah Rukh’s personal charisma,” added the film-maker. “There was no logic or backstory to the characters. You don’t know what Shahrukh or anyone else does for a living in the movie. And the eight letters - one for each birthday - made no sense, either," he added.
Taking references from the film, Johar also talked about the scene in which Rahul taunts Anjali before her wedding, he said, “That’s not how I’d written the scene. In my original draft, Anjali tears into Rahul and calls him out. She says he doesn’t know how to stand up for himself. I threw out the scene because I thought it would cause a disservice to my leading man.”
He then confessed that if he were to make the film today, he would give Rahul's character a spine and make Anjali and Rahul talk more openly about their feelings for each other “Today, I’d keep it. Because now I understand, it’s what would make them more human. More real. I’d give him a spine and more EQ (emotional quotient). I’d also introduce more confrontation," he said.
"Rahul, today, would be able to have an open conversation with Anjali. He’ll know that she likes him and he’d address that with her. If Tina were to die, he’d come to terms with his feelings for Anjali and go back to her, not sit moping.”
There is no denying that Johar wrote the film when he was 24 and is now talking from experience, both in the industry and the world.
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