Karan Johar’s Candid Take On Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s Gender Politics

Karan Johar, the renowned Bollywood filmmaker, who marked his directorial debut with the iconic film “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” in 1998, recently commemorated the movie’s 25th anniversary. The film, featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, and Kajol, has held a special place in the hearts of fans for over two decades. Nevertheless, as times have evolved, so has Karan Johar’s perspective on the film’s portrayal of gender dynamics. In a candid interview, KJo acknowledged that the gender politics in the movie were deeply flawed.

Reevaluating Gender Politics in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Karan Johar reevaluates his iconic film's gender dynamics and questions a Shah Rukh Khan dialogue .

During a conversation with Nikhil Taneja on “Be A Man Yaar,” Karan Johar openly admitted that “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” exhibited problematic gender politics. He pointed out, “He (Shah Rukh Khan) liked the hot girl (Rani Mukerji), and the best friend (Kajol), but just because she was not so-called hot he didn’t love her. And when she became hot, he fell in love with her. It was like gender politics were all wrong.” KJo conceded that he would not make the same choices today.

He further reflected on his mindset at the time, saying, “Because, that was also me, just being impressionable by Hindi cinema, and not by the gender politics of the world. It was new to me.” Johar acknowledged that he was ignorant of the implications of such narratives and even considered stalking as a form of romance until he realized its problematic nature.

Shah Rukh Khan’s Iconic Dialogue Under Scrutiny

In “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” Shah Rukh Khan delivered a memorable line, “Hum ek baar jeete hai, ek baar marte hai, shaadi bhi ek baar hoti hai… aur pyar ek baar hi hota hai” (We live once, die once, and marry once…and fall in love once). However, Karan Johar now finds this dialogue inconsistent with the film’s narrative. He mockingly commented, “Toh I was like, ‘What was I thinking, why did I write this? But then I realized that the word ‘conviction,’ aap uske saath chale jao personally or in cinema. You go with that conviction, and your journey will end well.”

Celebrating 25 Years of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

As the iconic film “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” reaches its 25th year, Karan Johar’s remarks shed light on the changing perspective within the industry and society regarding gender dynamics and narrative consistency.

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