2016 is turning out to be a year of apologies for Karan Johar. First he apologised for casting Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, and now he admits to having gone wrong with his portrayal of Kajol’s character Anjali in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
While Karan’s apology post the Uri attack and India’s surgical strike along the LoC was well veiled, he has been quite candid about how little he understood love back when he started making films.
It was ridiculous of me to have done that. Shabana Azmi called me after she watched the movie and asked why was it that Anjali found only rejection when she had short hair and played basketball, and later, when she was shown as a sari-wearing, feminine woman with long hair, she finds love? It was really stupid. I apologise.Karan Johar, Filmmaker (As reported by TOI)
At a session being hosted by Filmfare editor Jitesh Pillai, Karan Johar apologised for showing a rather naiive and sexist transformation through his character Anjali, who transforms into a very demure and feminine woman, from her earlier bubbly and tomboyish avatar. The film shows that as a tomboy her love is not reciprocated, but as a sensual, sari-clad lady, she has the Salmans and Shah Rukhs falling for her in the narrative.
But why did Karan make this mistake? After all, his most recent flick Ae Dil Hai Mushkil proudly flaunts two strong female characters, who know their minds as well as their weaknesses. The filmmaker admits that his understanding of love had not been holistic when he started out as a filmmaker, and that in his personal life, he’s known loneliness more than love.
While Karan Johar’s apology is eighteen years too late, we are glad that his understanding of women, love, heartache and relationships has evolved, and understandably, that happens to the best of filmmakers with age. His apology is actually a sign of strength, to own up to mistakes and display vulnerability publicly is no cakewalk.