Remember that scene from Karan Johar's Kal Ho Na Ho where Kanta Bein almost went into trauma after suspecting that Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan might be dating? That's the cringe-worthy narrative that Bollywood has built of homosexuality, and filmmaker Karan Johar wants to make amends. The filmmaker promises that his upcoming movie, Dostana 2, will treat the subject as sensitively as possible.
Johar spoke about 'Ten things men must change about Bollywood' while speaking at We The Women curated by journalist Barkha Dutt. He was first asked how he feels about item numbers, including the ones in his films, and the filmmaker said, "I don’t feel I did the right thing at that point in time with the inclusion of such tracks". Remember, KJo has produced item numbers such as Chikni Chameli.
He added, "I didn’t think that there were going to be repercussions... Cinema is such an impressionable medium. It was just things that you didn’t think of and then when you’re told, you realise that they are true, you’ve to apologise to the society that you possibly scarred as a result of what you put out there. I can’t take back those songs that I put out there in cinema that have objectified women but I can say for a fact that I will not do it again."
While opening up about the portrayal of homosexuality in the Indian cinema, Johar further said that Dostana was a conversation starter. There was a depiction of homosexuality that was "caricaturish, even in cinema that I had produced. The evolution will be evident from one Dostana to the other. You will see that the representation is accurate, non-caricaturish and on point (in Dostana 2). The film will talk about sexuality in a way that will not make you cringe while watching it. So therein lies the fact that in the last 12 years, there has been a solid change in the way we depict gay characters. Even in Kapoor & Sons and the way it was depicted," he said.
Dostana 2 is a sequel to 2008’s Dostana. The first one was a story of two men (played by Abhishek Bachchan and Johan Abraham) who pretended to be gay to share an apartment with a girl (essayed by Priyanka Chopra) whom they eventually fell for. The new one features Kartik Aaryan, Janhvi Kapoor and debutant Lakshya. Dostana 2 is slated for release next year. The cast and crew have already completed the first schedule of the movie in Chandigarh.
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