The Karan Johar era of unmatched romance

Bollywood has its own mad fan base, as well as its own set of critics who manage to find flaws in pretty much every breath the industry takes. Not taking sides here because I’m one of those clueless ones that stand in the middle ground, but there are a few things I love to notice.

Each time a Bollywood song or a scene randomly pops up somewhere, I’m the type that selectively sits through it based on a few general popularity parameters. And of the many such parameters, I’ve noticed that songs and movies from 1990 to 2010 constitute a chunk of my preferred content.

Practically, those were the Yash Chopra and Karan Johar decades. We also had a few massive names of the film industry in the field of acting debut and rise to fame during this time. And though the era has been widely accused of being held up on a monotonous concept of love, and even accused of blatant remakes, there are a handful of moments that are nothing short of monumental in the history of Hindi cinema.

Karan Johar, in that regard, was a mastermind screenplay writer who has produced a few genius results such as Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham, Kabhi Alvida na Kehna, Kal ho na ho (not as a Director), Dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge and so on. Having watched almost every movie from the two decades that KJo created/was a part of, there is one thing very evident about his work – his talents are unparalleled when it comes to romanticism.

Human emotions, heart touching plot twists,  a lot of crying on screen that got us reaching out for tissues, family sentiments portrayed against glorious backdrops and romantic relationships that left us craving for such experiences in life – these were a few areas KJo mastered like no other film maker of his time. And his casting skills were so impeccable that his actors are today the epitomes of particular genres. Movies like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum might seem lame to some but it is undeniable that it encompasses pretty much every emotion that we can imagine feeling. Almost all his movies of the era can easily be categorized under the classics of Bollywood. KJo had his best era until My Name is Khan which was more or less in the same line but the graph has been drastically spiralling downward since then.

It could be his diverted attention towards other ventures such as fashion or talk shows or just the need to fulfil the necessities of nepotism in Bollywood, but since 2010, KJo has never regained his original form. Student of the Year series does have a few good moments but the movies since 2010 are not even close to the range of romanticism he mastered before.

No matter what the theories of film making say, the era from 1990-2010 was the golden era of Bollywood considering the kind of heart touching content that came out. Since then, there have been revolutionary growth in Hindi cinema that we must be proud of for sure – but the era has its own footmark. If only the KJo and Yash Chopra magic could be revisited just once more with the classic actors and actresses of Bollywood – the Bollywood keede would even pay double to relive that experience.


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