Director Karan Johar has been trying to move away from his high-gloss image and tackle more mature subjects in his films but question remains — can he make realistic cinema like those made by filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Dibaker Banerjee?
“Just because you show beauty, it doesn’t mean it’s not real,” said Karan, defending his style of filmmaking at the Jio MAMI Film Festival, where the lead cast of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil interacted with the media. “You see beauty in my film. Is Aishwarya Rai not real? ADHM is a real film; it’s about real emotions, real people, and real world. Anurag and Dibaker’s reality is different from mine; their syntax is different. I do not make dark films but show love stories, however that doesn’t mean my characters are unreal. Every director has a different ‘sur.’ And I can proudly say that, Meri dhun shayad badal jaye lekin sur nahi badlega.”
Karan’s is confident the subject of unrequited love will strike a chord. “I can assure you that 90% of the people will connect to the structure or characters of this film. Till the end of the film, whenever my characters speak up, their ideas, words and thoughts are very real to me.”
Moving on to the intimate scenes between Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Ranbir Kapoor, Karan clarified that he faced no censor cuts in Aishwarya’s track because “it’s all in the eyes. Aishwarya plays a poet in the film. She is a woman of substance who knows her mind and heart. There is no kissing scene or skin show. It’s about the attitude. There is no lip lock. It’s just in the eyes and attitude and that’s where an actor comes in.”
Were the intimate scenes with Ranbir difficult to shoot? “No, not at all!” smiled Aishwarya. “It is about the comfort level with my director, Karan. There was calm and ease after working for so long. Today, I know the overview. It is about how you approach the character and do what is relevant. It is done in a classy way. It is not frivolous sensuality onscreen.”
Tipping her hat to Karan, with whom she is working for the first time, Ash said, “When I was reading the dialogues and the script for the first time, the first thing I said to Karan was “It is so real!” ADHM will be Aishwarya’s third release in a little over a year, after Jazbaa and Sarabjit.
ADHM explores unrequited love but Anushka Sharma says that she has not experienced that emotion. “I am very practical. I cannot look at someone standing afar and fall in love with him. If I feel that the person is not interested in me, I just move on. This is for my own safety.”
No cat fight here
Talking about her equation with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka recalled two instances when the senior actor had gone out of her way to make her feel comfortable. “While I was abroad for an award function, Aishwarya made me so comfortable. She was very good to me. At another time, when I was 21, I was called for a party in Amitabh Bachchan’s suite... and I was scared. She was so warm to me and kept on asking me if I was okay. She didn’t need to do that but she did.”