The title of an article in Telhelka "Is India ready for a Brokeback Mountain?" refers to John Abraham and Abhishek Bachan's latest film, Dostana, in which they play two guys who (ARE PRETENDING TO) play gay in the film. Can someone please tell me how that's considered even remotely close to an Indian version of Brokeback? Anywho, Telhelka interviews Karan Johar on this new film:
In Kal Ho Na Ho, you had a gay subplot. In this film the fake gay relationship is the main thread of the story. Do you think you will ever make a film that is actually about a gay couple?
I learnt something from making Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. I learnt that it’s possible to make a Rs 70 crore film about infidelity with stars as big as Shah Rukh Khan. And people accepted it. So I will push the boundaries with each of my films. People judged me far too quickly. They decided that I would make only mushy films but I will break new ground every year. We have to leave behind the tone of the films we made in the 80s and the 90s. But is India ready for a big, serious film like Brokeback Mountain yet? I would say it won’t go down too well yet. But we will open the doors for other filmmakers in the future.
Communities who have made major contributions to cinema have been oddly subject to terrible stereotyping on screen. Like Muslims and Anglo-Indians in Bollywood. Do you think the industry is homophobic?
I don’t think people confident in their own skills would be homophobic. If you are educated and have been brought up in an urban milieu it’s quite ridiculous if you are homophobic. It either means you are insecure or you have never read a book. Or that you are in denial of your own orientation. Homophobia speaks volumes about who you are. That’s as far as the industry is concerned. As filmmakers I think we have a great responsibility to be sensitive to the feelings of all communities. We Asians are an emotionally volatile and dramatic lot. Tarun and his team have made a film that is fun but does not poke fun. It is not callous and does not hurt the dignity of gay people in any way. It may shock a small part of the population, but I think most people would enjoy it.
What do you feel about being a gay icon?
It’s very flattering to be an icon to any community. I have been asked many times about my own orientation but I will never discuss my personal life. People can look at me or look down at me, I don’t care. What I do and where I do it and who I do it with is nobody’s business but mine.
Hopefully this movie will break stereotypes, rather than build on them for laughs. In the meantime, we're loving the body shots that are in this teaser!
Is India ready for a Brokeback Mountain?