Karan Johar’s Superstardom – A 15 year journey

Karan JoharIt was way back in 1997 when Karan Johar first dreamt that his bearings were in films. Work began on ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, superstars like Shahrukh Khan and Kajol were roped in, half a dozen actresses rejected him before a newbie Rani Mukerji stepped in and history was written when the film opened to packed houses a year later. This, when competition was David Dhawan, Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda, all hot-n-happening and together in ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’ which released on the same day as ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’.

Circa 2012 and Karan took the mantle of launching his once-rival David Dhawan’s son Varun along with Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. It was now time to realise another dream i.e. to show what he was really made of. It was not about breaking away from Shahrukh Khan with whom he had collaborated on each of his directorial outings so far; it was about doing some soul searching and figuring out where he stood as THE brand Karan Johar.

Not that he needed a certificate for that. However in an industry called Bollywood, it doesn’t harm to test waters at times.

Well, Karan did step in but the intention was not just to stay afloat; it was to swim fast and swim hard. History was again re-written 15 years after a dream was first borne. ‘Student of the Year’ saw a record opening for itself as far as launch of three newcomers was concerned. Oh yes, one is tempted to remember Hrithik Roshan’s launch in ‘Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai’ which was much bigger. However one distinct factor that separates the two initiatives is that while Rakesh Roshan was doing it for his son by launching him in the industry, Karan was (most likely) doing it for himself while launching complete outsiders.

While doing that he managed to shoo away quite a few detractors who, over the years, have just swapped places while challenging him right from his ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ days to ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ and ‘My Name Is Khan’. Too opulent, Shahrukh Khan dependent, candyfloss, meldramatic, unreal, designer porn are some of the words reserved for Karan Johar films. However the fact remains that the man delivers! He did that with superstars, he has now done that with newcomers. What has remained constant is the scale and setting that has remained intact.

The criticism would continue even in his next period love story (which is expected to feature Shahrukh Khan) and other productions. However the brand that Karan Johar has managed to become during this 15 years duration, the results seem to be only going in his favour.

Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder



  • Not true. Dont forget SRK lent his name as the producer of the film. SOTY is a joint production of Red Chillies and Dharma. But Karan Johar is the Best Mainstream Director of This Generation. No Doubt.

  • @Anshuman, don’t take credit away from Karan Johar. SRK lent his name, but he didn’t promote it. He didnt even have a song.

    So what if he produced it? He produced Always Kabhi Kabhi too. It didnt even get a face saving opening.

  • Salman not rock the world he is only india evnn ra1 and don2 worldwide 250 cr earn but salman highest groser only 245 he he just wait and watch diwali dhmaka jthj rocks the world not only india ha ha ha…

  • Oh karan all know that u r a ga’y husband of cha’kka she’male srk, so i want both of u 2 make mayamsab2. Plz make it, it will break ra.1 record

  • hey karan babe you didn’t come last n8,im missing you so much …specially your BLACK DI CK..i wanna do se x with you right now babe,bcoz i want GUPT ROGGGGGGGGGG
    OH YEA
    OH YEA
    F U C ME

  • varun,siddharth,alia had d biggest debut ???? r u kiddin me ???? let dem win d bst actor award in their debut year itself , den v vl c

  • when rohit-ajay jodi gave 6 supersuccessfull films,srk fans said it’s all because of rohit.
    when kjo-srk and yash-srk jodi gave hit,srk fans said it’s all because of srk.
    what a poor mind srk fans have.hak..thu.

  • Wish there was such an article in Rajkumar Hirani! He completed 12 years of terrific success on 19th December! All blockbusters, all acclaimed hits, this man deserves more attention of media than he gets :(

    Anyway this was a nice article and I agree SOTY was successful only because of Karan.

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