How Karan Johar elevated the visual aesthetic of Hindi cinema and ‘dharma-fied’ films

Hindi movies are known for celebrating fantastical ideas and viewers like to imagine living in that fantasy, even if just for a little while. Thus, when at the turn of the century, Farhan Akhtar challenged convention when it came to making moviesKaran Johar chose to refine it. Just after a few movies, Karan’s movies had created an impression that set him apart from the rest of the crowd. A film’s exaggerated grandeur, stylized clothing and overall visual aesthetic added a certain kind of panache to his films which appealed to moviegoers and while over the years he earned the label of “des rich people making rich people”. things,” it added a kind of glamor to the Dharma movies that they looked distinct.

Yash Johar’s Dharma Productions made movies like Dostana and Agneepath, but when his son Karan started making movies with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, it was clear he had a stylistic approach when it came to showing the visual grandeur. Kids of the 90s remember the hair bands, friendship bracelets, and even neck chains that came with a “cool” tag like the “computer accessories” of the time. With his subsequent films like Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho, it was evident that Dharma had undergone a visual makeover, and not just for their own films, but for Bollywood in general.

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham transformed the way Hindi films viewed their visual style.

In a behind-the-scenes video of Kabhi Khush Kabhie Gham, Karan explained that even something as little as the selection of background performers was done with great care, as people attending parties in the Raichand house had to have the seem to belong in this mansion, and paying such attention to some of these details was quite rare at the time.

This attention to detail was very evident from Karan’s first film. We all remember the days when background dancers wore the same uniform and their overall look was nothing out of the ordinary. But that saw a change after Dharma Productions came on the scene and dancers, junior performers or anyone even appearing in a frame from the film looked like they belonged on a movie screen.

The attention paid to the style of a Karan film can perhaps be compared to what Yash Chopra once did with his 1965 film Waqt, which later changed the way movies viewed lavish homes and the wealthy living the lavish life. The comparison also makes sense since Karan was vocal enough to draw inspiration from Yash Chopra.

Karan Johar Every element of a Karan Johar movie is carefully curated to look ambitious.

Not only in terms of styling their movies with glamorous outfits and exquisite locations, Karan Johar also started the era where every movie looked like a brand advertisement, and every character looked like a highly stylized version of themselves. . The packaging of a film, in terms of trailers, music videos, promotional material, everything had a certain level of class that made it aspirational to the masses and for a very long time that’s exactly what worked in Dharma’s favor.

When talking about contemporary Hindi films, Dharma is often used as a verb and for a man who has been heavily criticized for the way he makes his films, this is no small feat. Karan Johar may not be the best filmmaker in the country, but when it comes to pitching and packaging his films, he knows exactly how to wrap his film in a tidy arc that is sure to inspire. attract the public.

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