• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Actors are asking for sun, moon & earth: Indian filmmaker Karan Johar

Karan Johar’s latest production venture, Kill, is currently in cinemas.

Karan Johar (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival)

By: Mohnish Singh

THE remuneration of India’s Hindi film stars needs to be looked at again and many of them are not in touch with reality, filmmaker Karan Johar said as he weighed in on the debate around the rising star fee in Bollywood.

The lackluster performance of many big-ticket Hindi movies in recent months has led to a debate around the money charged by some of the big stars whose entourage also adds to the film budget.

“Firstly, audiences’ tastes have become very definitive. They want a certain kind of cinema. If you, as a filmmaker, aim for high numbers, your film must perform well across A, B, and C centers. Multiplexes alone won’t suffice,” Johar told journalist Faye D’Souza on her YouTube channel.

Talking about the escalating costs of filmmaking due to inflation and the hefty fees demanded by top actors, the filmmaker said, “There are about ten viable actors in Hindi cinema, and they are all asking for the sun, moon, and earth. So, you pay them. Then you pay for the film and the marketing expenditure. And then your film does not do the numbers… How’s that math working?”

Reflecting on the industry’s current state, he noted, “Each decade of Hindi cinema had a distinct style. Now, we are chasing trends without conviction. If an action movie like Jawan or Pathaan works, everyone jumps on the action bandwagon. Then a love story succeeds, and the same thing happens. We are running around like headless chickens. We have not realized that audiences now crave rooted Indian cinema that brings pure joy, without the pressure of critics.”

The filmmaker also pointed out the alienation caused by urban-centric films. “Audiences don’t want alienating cinema. When you focus on urban themes and neglect Tier 2 cities and smaller towns, you miss out on massive business. Urban cinema can succeed, but only at a certain price,” he added.

Karan Johar’s latest production venture, Kill, is currently in cinemas.

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