By the time the Kareena Kapoor-Shahid Kapoor starrer Jab We Met (JWM; 2007) released, the two actors had already broken up in real life. The film, a love story, however, went on to become a raging success. Now, another former-real-life couple, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, will come together in Karan Johar’s upcoming production, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD). And coincidentally, Karan compares his love story to JWM.
The filmmaker says, “After JWM, we haven’t had a quintessential love story in Bollywood. In the past few years, we’ve seen a slew of masala action entertainers and experimental cinema. We’ve had films like Dabangg (2010), Agneepath (2012) and Rowdy Rathore (2012), but in the process, genuine love stories took a back seat.”
The uncrowned king of family entertainers himself hasn’t made an archetypal love story since the 1998 film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (KKHH). YJHD, he insists, revisits the same space. “I would define the film as a perfectly formulated formulaic love story. After KKHH, YJHD can be put in the same bracket,” he adds.
Ask if the film is a homage to yesteryear director Nasir Husain’s brand of rom-coms (as widely reported), and he clarifies, “Not exactly. It’s not influenced by a particular kind of film, but it does channel the basic essence of romance in Hindi cinema.” Karan adds that YJHD tries to understand the emotions of a man in his 20s as he tackles life, love, ambition, friendship and happiness.
Given he’s a director; we wonder how involved he was with the film as a producer. “I can’t take any credit for it. It’s completely Ayan’s (Mukerji; director) baby. My involvement has been limited to lending financial and moral support. Otherwise, it belongs to Ayan, Ranbir, Deepika and also Aditya (Roy Kapoor) and Kalki (Koechlin),” he says. This is Ranbir and Deepika’s second film together after Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008).