Director Karan Johar picks the most exciting young directors today
I’ll start with Ayaan Mukherjee, director of Wake Up Sid, since he’s the youngest; just 25. I hired him because of a text message he sent me — it was so funny, sweet, clever and so well-put that I hired him purely on the strength of that SMS. Also because he is a writer and I believe that if you can write well, you can direct too. After assisting Ashutosh Gowariker on Swades and me on Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, I thought he was ready. Of course there’s Imtiaz Ali, who I think is absolutely brilliant.
He’s a writer (there you go again), and he has a great sense of dialogue, of a conversational give-and-take. I also loved Abhishek Kapoor’s Rock On!!; it’s visionary in its treatment, texture and tone. And I have to mention Tarun Mansukhani, who knows how to push the boundaries within the realm of mainstream endeavour and maintain an effective balance between the two. He pushed the envelope without tearing it in Dostana.