"Who says my film is three hours and 20 minutes long?" demands Karan Johar edgily. The director is clearly a bundle of nerves.
In fact, he says, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna has him as anxious as he was in 1998 before the release of his first film, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
No wonder he springs defensively when asked about the buzz that KANK is perhaps too long. "The length is just right for a big film," he insists. But won't divulge exactly how long it will be. "Wait till the final copy is out," he says.
Karan Johar's new flick Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna will be releasing soon
That's expected to happen tomorrow – July 30. Johar adds, "The moment your first copy is out, my creative job will be over. Producer Karan will take over thereafter."
So what innovative strategies is producer Karan coming up with for this movie? "What new concept I can come up with now?" he retorts. "Krrish and Fanaa have changed the entire scenario of release strategies. So KANK will be released like any other big project." In any case, he adds, "I don't want to overdo the hype."
With Fanaa and Krrish taking record-breaking openings thanks to a record number of prints, KANK was expected to go the same way. Johar himself puts the figure at 900 to 950 prints. He reasons, "Fanaa and Krrish had historic openings because both connected very well with the audience. That's what a film needs to be successful. The rest, be it release strategy or maximum prints, are all secondary."
Though most Dharma Productions films have a strong NRI angle (KANK is set in New York), he insists he doesn't make films with "a select audience in mind".
"My movies are meant for the Indian audience irrespective of the country they're currently living in. I make movies for Indians – whether they are in Bihar or the UK."
If a nervous, anxious Karan Johar sounds uncharacteristic, he has an explanation for it.
"Every new release takes a creative person to new levels of insecurity." That unsure feeling, he believes, translates into creativity. "The day you're sure what you're up to, the creativity in you will take a backseat. So that feeling of insecurity is a must."