Having earned flak for endorsing infidelity in his latest Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, director Karan Johar is now trying hard to mend the damage by saying that his film tries to convey that nobody should go in for a loveless marriage.
"I haven't been irresponsible towards my audience. The message, if any, is marry for the right reason. And if you're in a miserable marriage you're wronging two people."
He says audiences are free to interpret his film, which boasts of big names like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta, the way they want to.
"You can look at my take on marriage positively or negatively. The characters have their own point of view. Rani's father-in-law wants her to leave. Shah Rukh's mother wants to stay with his wife even though the wife throws Shah Rukh out. There's poise, dignity and class in all the characters."
Excerpts of the interview:
Are you endorsing infidelity in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK)?
|KANK is my take on marraige, says Karn Johar.
I don't claim to be an expert on marriage or anything else. I'm not endorsing anything. KANK is my take on what happens when people marry for the wrong reason. The true foundation of an enduring marriage is tremendous love. If that love isn't there, things can go wrong any time in a marriage.
That's what happens in KANK. My characters behave in a particular way because they are my characters. You don't have to agree with what the characters do or say.
People are reacting vehemently to the Shah Rukh-Rani extramarital affair.
Every married person sees a bit of him or herself in the characters. They're reacting to the characters. KANK is like watching an experience rather than watching a film.
Everyone wants to know why Rani doesn't love Abhishek's character. But she doesn't! That's it! There're millions of women who go on being miserable in passionless marriages. I'm not telling those women to go out and have an affair. But you don't need to be in a loveless marriage. That's what KANK says.
Surely there're obligations in a marriage that go beyond self-gratification?I agree. But children shouldn't be made an excuse to keep a dead marriage going. Preity says, "I'm not one of those who accept defeat in life by making children their weakness. I'm not that weak." You cannot question why. That's the way these characters are.