Rating : 7/10
Reviewed by Ankur Sardana
In our nation which still suffers from the serfdom syndrome, being honest is treated equivalent to being brave. And so yes, Karan Johar is brave, quite brave.
There is no point linking youtube videos here, as he is a part of the contemporary folklore. He is our Pop culture and he is all over the place. If the roast wasn’t enough to endear him to most, the autobiography seals it.The way he talks about his depression and sexuality hasn’t been done before and I think won’t be done soon again.
“How do you keep holding on to something that can easily slip out of your hands? You’re holding it tight, but when you hold something tight your entire body is tense. That’s what success is.”
It would have been great if he had not tried to defend himself so much (why should he?) for the kind of movies he has made, the way he is perceived as a popcorn director. It’s really an overkill of self-defence at times. He is a successful director of melodramatic-yet-popular-cinema and that’s a big deal by itself.
The book has two distinct parts, the first being a filmy story and the second being a mature honest conversation. I found the first extremely average yet quite enjoyable and emotional (like his movies- “my father cried for 45 minutes after he saw KKHH, that was the first time I saw him cry“), and the second an honest conversation, where there is depth and take aways. This is where he talks about his relationship with viewers, sexuality and depression (“they underrate it in India and overrate it in the west“).
The book is a tad drag, especially during the 30-40 overs mark, but the rest is good stuff. It seems he could have had lesser pages and still had the same impact, but then he is a marketing genius and would know what the right number of pages were.