Filmmaker Karan Johar says unlike his 2008 production Dostana, its upcoming sequel Dostana 2 will have an accurate, non-caricaturish representation of sexuality.
Dostana, directed by Tarun Mansukhani, was a situational comedy about two men pretending to be gay lovers. While the Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham starrer became a box office success, it received criticism for conforming to stereotypes about homosexuality. The criticism has increasingly become mainstream since its release as the discourse around sexuality has broadened, courtesy new alternative voices, especially from the LQBTQIA+ community.
Today, at the We The Women event, where Karan Johar spoke on “10 things men need to change about Bollywood”, the filmmaker admitted that depiction of sexuality in Dostana was caricaturish.
He said, “Initially, it was something that was a conversation starter, so there was a depiction of sexuality that was caricaturish, even in the cinema that I had produced. But today I wouldn’t do that. The evolution is from one Dostana to the other. Dostana 1 that released in 2008 and the Dostana 2 that’s releasing in 2020, you will see that the representation is accurate, non-caricaturish and on point,”
“(It’s) talking about sexuality in a way that will not make you cringe while watching it. So therein lies the fact that in the last 12 years, there has been a solid change in the way we depict gay characters. Even in ‘Kapoor & Sons’ and the way it was depicted,” Karan Johar concluded.
Dostana 2, starring Kartik Aaryan, Janhvi Kapoor and debutant Lakshya, has been written by Navjot Gulati, Sumit Arora, Rishabh Sharma and Collin D’Cunha, who is also directing the romantic comedy. Produced by Dharma Productions, the film is set to arrive in theatres next year.