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    'Black' inspires Karan Johar for next film

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Friday, March 18, 2005
    Ace filmmaker Karan Johar says he feels humbled by Sanjay Leela Bhansali''s "Black" - and inspired.

    "I feel humbled educated, enlightened and elevated," Johar, who is in London, told IANS in a telephone interview.
    "I've just gone through a life changing experience. It's called 'Black'."
    "I knew I was going to view an extraordinary film. After all I was three weeks late - down with jaundice - and by the time I got to London, I had heard enough from friends whose judgement I trust completely, including Shah Rukh Khan, to know it was no ordinary film. But nothing prepared me for the extraordinary experience.
    "'Black' is the best film I've seen in my life! Amitabh Bachchan's is the best performance I've seen by a male actor. And Rani Mukherjee? My god! When I remember how I'd scream instructions at her during 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', I wonder what I was doing! Rani has surpassed not just her contemporaries, but almost everything done by actresses in our cinema in the last 50 years.
    "What Sanjay has done with these two actors leaves filmmakers like me humbled and grateful. Humbled, because I can never equal what he has done and grateful for taking Indian cinema where it could never go without Sanjay Leela Bhansali."
    And now Johar is determined to complete the script for his next directorial venture.
    "Before I return to Mumbai in a month's time I'll have everything in place, all thanks to Sanjay Bhansali and 'Black'. You know it's so strange. When I went to finally see 'Black', I wasn't prepared for the effect it would have on me.
    "The film has made me determined to move ahead and complete my script, to try and make a difference to Indian cinema in my own way. I'm going into a different territory this time.
    "'Black' makes it seem possible to push the envelope. We can't waste time making the same kind of films any more. We have to move on."
    Johar has finalised the cast for his film.
    "It will have Shah Rukh and Preity Zinta, Rani and Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan too. It will be a film about mature human relationships, the man-woman axis done in a way that I've never attempted before. After 'Black' I feel I made the right decision to move away from what's known as the 'Karan Johar Style'."
    He moves back to his current favorite topic.
    "You know, it's so important for 'Black' to be acknowledged and applauded by our film fraternity. I feel so sorry for a few of my colleagues in Mumbai who have problems with 'Black'. They need to get their heads examined. I had a few problems with Sanjay's earlier films, 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' and 'Devdas'. But 'Black' is beyond reproach. Every moment is flawless.
    "I watched it in a theatre in London where the sound and film projection added to the magic of the experience. There were a couple of girls behind me who giggled initially. I told them to shut up. Later they realized who I was and felt very embarrassed. But who am I? After seeing 'Black' I feel truly humbled."

    "It's so strange and so lyrical. But after watching the snow play such a pivotal part in 'Black', when I emerged from the theatre, it started snowing on the streets of London. I felt like breaking into a jig like Rani in the film. 'Black' has liberated me."


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