Filmmaker Karan Johar has said that when he watched the previous version of Kesariya, from director Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra Part 1: Shiva, he asked him ‘what is wrong with you’. Speaking at the FICCI Frames Fast Track event in Mumbai, Karan and Ayan Mukerji spoke about their creative disagreements during the shooting of Brahmastra. Karan also revealed that he didn’t like a scene shot by Ayan in the film.
Kesariya, featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, has been written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, sung by Arjit Singh and composed by Pritam. It has been shot in Varanasi with the lead actors romancing to the tunes of the song. The romantic track faced some ridicule on social media after its release for its lyrics. A section of the people on social media also noticed some similarities between Brahmastra’s Kesariya and the song Laree Chotee, a popular track from the 2007 film Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local.
As quoted by Times Now, Ayan said at the event, “There was stuff which Karan did not like. There was a big Kaali Puja sequence in the film. When you (Karan) saw the sequence, you were very harsh. He really bit**** about it. I hope I am allowed to say that word.”
Karan replied, “I never did that. I said that the scene was very terrible and I said I think you need to re-shoot it. And there was actually, and we can say it now, Kesariya was shot in another way. Kesariya was shot with Ranbir dancing quite feverishly. When we saw the song, I said ‘What the hell is going on? What is wrong with you Ayan?’. Why were they dancing? Kesariya was shot differently. Same tune melody but treated differently. It is then that Ayan realised it has to be treated differently.”
Recently, a video of Ayan addressing the criticism of Kesariya during an interview was shared on Reddit. Ayan had said, “We put it with a lot of love, we found it very interesting. We did not find it like elaichi, we thought it was a twist like bahut shakkar me thoda namak jab aata hai, uska ek maza, ek swaad hai (its not like a cardamon in biryani, its like salt amid too much sugar, it has its own taste). Because the film is a modern film and the lyrics of the song are so traditional and simple, and this would have been a fun twist.”
Apart from Ranbir Kapoor and Alia, Brahmastra also features Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy, Nagarjuna in prominent roles. The film released on September 9.