The Romantics Review: A journey into the nostalgia of Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra’s cinema that revolutionised Hindi film industry.
The Romantics Review: Yash Chopra’s cinematic journey is much more beyond romance and fashion trendsetters. The filmmaker’s larger-than-life legacy comes from humble beginnings and his resilience to bounce back despite failures. Yash Chopra is fondly remembered for Shah Rukh Khan’s one-liners in rom coms and glamorous heroines dancing in chiffon sarees at freezing Switzerland weather. However, his simple storytelling for the masses meant much more than mere entertainment. So, was his son Aditya Chopra when it came to creating art for the silver-screen. The cinema of Yash Raj Films has been the perfect blend of Indianness and Westernized YOLO generation. The Romantics by Academy Awards nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra delves into the vision of Yash and Aditya Chopra to make Indian cinema a global soft power.
A RIVETING SERIES ON INDIA’S CINEMATIC REVOLUTION
The four episodic docu-series starts with the dictionary meaning of the term which is used for ‘Imaginative but impractical; visionary: ‘A person who has ideas that are not based on real life or that are not very practical.’ Smriti does justice to the title as the viewers get exactly what they expect. The filmmaker transports you to the world of Hindi cinema, which is the mind of Yash and Aditya Chopra. The documentary focuses on giving the perspective of the visionaries who pioneered India’s biggest production and distribution house in the 21st century. The audience deserves to know about the challenges and setbacks faced by the icons of Hindi cinema. As art is going beyond the barriers of language and geography, it is imperative for the world to know about Yash Chopra as much as they do about James Cameron or Steven Spielberg. A simple documentary about a simpleton from Jalandhar, Punjab who became Indian cinema’s greatest legend. The movie buffs and critics get a transparent view of the germ of the idea that led to musical blockbusters that became classics.
THE ROMANTICS NARRATES YASH CHOPRA’S MAGICAL CINEMATIC JOURNEY
From creating his own company getting out of his elder brother BR Chopra’s shadows to taking failures too personally, Yash Chopra relates to the Indian middle class’s internal conflict. The filmmaker broke out of the conventional mould of Hindi films. Whether it was presenting Amitabh Bachchan as a poet or making Kabhie Kabhie as a women-centric film, Yash Chopra was always ahead of his times. The director who always gambles with unique ideas brought back romance in Hindi films amid noir and action-oriented 80s cinema. He post 1971-war and post-Emergency India found solace in YRF’s slice-of-life romantic dramas. Both he and his son Aditya speak about failures and creating stories for the audience. The documentary does not try to glorify the greatness of YRF, but simply tell the relevance of commercial entertainment and films in the lives of Indians. The best part of the series is how it presents the people behind Silsila, DDLJ, Veer-Zaara or Pathaan as ordinary Indians with the passion to tell stories.
THE ROMANTICS INRODUCES YOU TO ADITYA CHOPRA’S FUTURISTIC VISION
Aditya Chopra’s honest and practical take on nepotism and Hindi film audiences is refreshing. The post-liberalisation renaissance and Bollywood coming into pop-culture has been aptly described. Aditya’s inspiration from Akira Kurosawa’s scriptwriting and his idea of combining Manmohan Desai and Michael Bay for Dhoom reveals about the changing phase in the mid-2000s. Identifying the significance of small-town-India in Bunty Aur Babli to recognizing the potential of newcomers like Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh. The documentary is the most rational reference for those who want to understand the Indian cinema.
The Romantics is not just meant for Yash Chopra or SRK lovers, but for all the students of cinema. A must-watch for aspiring actors, directors, producers and scriptwriters to understand the world of Bollywood or Hindi film industry. My verdict for the four-part series is three and half stars.
STARS: THREE AND HALF
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