Exclusive With Smriti Mundhra: Celebrating The Legacy Of Yash Chopra With ‘The Romantics’
From star crossed lovers separated across enemy lines, a young woman’s obsession with an older man, former lovers reigniting their lost spark or young love pleading for acceptance. From the sand dunes of Rajasthan to the Swiss Alps, the yellow mustard fields of Punjab to the banks of river Thames, no one brought out myriad shades of love as evocatively as filmmaker Yash Chopra.
The King Of Romance, filmmaker Yash Chopra’s legacy includes some of Indian cinema’s biggest hits. From Dharmputra To Deewar, Kabhi Kabhi to Silsila, Chandini to Lamhe and Dil Toa Pagal Hai to Jab Tak Hai Jaan his brand of cinema reflected the socio cultural fabric of society over the decades.Strong story telling, exquisite locations, chart-topping music and helmed by the biggest stars, Yash Raj Chopra films retain a timeless appeal.
Filmmaker Smriti Mundhra’s ‘The Romantics’ docu-series pays tribute to the filmmaker and his legacy across five decades. Talking to GOODTiMES, Smriti Mundhra said the lack of retrospective on Indian films and the contributions of Hindi films struck her. “Its such an expansive topic, entire breath and history of Hindi cinema cannot be covered in one series. But, I thought the story and legacy of Yash Chopra would be a good and obvious starting point. He is one person who has defined what the world thinks of Bollywood/ Hindi cinema and that’s where it all started.” The four part docu-series is no less than a starry affair. Three generations of stars come together to celebrates the cinema of Yash Chopra. Smriti Mundhra even managed a rare interview with the elusive Aditya Chopra. “Getting Aditya Chopra was challenging, it took a lot of convincing and was out of his comfort zone. But, in a retrospective of his father and a tribute to his work, it would have been incomplete without his perspective.” She admits the real challenge was to fit in decades of Yash Chopra’s work in four hours. ‘People when they watch will see we have had to be selective in which of the films to explore in the Yash Raj catalogue since there so many. So, we chose the films which were seminal in Yash Chopra’s career. Deewar, how the angry young man embodied the changing socio political dynamics. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge which was so iconic in bringing the east and the west, so we pulled out those films which represented 70 years of Yash Chopra’s career and Yash Raj films, the studio”, says Smriti Mundhra. With over 35 interviews which includes Amitabh Bachchan, Late Rishi Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee, Smriti Mundhra says, “what struck me through the course of this interview, all these stars, who are icons in their own right, turned into fans of cinema as they shared their experiences of the earlier films, even films they were not involved with. It was fun to hear the first time they saw a film in a theatre, their first Yash Chopra film, it was heartening to see the stars turn fans.”
So which is the one Yash Chopra film that Smriti Mundhra is a fan of?‘Chandini’ comes the prompt answer. “That film has a very strong recall value for me”, she says. ‘Romantics’ will premiere on Netflix on February 14.