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The Romantics Review : Travel Back in Time to Yash Chopra’s Cinema, A Rare Peek Into Aditya Chopra’s Filmmaking

If a time machine existed in reality, someone who’s grown up watching Bollywood films and consumed it as a staple diet, they’d surely travel back to their first memory of watching Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge or the first time they enacted Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor’s ‘Mere Pass Maa Hai’ dialogue from Deewar. What if we say, there was a way to get an inside view of the making of these films?

Smriti Mundhra’s Netflix docuseries The Romantics acts as the perfect mode for travelling back in time, appreciating cinema and falling in love with characters that have shaped us in becoming the person we are today. Cinema has been an integral tool of nation-building. Yash Chopra’s films have influenced generation after generation.

‘A Boy From Jalandhar’, the first episode from the docuseries, chronicles the life of the iconic filmmaker, his first steps in coming out of his comfort zone and believing in his vision to make movies that matter, that can be revisited forever. While the first episode primarily focuses on five classics from the Indian cinema that defined the idea of love and action – Waqt, Dhool Ka Phool, Daag, Dharamputra and Deewar, it also spoke about Kabhie Kabhie and Chandni which brought about a significant change in the portrayal of women, and showed us the gentle side of ‘the angry young man’.

The second episode ‘The Prodigal Child’ talks about Aditya Chopra, the elder son of Yash Chopra who, not just carried forward his legacy but even surpassed it. While he doesn’t prefer the limelight or media appearances, after almost 28 years, the filmmaker ends up giving his first on-camera interview, where he takes you back to the time when he first watched Hum Aapke Hai Koun..!, working with Shah Rukh Khan, and how his first directorial debut Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge took birth. A bundle of behind-the-scene moments and video archives from the 90s would surely make one starry-eyed and celebrate their journey even more.

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There are moments in the series, which would make your eyes glaze, give you goosebumps, and make you nostalgic about watching these films. The priceless photos of Aditya Chopra’s childhood days, or him being with Yash Ji on the sets of DDLJ, Deewar or Darr, make you feel closer to them and their understanding of emotions, especially romance. The songs are no less than a warm hug to every Bollywood lover.

Apart from Aditya Chopra, filmmakers Karan Johar, Sooraj Barjatya, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, and actors who closely worked with the Yash Raj family including Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Ranveer Singh, Juhi Chawla, Hrithik Roshan, Bhumi Pednekar, Ayushmann Khurrana, Abhishek Bachchan, and Amitabh Bachchan open up on their experiences and their learnings working with the father-son duo. Adi Chopra’s wife Rani Mukerji and his brother Uday Chopra also narrate their experiences.

The Romantics Review
Travel Back in Time to Yash Chopra’s Cinema, A Rare Peek Into Aditya Chopra’s Filmmaking

The series also acts as a guide and allows one to understand the socio-economic and political environment in the country, the generational shift in making cinema and weaving characters, differentiate between good cinema, bad and repetitive cinema without judging them.

Aditya Chopra’s life comes off as an inspiration, not just for every aspiring filmmaker, but for the ones who dream, who dream about being one of a kind and following their heart. While his films may be magical and dreamy, his life of comprised successes, failures, and taking chances, which kept him grounded and humble.

Nevertheless, our idea of love, romance, heartbreak, and betrayal has been majorly defined by Bollywood. It was Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra’s films, their craft, and their storytelling which played a pivotal role in allowing us to believe that cinema is much more than a dreamy place, it’s a world where we find ourselves or fragments that define us.

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Also, don’t forget to stare, pause for a bit and go through the first draft of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. The review is based on the first two episodes of the docuseries.

Source : news18