On the eve of Valentine’s Day Netflix released The Romantics on Tuesday, 14 February. The show directed by Smriti Mundhra celebrates the legacy of Yash Chopra through a series of interviews by actors who have worked with him over the years.
The four part docu-series by Smriti Mundhra shows some of the most loved Yash Raj heroes and heroines singing praises of the legendary Yash Chopra and the Yash Raj Films studios. Using clippings from his movies and some hitherto unseen footage, Mundhra traces the late great Yash Chopra’s journey from his humble beginnings in Jalandhar to the height of his success as Bollywood’s most dependable producer.
“There is a rebelliousness in his films, especially when you look back at some of his films now – I mean, they were so ahead of their time. They were so progressive. He took a chance on the stars he worked with, he took a chance on the stories he told and on himself as a filmmaker, often going against what was the conventional wisdom of the industry at the time. Now we take it for granted that, you know, well, that Bollywood equals romance, but when he was taking the biggest gamble of his career in making Chandni, every theatre was only running action films.” said Mundhra in an exclusive interview with Lifestyle Asia.
While talking about Aditya Chopra’s screen presence, smriti said as the filming began for the docu-series, she had conversations with Aditya about the history of the studio, his father’s legacy, his legacy etc. “I took little steps and suggested that his bits be recorded on video so that he can have it archived. Eventually, I took the leap and edited his interview bytes in the series. When I showed it to Aditya, he saw how important his presence is in a docu-series about the legacy of his family and his father. That’s how he was convinced”, Smriti added.
His legacy proliferates not only to his own next of kin, but to so many filmmakers that have been cultivated in his image. In making the series, and examining the history of our industry—seeing how difficult that really is, how there were so many points in that story that that chain could’ve been broken and everything could’ve fallen apart; those key decisions that kept the studio enduring were really remarkable.
“Yash Chopra had set the tone of all Yash Raj films. He had this love and passion for cinema and the craft of filmmaking and he imbued that in all of his films and it was infectious. All of the actors and artists who worked with him knew that you do this because you love it and want to connect with the audience” Smriti said in an interview with the Indian Express.