‘The Romantics’ Documentary Series Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Popular Hindi Cinema

A celebration of mainstream Hindi cinema and a father-son passion for creative excellence, Romantic Tells the success story of Yash Raj Films to a global audience.

More than a heartfelt tribute to the ‘King of Romance’, the greatest contribution of Romantic It is that it captures the force called Aditya Chopra in flesh and blood. It explores how the maverick producer-director not only carried on the legacy of his visionary father, but transformed a family-run production house into a dynamic world-class studio that made films across genres and budgets. Kar countered the might of the multinational behemoth. , and providing opportunities for diverse creative voices. Unlike the fashion industry, it saved its brand identity Swadeshi Entertaining from the universality of emotions, by smartly mixing and matching ideas.


Director: Smriti Mundhra

Number of Episodes: 4

Cast: Aditya Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, Uday Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Ranveer Singh, Pamela Chopra

Story: A documentary series about the legacy of director Yash Chopra and production company Yash Raj Films

Directed by Smriti Mandhra in the HEADS format, the four-part series provides an insight into how the father-son duo grasped the pulse of a diverse country connected to cinema and trend-setting films over the decades. prepared

From K. Nehru’s idealism Flower of dust And Dharmaputra I at the height of ‘Angry Young Men’ Wall And The trident In order to engage the NRIs and the West-facing audience in the post-liberal phase, in times of complete revolution and emergency, Those with hearts will take the bride., the series juxtaposes some of the standards of Yash Raj Films in the context of changing socio-political conditions and the changing economy of the country. If Bunty and Babli. And Dhoom Capturing the desire to explore the aspirations of the youth in rural and urban India, Check it out! India channeled. Growing frustration Among women in a deeply patriarchal society.

Right from The stain To Lame, unconventional love stories with strong female characters with an agency to decide for themselves remain the hallmarks of Chopra’s creative universe. As Amitabh Bachchan says, even when he was holding guns, Chopra never saw roses on the canvas and stuck to his instincts. It also reflects. Sometimes after this Wall. Years later, when the market was flooded with poor copies of the action and violence he brought to the screen, Chopra created Chandni Which changed the direction of Hindi cinema in the 90s. Had Chopra had Bachchan, Aditya would have cast Shahrukh Khan to portray his idea of ​​romance where love requires parental consent. Romantic On the set of How does he carry his interesting pieces together? Dar, Chopra’s poor attempt to humanize a teasing monster.

The series credits Chopra’s wife, Pamela, with helping nurture this softer side of the filmmaker and creating an ever-sympathetic gaze towards the female characters. The series features Mumtaz’s visuals, but no attempt is made to clarify the actor’s relationship with the director. Interestingly, the makers don’t feel the need to explore a feminine force behind Aditya. In fact, he doesn’t even talk about the role of women in his life.

Shah Rukh Khan and director Yash Chopra

Shah Rukh Khan and director Yash Chopra

One of the questions that the documentary series addresses is the creative conflict between Chopra and Aditya. The son looks more mysterious in front of his poetic father. Right from Flower of dust And The timeThe quirks of fate played an important role in Chopra’s films and life. While Chopra, who long ago left to start from scratch under the shadow of his brother BR Chopra, Aditya is portrayed as a man who learned his craft on his father’s sets, and watching films. Kar and painstakingly audience response and box-office numbers As he sets out to explore stories beyond the love triangle that his father explores from every possible angle, it seems Aditya is set for box office success. Wanted to break the rules. For a while this seemed surprisingly achievable, but eventually as he matured creatively, perhaps faster than his father, Aditya realized that his mentor was right. Perhaps the series is a nod to the ephemeral nature of show business.

Having said that, their efforts to institutionalize creativity in an industry by giving outside talent a chance is commendable. He brushed off the nepotism debate by saying that the audience’s support was very important as he could not make his brother Uday a star despite having him at his disposal.

The series also takes into account setbacks and problems, but like its subjects, it doesn’t scratch much beneath the surface. Like Chopra, it embellishes deep truths and concerns with archetypal sentiments and catchy references.

Poster for 'The Romantics', a Netflix documentary on the late filmmaker Yash Chopra and his cinematic legacy.

Poster for ‘The Romantics’, a Netflix documentary on the late filmmaker Yash Chopra and his cinematic legacy.

One expected more information about Uday’s efforts to take the Yash Raj stamp to Hollywood, which looks quite different from his sleazy on-screen image and how many big projects he likes. Water fell through. But there is no debate. Vir Zara, The film Jahan Chopra gauged the impact of the partition of Punjab and whose Indo-Pak variants continued to drive YRF’s spy universe.

One also missed important creative voices like Javed Akhtar who not only co-wrote some of his hits but also became a lyricist at his insistence. Series. His co-writer Salim Khan hardly gets any screen time. And neither Salman Khan who has given YRF the biggest hits. The Sultan And There was a tiger. Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, who along with Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, gave wings to Chopra’s poetic imagination with popular compositions rooted in classical music, is also fondly remembered. Notably, the series talks about a concerted effort to break the YRF image of a celebration of a well-fed Punjabi family, but Aditya’s critically acclaimed productions such as Rocket Singh, butterfly, And Sandeep and Pinky escape Not mentioned. Is it still just about numbers and song and dance routines?

From the very first episode, it is clear that Smriti wants to introduce popular Hindi cinema to non-Indian audiences under the banner of Yash Raj Films. So, the idea of ​​song and dance to tell our stories and how deep cinema is in our lives, seems somewhat redundant to the Indian audience. The Indian film community’s distaste for the term Bollywood is so well-known that it can be debated at length. Furthermore, the monotony of the speaking vowels makes it a short word and predictable. Yet, a time is coming when Pathan has put YRF back in pole position, a landmark document of popular Hindi cinema.

Romantic is currently streaming on Netflix.

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