This exclusive interview has been conducted by PopDiaries host and editor-in-chief Manjari Mukherjee and filed by Shaina Sharma.
Popdiaries knows its audience the best and it knows what they want next. So here we bring an exclusive interview of the Director of docuseries “The Romantics” – Smriti Mundhra.
The director seems to be a typical Bollywood fan who loves to enjoy the movies with upbeat music and romantic vibes. And live into those vibes until you watch the next one.
The fan of Yash Raj films and also a curious mind who is in search of knowing the making of movies and the one who believes that your dreams and vision do come true. Smriti has already won the hearts of movie lovers with her previous shows “Never Have I Ever” and “Indian Matchmaking”.
So here we bring you the exclusive interview of Smriti Mundhra, have a good read!!!
Manjari: How did the idea for The Romantics come together: Docuseries are always percieved as something serious, but you chose to do a completely unconventional topic, why so?
Smriti: I think there’s some misconception about the documentaries and that’s hopefully changing now. I mean there are great story telling in the documentaries as well. There’s a sort of going idea from education point of view that hasn’t been from many years now. So hopefully series or other work of mine like this will excite people for watching movie documentaries because there are great story telling in multiple genres itself.
Manjari: The romantics, never have i ever or indian matchmaking, your work has always played a relatable factor with the audience, is it a conscious effort?
Smriti: If you think about the things that people especially Indian people care about the most, you know those are the topics that I also care about the most and that’s what I’ve explored in my work.
So Indian Matchmaking was about marriage and family and you know I wanted to do something about the cinema and major filmmakers from our cinema culture and Yash Chopra was a great lends to explore that time “legendary”, and was also really responsible for cultivating the idea what people know around the world is Bollywood today.
(And on the part of conscious effort)
Yeah, you know some of them has just ingrained because you know I’m also an Indian and those things have moved me and consumed me and dominated my thinking in my life and those are the things I want to explore through storytelling but for me I have a little bit of insider perspective and also a bit of outsider.
Having been raised in abroad sometimes I can look at the things with an outsiders curiosity, in terms of how does this can work or what does this mean you know that kind of things and you know its somewhere in between that terrified the balance. You know the outsiders curiosity and insiders authenticity.
Manjari: Was it challenging to get all the stars under one roof?
Smriti: The difficulty wasn’t in intention. Everyone we reached out to, was willing and eager to speak. You know, because the love and regard they have for Yash Chopra but the scheduling was a challenge and thankfully I didn’t had to do any of that, the producers were dealing with all of it and they made the impossible happened.
Manjari: Was it difficult to get Aditya Chopra on board for this, considering this was his first public appearance, What was it like meeting him for the first time?
Smriti: I think anyone who has worked with Aditya Chopra or engaged with him in anyway can tell you that he’s absolutely obsessed with movies and obsessed with the business of movies and all of that. I think that’s why he’s so great in what he does. His number one concern is the audience and the creative integrity of the projects, everything else is secondary.
There’s no ego involved, there’s no any other thing like this, you know everything he wants and he makes, he wants it to be the best, that it could be. And whatever I appreciate and respect is beacuse as a filmmaker also but besides that because he has kept himself so hidden, there’s actually some idea like he’s mystique but actually he’s a very normal guy.
He’s very passionate, hardworking and you know very dedicated to what he does, incredibly intelligent and visionary. But he goes to his office and he works.
Manjari: Shah Rukh Khan, was the biggest part in the transition of YRF legacy from the legendary Yash Chopra To Aditya Chopra coming onboard with his set of ideas and dynamics, What was it like to work with him?
Smriti: I think it was amazing, sometimes we take some things for granted and don’t realise how much intension was behind them, and hearing Aditya talking about Shahrukh Khan like really convincing him to take that lead and play a romantic lead, that had a huge effect and changed our industry, changed movies and changed cinema and gave us all the defining magne idol of our generation.
And it didn’t happened like out of nowhere, it wasn’t just luck, it was intentional and somebody had to vision for that. I’m glad that they share stories of books that can’t do that and I think that’s really important for people to see taking these kind of risks and they both took the risks and taking those kind of leaps of faith can result in life changing things. And that’s something kind of lesson that I think we all can take.
Manjari: Lastly, was it difficult to draw the parellels in-between the socio economic changes in that age with the change in our film industry?
Smriti: In the time in the moment it’s less of a conscious thing and maybe artists or filmmakers are just reacting, just as anyone would to what’s happening around them. The more connected you are to the world around you, the more what’s happening around you affects the type of stories you tell.
At the time the large part was happening but on an inside you can see that it kind of goes both ways. That the films and stories are impacted by what was going exactly at that time but also the films and stories affected the exact time. So the films influenced the way culture changed and shifted as well. That’s something I think has put the benefit of higher signs you can see.