The much-talked-about Netflix docu-series The Romantics, which is a tribute to the legacy of Yash Chopra, YRF, and its cultural impact on India and Indians for the past 50 years, was released on Feb 14th to unanimous acclaim and love.
The national over-pouring of love for Yash Chopra and YRF was evident as The Romantics became the Number 1 trending title on Netflix within 48 hours of its drop, a rare feat for a documentary! The acclaimed docu-series features Rani Mukerji, who says she was not just fortunate to find Yash Chopra as a filmmaker and a mentor who shaped her as an artiste but also as a father-in-law!
Rani says, "From my childhood, my memory of my favourite films was directed by the one and only Yash Chopra… His name was synonymous with romance. Women wearing white, chiffon sarees, snow-covered mountains, stunning locales, beautifully framed shots, breathtakingly beautiful close-ups of actresses, insanely romantic scenes, and outstanding music and dances!!! These were all part of Yash Chopra movies that were engraved in my mind from childhood! Chandni and Lamhe being my all-time favourites!! "
The iconic actress adds, “When I came into this profession and I got to know him personally as a human being, I discovered that he is so much more than just a filmmaker, he was an absolutely amazing person! Him being a versatile and genius filmmaker was a given but what actually moved me was when I met the person behind the larger-than-life personality! So down to earth, humble, jovial and so respectful! He had a great sense of humour!!He was always the favourite person at any get-together or function. He had this magnetic energy that always drew all of us towards him, he was full of life and always fun to be around. He never brought his towering personality of being 'The Yash Chopra' with him at any instance."
Rani further says, "Over the years I developed a personal relationship with him. When I watched The Romantics for the first time I had a whole perspective of what made Yash uncle so special. I truly believ
ve that it was the influence that Pam aunty had in his life that made him so remarkable in understanding relationships and capturing that aspect on screen. Her presence brought so much love and warmth into his style of romance which he was so revered for. "
Rani looked up to Yash Chopra for presenting actresses with dignity and showcased them as towering faces of courage and self-belief.
Rani says, "He literally made every Indian aspire to be like the characters that he presented on screen. His actresses were beautiful inside out! Not only were they presented like goddesses - ethereal beauties but were at the same time very real as people, it was never about external beauty! When you scratched the surface these were people supported by amazing characteristics that made them aspirational and believable at the same time. I truly believe it had to do a lot with Pam Aunty’s influence in his life that drove him to write such beautiful parts for women. I have always been in awe of how he presented his heroines on screen, and secretly always wished to be the quintessential “Yash Chopra heroine “! In Yash uncle's films, the women always had an equal part or even slightly better part than the men. It speaks volumes about him as a filmmaker that he always listened to his heart rather than conforming to the norms! His immense respect for women always showed in the way he presented his heroines!"
While Yash Chopra is celebrated unanimously for his mastery over the romance genre, Rani considers him to be a filmmaker who could stamp his presence across all genres. Yash Chopra’s Darr - a violent love story or Deewar - an anti-establishment family drama that is misinterpreted as an action thriller by many, etc, saw him delivering path-breaking films with varied genres.
Rani says, "I don't think there is any other filmmaker who has dabbled in so many different genres in their lifetime. Yash uncle truly knew how to epitomise relationships in films, it was just not a love story it was about true human relationships and that is what he depicted. He was very close to the grassroots of understanding people and relationships which he depicted in
his films so brilliantly!
She adds, "He was also ahead of his curve like Lamhe was one of those films that trade and the audience didn't accept! Especially for the unbelievable ending! But Yash uncle never shied away from telling a story that he believed in, and as of today, it is one of the most lauded films of his career. What comes across through the documentary and his interviews - is that films were ingrained in his blood."
From Aamir Khan to Salman Khan, from Shah Rukh Khan to Ranbir Kapoor, from Amitabh Bachchan to Ranveer Singh, from Rani Mukerji to Hrithik Roshan, from Katrina Kaif to Anushka Sharma, the mega-stars and icons of Hindi cinema have come together and spoken about Yash Chopra and YRF’s contribution to Indian cinema in The Romantics.
The Romantics has been directed by Oscar & Emmy-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra, who returns to Netflix after the phenomenal success of Indian Matchmaking and the Never Have I Ever franchise.
In this four-part docu-series, Netflix will also feature 35 leading personalities from the film industry, who have closely worked with YRF through its 50-year glorious existence.
Catch the trailer of The Romantics here:
Interestingly, the reclusive head of the iconic Yash Raj Films, Aditya Chopra, was also coaxed into recording his first on-camera interview for ‘The Romantics’! His insights about YRF and the Hindi film industry in this docu-series is a huge highlight for the film fraternity, cinephiles & Hindi cinema audience at large.
YRF is currently at an all-time high as their latest release Pathaan. It is now the number one Hindi film worldwide and has become the biggest all-time blockbuster in the history of Hindi cinema with worldwide gross collection currently at 1000 crore.