‘The Romantics’ is a masterclass on the oral history of Indian cinema by Aditya Chopra

Shefali Saxena Monday 20th February 2023 05:59 EST

The Romantics on Netflix has made two things clear. One - Aditya Chopra is real. Two - The so-called A-list filmmakers of Bollywood have been having a gala time with the press and have been hailed as geniuses, only because Chopra, the real genius was in his never ending hibernation. Now that he’s come out of his cocoon, we know why and how YRF Studios is a mammoth business and the most successful one in Indian cinema. Not only did YRF become the largest film studio in the business, but also surpassed the legacy of Raj Kapoor’s RK Studios which is now isolated, with not many people to revive the showman’s magic again. 


The Romantics has been directed by Oscar & Emmy-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra. Thanks to Mundhra, the reclusive head of the iconic Yash Raj Films, Aditya Chopra, recorded his first on-camera interview for ‘The Romantics’! 


The Netflix docu-series The Romantics is a tribute to the legacy of Yash Chopra, YRF and their cultural impact on India and Indians across the world for the past 50 years. The four-part docu-series features 35 leading personalities from the film industry, who have closely worked with YRF through its 50-year glorious existence. 


While it is duly, a tribute to one of the pioneers of Indian cinema, especially the connoisseur of love and romance who changed the very lens with which women were perceived and showcased on celluloid, the series is more of a masterclass for Gen Z and many other film buffs who wanted to understand the business of cinema and what it takes to build an empire like YRF. ‘The Romantics’ teaches us what we will not find in books. It’s like the world needed Aditya Chopra to articulate his own cinema, the paradigm shift in filmmaking, an oral history of Hindi films, all in one go like a dream come true. 


Aditya Chopra’s vulnerability in his first ever video interview while decoding his father’s method of filmmaking and eventually his own, is what makes The Romantics truly authentic in the story it is trying to tell. Uday Chopra (Yash Chopra’s younger son) who has been away from movies for a long time, also establishes along with his brother Aditya that nepotism doesn’t save careers. Aditya said, “My brother is an actor and he's not a very successful actor. Now, here is the son of one of the biggest filmmakers, he's the brother of a very big filmmaker. Imagine a company like YRF, which has probably launched the most newcomers, and we could not make him a star. Why could we not do it for our own? Because the bottom line is, only an audience will decide, ‘I like this person, I want to see this person’. No one else can decide that.”


If you haven’t watched ‘The Romantics’ yet, watch it with your Gen Z children, grandchildren and friends who have either never seen the craft of Yash Chopra’s legacy, or thoroughly enjoyed it and shaped their lives according to his portrayal of romance on celluloid. It is a great watch for diaspora kids who have only known Karan Johar films for a glimpse into India’s culture. Here’s a man who’s Karan’s best friend, better than him and more confident in his success and failures, giving you a free oral history of Indian cinema, that no one else can in such a simplistic and articulate manner. 

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