Yash Chopra, the King of Romance, is one of the finest directors of all time. His films are a gift that has significantly altered the trajectory of Indian cinema. Defying convention, the great director was a pathfinder in defining how things could actually be. In his long career, he gave some extremely enriching themes that catapulted the careers of Rakhee, Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit, Shah Rukh Khan, and others to new heights. Yash Chopra set a new standard for romanticism for future generations.
The director, a man with a vision, made many films with all his love and heart. There were numerous films on the list that were considerably ahead of their time. While the choice is difficult, here are five films by Yash Chopra that were much ahead of their time and are a must-see on his birthday.
‘Kabhie Kabhie’ was first released in 1976. The film explores the complexities of love, relationships, and moral quandaries. A romance drama that spanned two generations rather than just the male and female leads. Chopra's wife, Pamela Chopra, wrote the screenplay, imagining opinionated and strong-willed ladies who were significantly different from their contemporaries. Chopra himself described it as a "experiment in romance" in one of his conversations with Karan Johar on Yash Raj Film's YouTube channel.
In 1991, the unconventional filmmaker came up with another unthinkable concept with ‘Lamhe’. The picture depicted a love triangle that cinephiles adored; it transcended the bounds of time. Unfortunately, Indians enjoyed the film but were unable to embrace the phenomenon in order for the picture to perform well at the box office. While the film was a huge success worldwide at the time of its release, it did not fare well in the Indian market.
‘Silsila’, which was released in 1981, is still regarded as one of Yash Chopra's best films. Chopra's masterpiece goes into the subject of extramarital encounters. The film is remarkable in light of the fact that it was made at a time when the notion did not adhere to society conventions. The film had an iconic cast that included Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, and Rekha.
‘Veer Zaara’, the ever-romantic, was launched in 2004. There aren't many people who haven't seen Veer and Zaara's ageless romance. The film was more of a musical narrative of pure love, separation, and tragedy than a romantic love story. The film was not about Indo-Pak terrorism or politics, but rather about an emotional love story.
While speaking with Karan about casting Preity Zinta, the experienced filmmaker remarked that throughout her filmy career before to Veer Zaara, she had never done a conventional Indian part, therefore he was of the conviction that if he worked hard on her, he could add a new dimension to her on-screen presence. Chopra had decided on Preity as his Zaara after putting in a lot of effort on her looks, clothes, make-up, and haircut, followed by 4-5 screen tests.
The 1989 release of ‘Chandni’ catapulted Sridevi's career to new heights. In an interview with Karan Johar, the veteran filmmaker said of Chandni, “Our industry had reached the saturation point of violence. So, I was like, I will do the biggest gamble of my life, whatever happens. I won’t make a film with a formula or calculation. I will make a film that will touch my heart. I started Chandni.”
The experiment was a success at the box office. The choice of Chandni's clothes was carefully considered, and Sridevi's onscreen charisma delighted the audience.
If you're a Yash Chopra lover, you can also watch the Netflix docu-series ‘The Romantics’, which celebrates his legacy. Nonetheless, the one-of-a-kind filmmaker continues to inspire and rule the hearts of millions. Don't forget to mention your favourite film by the unconventional filmmaker.