Netflix’s ‘The Romantics’: An ode to Hindi cinema and Bollywood

Hindi cinema and love are carefully intertwined; the romance style is integral to the trade, the spine of a few of the extra unmistakably common motion pictures rising out of India. Throughout musicals, mythological epics, and fashionable classics, the message of affection has reigned for many years. Anybody who has even dabbled in Bollywood can conjure a picture of a pair towards the mountains of Switzerland: she, in a pastel sari, he, taking part in a melodic tune to specific his devotion.

This distinctive visible is the creation of 1 filmmaker, Yash Raj Chopra, the debatable power synergizing Indian cinema and romance — and in the present day, the topic of Netflix’s The Romantics.

What’s Netflix’s The Romantics about?

The docuseries, fittingly launched on Valentine’s Day, is an homage to Chopra, his studio, and his dedication to portraying love onscreen. Directed by Smriti Mundhra, the Oscar-nominated inventive who additionally made Indian Matchmaking, The Romantics is a four-part, in-depth examination of Chopra’s legacy, his penchant for romantic movies, but in addition the mammoth-like Indian movie trade as a complete.


Netflix’s ‘The Romantics’ trailer teases the bona fide love letter to Bollywood

“A lot of what we all know and what involves thoughts after we consider ‘Bollywood’ and ‘Hindi cinema’ was architected by Yash Chopra and his movies. His profession, felt to me, the right lens to look at the evolution of the Hindi movie trade,” Mundhra tells in an interview.

Posters for 'The Romantics'.

‘The Romantics’ is now streaming on Netflix.
Credit score: Netflix.

For The Romantics, the director and her staff spoke to 35 main Indian actors, spanning three generations, over the course of three and a half years. As well as, producers, artists, journalists, and writers had been approached so as to add their very own tales to the dialog. The mission was inherently “intricate and research-heavy,” Mundhra says, which accounted for the docuseries’ prolonged manufacturing timeline.

Tracing Yash Chopra’s legacy

Interspersed with these private accounts is archival footage of the numerous movies developed by Chopra, his son Aditya, and Yash Raj Movies(Opens in a brand new tab). Within the first episode “The Boy from Jalandhar,” viewers are taken by means of Chopra’s beginnings as an auteur, from his debut Dhool Ka Phool (1959) to the business success of Deewaar (1975), by means of to romantic-drama-musical conceptions Kabhi Kabhie (1976) and Silsila (1981). Many of those works examined the “complexities of marriage” and the “nuances” of affection, Mundhra says: “[Chopra] was so forward in that regard.”

Concurrently, we see Chopra’s appreciation for love, poetry, theatre, and vogue, all of which underscore his typically grand and starry-eyed productions. Lots of the actors interviewed say they watched Chopra’s movies as followers first, working with him later. Anil Kapoor, who frequented Chopra’s productions as an actor, says his movies had been all the time “shiny and frothy”; director Karan Johar says he was “transfixed” by the wonder current in Chopra’s motion pictures.

Yash Chopra on set of 'Silsila'

Yash Chopra directing on the units of ‘Silsila’.
Credit score: Yash Raj Movies

The sequence seamlessly entwines Chopra’s profession trajectory — each his triumphs and failures — with a broader story of India itself, touching upon the arc of the nation from colonial rule to partition to financial growth. These historic sides elevate the docuseries, including context for viewers inclined to find out about why India is so fascinated by its movies.

“One factor that actually emerged, as I used to be speaking to folks, was how carefully the tendencies within the Hindi movie trade mirrored the large cultural, political, social and financial actions of the nation itself. That added a layer to the narrative that I discovered actually attention-grabbing,” Mundhra says. “India, within the final 75 years, has gone by means of a lot change. The movies mirrored that and also you solely actually see this once you take a step again.”

The onset of contemporary Hindi rom-coms

The purveyor of present-day romantic movies, Aditya Chopra himself seems in a uncommon interview within the sequence. This growth has been the supply of a lot tabloid anticipation(Opens in a brand new tab) in India within the weeks main as much as Netflix’s launch. The director, who labored alongside his father however is thought to have heightened the household’s productions, final spoke to the press in 1995(Opens in a brand new tab). Mundhra says Aditya agreed to the mission swiftly, however the interview itself “took lots of convincing”.

“I pitched the imaginative and prescient to Aditya initially and he was on board fairly rapidly,” she says. “He and the studio gave me entry to the movies, archives, music, and anybody I wanted to speak to. I really feel very grateful they trusted me with this story, as a result of it felt so private to them.”

Preity Zinta and Yash Chopra on set.

Preity Zinta and Yash Chopra on the units of ‘Veer Zaara’.
Credit score: Yash Raj Movies.

His interview seems within the second episode, “Prodigal Son”, which brings the viewers into the ’90s and twenty-first century and the event of the household’s signature studio. Within the interview, Aditya says, “I used to be privileged that I used to be already given an enormous begin by my father. My father was so profitable, he actually gave me all the pieces on a platter. I used to be so fortunate. Now if I don’t take this head begin and make one thing out of it, I might really not be doing justice to the chance. In order that was my drive. How do I put Yash Raj Movies on the map of the world?”

Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 'Dhoom 2'.

Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in ‘Dhoom 2’.
Credit score: Yash Raj Movies.

The director did so with the discharge of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), the romantic film touted because the turning level for Bollywood. Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, the movie reached an unprecedented degree of fervor, nonetheless taking part in 27 years later at a theater(Opens in a brand new tab) in Mumbai.

Right here, the tempo of the Netflix sequence picks up, and The Romantics’ key concept comes into focus. Viewers will not be confined to a documentary a few single character, however are slightly proven how Chopra was an integral a part of the material of Bollywood. Snippets of every star current a deep-rooted love for India and filmmaking; their dedication to the trade is clearly obvious, as is their nostalgia for the films of the previous. We’re witness to Khan’s meteoric rise by way of his metamorphosis from villain to hero, and get perception into Amitabh Bachchan’s stardom and his son Abhishek’s childhood on the units.

Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee.

Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee in ‘Hum Tum’.
Credit score: Yash Raj Movies.

A broader image of Bollywood and its folks

Like lots of Chopra’s movies and the works below the Yash Raj banner, The Romantics veers into portray an aspirational, rose-tinted picture of the trade and its stars. However conversations about nepotism, privilege, successes, and failures come up in episode 3, “The Guard,” which extra holistically approaches the trade by honing in on its realities. Every of those fragments encapsulates the better image of Bollywood, its motion pictures, and particularly, its followers.

“Our connection to Hindi cinema is so particular and profound.”

– Smriti Mundhra

Mundhra rightfully by no means strays too removed from inserting emphasis on followers, the backbone of the trade and for whom this sequence is basically for. As an Indian-American, Mundhra says she is happy for the diaspora to interact with the present.

“Our connection to Hindi cinema is so particular and profound,” she says, emphasizing that for a lot of South Asians overseas, the films “introduced the neighborhood collectively” and had been “the one connection to the homeland”.

“It is not so simple as leisure,” she says, and that is clearly evident in The Romantics, a devoted testomony to what Bollywood and its renditions of affection have signified over a long time. Many have steered that India’s romantic style has waned(Opens in a brand new tab) previously few years, eclipsed by motion flicks that scale back like to a secondary thematic machine. For followers of Hindi cinema, each home and worldwide, the sequence will function a crucial reminder of the romantic storytelling that grew to become synonymous with Bollywood for a purpose. It is a scrapbook of types: a nostalgic, potent reminder of the gravity these motion pictures have held for therefore many.

The Romantics is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a brand new tab)

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