The Romantics From Netflix Is Going To Give You Nostalgia
One term you won’t hear much of in “The Romantics,” a new Netflix documentary on the legacy of Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra: “Bollywood.”
The Hindi-language film industry’s moniker is a combination of Hollywood and Bombay (now Mumbai), yet its leading figures have traditionally detested being associated with the West. A jaw-dropping array of Hindi film A-listers, including Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, and Chopra’s own wife Pamela, are among the interview participants asked by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra how they feel about the phrase; none of them provide a good response.
Ranbir Kapoor takes a taste of his drink and declares, “Hate it.”
In its century of existence, the Hindi film industry — and the rest of India by extension — have ignited entertainment culture in ways that no one mashing together the terms “Bombay” and “Hollywood” could ever have dreamed of. This is a world of captivating music, stunning dance, breathless action, and heartbreaking tales.
It’s a genre-defying and -defining movie, and it deserves its own name.
No one loves more passionately than Desi [South Asian] people, according to Mundhra, who spoke to IndieWire through Zoom. Because every aspect of our existence is interwoven, “we feel so much, and I believe the reason we do it best is that it provides this fantastic petri dish for enormous sentiments, big drama, and high stakes, and those are all the things that make great movies,” says the author.
Mundhra covers Hindi film over the course of four episodes in a way that nearly no one else has, from Chopra’s early work to the ascent of his sons Aditya and Uday in the 1990s and 2000s to the evolving tastes of the business and Chopra’s death in 2012’s impact. The idea for the project sprang from Mundhra’s own passion for Hindi cinema, her competence in documentaries, and the fact that she had never seen a film retrospective about the people, places, and media that had shaped her upbringing.
Nobody anticipated what would happen when the “St. Louis Superman” director met with Chopra’s production business, Yash Raj Films. Mundhra’s destiny became evident as the firm approached its 50th anniversary and had never produced a documentary before.
You have all of these movies. What more do you have, I asked, she recalled. “I want to do a documentary on the history of Yash Chopra and YRF, and that’s what I want to get my hands on. I want to simply go into that vault of the archive, the screenplays, the films, the behind-the-scenes material, anything you have. It’s such a fascinating tale, and it perfectly captures India’s significant cultural changes.
It’s unusual to discover so many films together that is both historically and culturally relevant.
When YRF and Netflix collaborated on “The Romantics,” Mundhra was given free rein to dabble in the archives with “no directives, no limits.” Uninitiated viewers may find the footage fascinating and entertaining, but veteran Bollywood aficionados (sorry) will find it to be nothing short of revelatory. There has never been anything like it, from vintage photos to home movies to breath-taking footage of a 23-year-old Aditya Chopra nonchalantly recounting one of the most iconic scenes in Indian film history. She conducted interviews with approximately 30 influential figures working in acting, directing, producing, costuming, and other fields.
Many of the individuals we spoke with expected us to mention Yashji, YRF, and Adi in order to honor the 50th anniversary, and that was partially on purpose, according to Mundhra. “Let me get them in the room and then we can plunge in,” I reasoned.
The aristocracy, nay, royalty, of Hindi cinema, are shown in “The Romantics” in a manner that has rarely been seen before. The majority of Indian actors rarely engage in publicity that is as frank or reflective as the discussions in this series; they often use it to promote their most recent production. It seems as though many of them have been eager to discuss this but have never been presented with the proper inquiries at the appropriate time or place.
They are eager to contribute their opinions, information, and skills, according to Mundhra. That’s kind of how I approached each of these interviews; I really tried to see each person not just [as] the great star, but also [as] a historian of their own journey, their own tale, and also carrying a piece of Indian movie history. I made an effort to access that.
But probably the most anticipated interview of the series comes in Episode 2, which closes in on the famously secretive Aditya Chopra, whose debut feature”Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” became the longest-running Indian film ever. He was raised on the sets of the older Chopra movies, receiving a master’s education in filmmaking that is rare. His final and only interview to date was conducted for a print magazine in 1995, the same year “DDLJ” made its debut.
Aditya is comparable to India’s George Lucas, according to Mundhra.
He is incredibly talented as a producer and director, and he has created a force that has fundamentally altered the Hindi film business.
He had a lot to say once we got him seated because he is quite intelligent, obviously well-informed, and has a lot of really wonderful perspectives.
In order to persuade him to sit down, Mundhra made the interview seem very low-risk; it was the kind of material he could add to the archive and show anyone or no one (“You can stick it in a vault for someone to discover 100 years from now if you want”), but it was also something for him to remember the history of his father, family, and legacy as well as the 50 years of YRF. Then, without her asking, she included his film in the edit.
Aditya Chopra’s Achilles heel, or weakness, is the creative, according to Mundhra, who spoke to him for this interview while he was filming the series.
He’s a filmmaker, not simply a producer, executive, or studio boss, so when he notices something is truly working artistically, he will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
So I took advantage of that,” she laughed. We agreed that I would provide him with the rough edit when it was ready. After seeing it and realizing its significance and value, he agreed. It’s not something he usually does, so I give him a lot of credit.
Are you excited about The Romantics? Comment down below
Follow us on KooApp – Here