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Its Curtains for Bollywood Romance…

October 23, 2012 1 comment

I was not even twenty when “Lamhe” stunned me. I was in my teens when “Chandni” mesmerized me. Hell, I wasn’t even ten when “Trishul” hit me. And yet…the memories of those films remain etched in my heart forever.

I was never a huge fan of Yash Chopra’s filmmaking overall. Barring the times when he gave us rare gems like the afore mentioned…or a “Kaala Patthar” and a “Mashaal“, I found them mostly repetitious. And yet Yashji’s love for not just his main protagonists but even the side characters always won my heart.

Yash Chopra romanced with his audience, with his camera, with his heroes and heroines but the tenderness he showered on his music and the character artistes remains unparalleled, in my opinion. Over the decades, time and again, Yashji has given us people we have come to love (and even hate at times…) simply because they stood by (or against…) the Rahuls, the Vijays and the Chandnis of his films.

Starting with Parveen Babi / Shashi Kapoor in “Deewar“, the inimitable Sanjeev Kumar in “Trishul” and “Silsila“, Shatrughan Sinha / Neetu Singh in “Kaala Patthar“, Saeed Jaffrey in “Mashaal“, Waheeda Rehman in “Kabhie Kabhie” and “Lamhe“…all the way upto Manoj Bajpai’s short but dominating presence in “Veer-Zaara“, Yash Chopra made sure that the story he was weaving captured the anguish, the angst and the love of everyone who was part of the film…and not just of the superstars who the audience flocked the theatres to watch.

Yash Chopra’s films taught directors the power of characterization. Love stories are not always about swaying sarees in Switzerland or dancing on the streets in London. They are also about ensuring that no yarn is complete by ignoring the people around you. The brothers / sisters, the friends, the sons/daughters, the “Dai-Jaa” and the “Maa” are equally key to hold the audience’s attention and receive their adulation.

A lot has been said…and will be written…on Yashji’s brand of romance and the music of his films. But we should also never forget his love for those memorable characters he left us with, to cherish, when we view his films years from now. As is usually the case when we lose our most loved ones, TV and media will now be flooded with references to films made by Yash Chopra over the years. And today’s audience should use this opportunity to see the works of this remarkable director and witness themselves how Yashji’s camera didn’t just roll for the SRKs, Madhuris, Rekhas and Bachchans of the world  but for everyone who collectively made “Lamhe“, “Waqt” or “Kabhie Kabhie” the classics of Bollywood that they truly are.

Raja Sen rightfully said in his moving eulogy that “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” will be a very tough film to review, given the circumstances. And yet, I am sure that Yashji has once again left us with yet another strong character in his Akira (Anushka Sharma) besides SRK‘s Samar or Katrina‘s Khushi. That is where the true heart of a Yash Chopra romance always belonged…in his characters.

The demise of romance may have begun with Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna…all leaving us in the same year, but with Yash Chopra gone, it is truly Curtains.

RIP Yashji. Your legacy remains with us forever…

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Categories: Bollywood