The much-talked-about Netflix docu-series The Romantics, which is a tribute to the legacy of Yash Chopra & YRF and their cultural impact on India and Indians for the past 50 years, was released on Feb 14 to unanimous acclaim and love. The national over-pouring of love for Yash Chopra and YRF was evident as The Romantics became the Number 1 trending title on Netflix within 48 hours of its drop, a rare feat for a documentary! The docu-series pays homage to Sridevi, the iconic Yash Raj Films heroine who made the entire country fall in love with her in the cult Yash Chopra romantic blockbuster - Chandni! Speaking of the same, Rani Mukerji, Anil Kapoor and Bhumi Pednekar lauded the late actress.
The Romantics: Rani Mukerji says “every woman wanted to be Sridevi”; Anil Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar remember the late actress
The late Yash Chopra is seen revealing why he wanted to make a pristine love story for audiences. He says, “Our industry had reached the saturation point of violence. I said okay, now I’ll do the biggest gamble of my life whatever happens. I won’t make a film with formulas, with calculations. I will make a film which will touch my heart. I started Chandni.”
However, the legendary Yash Chopra’s career was at a low then, having delivered some unsuccessful films. So, it was not easy for him to sign Sridevi, who in her prime was considered bigger than the heroes of India. Even though he had never worked with Sridevi, Yash Chopra admitted that he was impressed by the Tamil drama Moondram Pirai that Amitabh Bachchan had shown him.
Anil Kapoor reveals, “Sridevi was the top star at that time. He didn’t know how to approach her. He asked my brother (Boney Kapoor) to speak to her. So, my brother flew down to Chennai to talk to her mother. It didn’t matter to her who Yash Chopra is, who has made such great films, it was just the money.”
Chandni’s success was a watershed moment for Yash Chopra & YRF’s destiny and Sridevi’s brilliance in Chandni has inspired the leading ladies of our times to follow in her footsteps to deliver path-breaking performances on screen.
Rani Mukherji says, “Like every woman wanted to be Sridevi. She was the epitome of grace, beauty, and performance. She was just everything, that a Hindi film actress needed to have.” About her memory of Sridevi as Chandni, Bhumi Pednekar says, “Oh my, God. She was just so fantastic and beautiful, and vulnerable, but she was still so womanly.”
Even the men were enamoured by Sridevi’s beauty, grace, and acting acumen in Chandni. However, Hrithik Roshan, who has been very close to the Chopra family, reveals the mood pre-release. He says, “It was the premiere (of Chandni). Then, we heard reports - mixed reports that it was not doing well, or some people did not like it. So, I remember being a part of that conversation and feeling the jitters.”
Of course, the rest is history as Chandni is regarded as one of the biggest all-time blockbusters in the history of Hindi cinema!
From Aamir Khan to Salman Khan, from Shah Rukh Khan to Ranbir Kapoor, from Amitabh Bachchan to Ranveer Singh, from Rani Mukerji to Hrithik Roshan, from Katrina Kaif to Anushka Sharma, the mega-stars and icons of Hindi cinema have come together and spoken about Yash Chopra and YRF’s contribution to Indian cinema in The Romantics.
The Romantics has been directed by Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Smriti Mundhra, who returns to Netflix after the phenomenal success of Indian Matchmaking and the Never Have I Ever franchise. Netflix, in this four-part docu-series, will also feature 35 leading personalities from the film industry, who have closely worked with YRF through its 50-year glorious existence.
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