The Weaver of the Great Love Stories – Yash Chopra
He is one seminal director, producer and script writer who is the reason behind the success of many actors in Hindi cinema. Celebrated as King of Romance, his movies are successful not only in India but have received lot of appreciation in the overseas market as well. He is the director Yash Chopra who has beautified the film industry with his wonderful love stories which are still celebrated as the best stories ever in Bollywood.
Amitabh Bachchan attained popularity as ‘Angry Young Man’ because of Chopra’s movies and he is the same man in making Shahrukh Khan famous as anti hero who later gained his fame as the best romantic hero of the country, again because of Chopra’s movies. This man who thought ahead of his time was born on 27th September 1932 in Lahore, now in Pakistan.
Chopra’s inclination towards film making led him to the road to Bollywood where he started his career as an assistant director to I. S. Johar and his elder brother B. R. Chopra. In 1959, with the movie Dhool Ka Phool, produced by B.R. Chopra, Chopra made his debut as a director and then the brothers together showcased hit movies like Dharmputra (1961) which marks the debut of the actor Shashi Kapoor, following with multi starrer film Waqt (1965) and Ittefaq (1969) which won Chopra Filmfare award for the best director category.
In the year 1971, Chopra founded Yash Raj Films and under the same banner he produced independently his first movie Daag: A Poem Of Love (1973), which became a great success at the box office. Javed – Salim scripted Deewar and Trishul established the superstar Amitabh Bachchan as the angry young man of the country. The time saw successful partnership of the actor – director duo with the romantic movies like Kabhi Kabhie (1976) and Silsila (1981).
After a short setback during the 80s, Chopra came back with a bang with the movie Chandni in 1989. With exquisite outdoor shooting at Switzerland, the movie is still enjoyed as the perfect love story ever written. The melodious and romantic music complimented the beautiful love story and the movie established Sridevi as the top female star of the eighties. And, there began the era of romance in the Hindi cinema written and directed by the one and only Yash Chopra.
Heroine centric, romantic, emotional, foreign locations, melodious music are some of the essentials of Chopra’s style. Lamhe (1991) was the next venture of the director with actress Sridevi. 90s is the period remembered for some great romance on screen and was ruled by the superstar Shahrukh Khan. Beginning with 1993, Chopra directed, still then the new comer Shahrukh Khan in an anti – hero character opposite to Juhi Chawla and Sunny Deol in the movie Darr which became a cult movie across the country. Khan became superstar with the movies like Dil to Pagal Hai (1997), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) which was produced by Chopra. In 2004 Chopra’s Veer Zaara became a smashing hit of the year again starring Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji.
The evergreen bond of Khan and Chopra was seen in Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) which was the last film directed by him starring Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma as well. Chopra’s movies are unavoidable and irresistible by movie admirers and these are the movie which outline the definition of Hindi cinema and depict the perfect hand behind the cameras. So momentous was his contribution to Hindi cinema and to the world of entertainment that he was honoured by the Government of India the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Padma Bhushan in 2001 and 2005 respectively. Adding to his achievements are six National and eleven Filmfare awards.
Chopra died on 21st October 2012 and is survived by his wife Pamela Chopra and his two sons Aditya Chopra, who is a notable director in Bollywood today, and Uday Chopra who is a successful actor, again in Bollywood. The repertoire of work done by Chopra still serve as the guiding light for many young directors in the industry. It is important to mention at this point that Chopra’s contribution is immense and without the knowledge of his movies the knowledge about Hindi cinema is incomplete.