Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yash Chopra: King of Romance


Yash Raj Chopra forever changed the face of Indian romantic comedy, a genre that the world was to become the most distinctive among the many Bollywood productions, and of which he himself was long the backbone, while maneuvering effectively in other films. His was the director of the thriller Deewar, that launched the superstar Amitabh Bachchan in the iconic role of the angry young man, that so marked the beginning of the career of the star.


The duo of Chopra and Bachchan will be found later on to work in other successful films like Kabhi Kabhie and Trishul, but it is the definition which has become commonly used for a certain kind of romance, Yash Chopra, in fact, that certainly characterizes the long career of the director and producer, a career that spanned 50 years and 50 films.

Born September 27, 1932 in a Punjabi family in Lahore, Pakistan, Chopra moved to India after the Partition with the idea to undertake studies in Engineering. But the passion for cinema led him instead to begin working as an assistant director to IS Johar, and then for his own older brother, Baldev Raj Chopra. Encouraged by the success, in the 50s and 60s, Chopra brothers produced several films together, including one that saw the debut of Yash Raj direction in 1959, Dhool Ka Phool . But the real success for him came in 1965, directing Waqt, a family drama from the cast and important that inaugurated for the first time in India productions performed by more star and no longer focus on a single artist booster.

In 1973, Chopra founded his own production company, the Yash Raj Films, launched with the production of Daag: A Poem of Love, hit film starring the pair Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna. And if the 80's were then marked by a substantial decline, with several flasks of much criticism because of the box office, right at the end of the decade, obtaining a great success with Chandni, who was to inaugurate his long journey in romantic comedies.

1991 was also the year of  Lamhe since 1993 and was to begin his association with Shah Rukh Khan, with the romantic psychological thriller Darr, which proportioned to both an extraordinary success. Chopra has since directed SRK in 3 other romantic movies, Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Veer Zaara (2004) and  Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), at the end of which Chopra had announced his retirement.

He received many awards during his career, among which 6 National Film Awards and 11 Filmfare awards, including 4 for Best Director, as well as the  Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2005 for his contribution to the Arts in India.



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