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The Romantics: Aur Nahin Gush Aur Nahin



The Romantics 

The Romantics(documentary, Netflix 4 episodes)

Rating: ***

Everyone who gets to speak about  the wonderful  Yash Chopra in the  hagiographic documentary on  Yash Chopra—The Romantics on Netflix in four episodes—loves  him to death. His death. Poor Yash Chopra, Yashji  to one  and  all,  shocked everyone by dying suddenly after  catching a dengue fever.

The  love and adoration for the man who chiselled out some  of  the  most romantic films  of our time,is incomparable. Everyone  loves Yash Chopra,so do I. Whenever I met him he  stuck me as  genuinely humble  and  gracious.

“I  know I am taking up too much of your time,” he interjected as he held forth  passionately on his cinema  when we met for the  first time when I was a nobody.

His dedication to making films he  believed in  was incomparable, and his  aesthetic sense  was beyond  anything  we’ve seen  in commercial  Hindi cinema.

But was he one of the all-time great filmmakers, on  a par with Mehboob Khan, Raj Kapoor, Guru Dutt or even Yash Chopra’s brother B R Chopra?

The documentary  makes  only passing references to  the great Baldev Raj Chopra about whom Yashji had once told me, “Everything I  know about cinema  I learnt  from him.” The Romantics  would have us believe that  Baldev Raj  or no, Yash Raj was bound  to happen.

With due respects, this is not the case. Many believe  that Yash learnt  filmmaking watching his  elder brother  direct  classics  such as  Kanoon, Naya Daur, Sadhana and Gumrah.When  Yash decided to break away from his brother’s fold an as independent filmmaker ,B R Chopra was  heartbroken. With him, Yash took away  a lot of BR’s creative  energy.

Interestingly,in  The Romantics Yashji  , in a  clipping from an old interview with the  unabashed  Yash Chopra fan Karan Johar,  tells us  that it was during his honeymoon that he decided it was time to break away from his  brothers.

One  doesn’t need great powers  of calculation to know what must have happened.

The 4-part documentary has nothing new to offer  except an on-camera  interview with the  super-reclusive Aditya Chopra who tells us  why it is important to watch  other filmmakers’ works and how, at an  impressionable age, he threw away all his Western video tapes and  cassettes, as he didn’t want to  become  “one of them.”

We get to see actors tripping over one  another with panegyrics. But do we really get to know Yash Chopra  in The Romantics?

The  answer is a sad no.

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