Special FOY: Yash Raj Chopra

This special edition of Fragrance Of Yesteryears will narrate the story of the great man that was Yash Raj Chopra.

Saturday, October 27, 2012   |  Copyright: BollyCurry  |  Comments 11 Comments  |  5261 Views

Currently, Bollywood is mourning the loss of one of its greatest personalities, who will certainly find a special place in the pages of history as one of the finest film-makers and always be remembered for generations to come. This special edition of Fragrance Of Yesteryears will narrate the story of the great man that was Yash Raj Chopra.

Yash Chopra was a director, producer and the founder of the very successful Yash Raj Films, the largest production company of Hindi cinema. He has had a career spanning half a century in the Hindi film industry and was one of the most influential men of Bollywood. He is aptly nicknamed as Bollywood's King of Romance as he told the most legendary of love stories.
 
Let us proceed in stages to tell the story of this legendary man who has now become an institution.
 
Without a shadow of doubt, Yash Chopra is firstly a great character. During his long and stable career, he introduced new standards by connecting India with the world outside the country. He has been able to blend traditionalism with the dream, the dynamism and imagination that made East meet West. From the outset it is clear that Yash ji did not like half-measures: everything was carried to extremes under the YRF camp. His ways of making films have been praised as well as criticised but regardless of the critical receptions, his works are considered to be evergreen.
 
Yash ji was born on 27th September 1932 in Lahore to a Punjabi family and originally wanted to be an engineer but his passion for film making brought him to Mumbai.
After gaining a few years of experience as an assistant director alongside his brother Baldev Raj, Yash ji began his career shooting for his first film, Dhool Ka Phool in 1959. A few years later, he saw his dream of opening his own production company materialise with the release of Daag, starring Sharmila Tagore, Rakhee Gulzar and Rajesh Khanna. In 1975 the famous action movie Deewaar, where he cast Amitabh Bachchan in the unforgettable role of an angry young man, added another feather to his hat.

Multi-starrer movies

Almost immediately after entering the industry, Yash Chopra showed discontentment even in the casting with his motto being why select only one player when you can have more?. He pioneered the so-called multi-starrer movies, movies which have multiple famous actors hired for the same title in different roles, but equally important. First on the list was Waqt, shot in 1965, but one of the most famous is perhaps the sad Kabhi Kabhie, a family drama involving two generations. It boasted of an excellent cast consisting of actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee Gulzar, Shashi Kapoor, Neetu Singh and Rishi Kapoor.

Landscapes, dreams and die hard romance 
 
All Yashraj films carry the grandeur of great music, plots that intertwine continuously, drama, melodrama games, quotes, dreams, beauty and romance.

Nature plays an important role in the representation of music. We can see the snowy peaks of Switzerland in Daar and ChandniSilsila fields of tulips, the enchanting Rajasthani sunsets of Lamhe, and the blossoming meadows of Veer Zaara. Transparent saree caressed by the wind, languid looks and unforgettable hugs: the celebration of pure romance is a principle untouchable.

For political reasons, Kashmir became a difficult place for shooting. Thus, Yash Chopra decided to move to Switzerland with his entire team and as a result, we got the alpine landscape reminiscent of the Himalayas, and flowery meadows, mountain huts and streams created an ideal setting for dream sequences and love songs in his movies. The daydream of Rishi Kapoor in Chandni, in which he imagines Sridevi dance barefoot on the grass, unleashed a real phenomenon. From then on, the return and re-return to Switzerland was inevitable.
 
But to be honest, Switzerland had already been noticed by someone else before Chopra. Raj Kapoor had chosen the destination together with France and Italy to turn the shooting of his ambitious film Sangam in 1964. Impossible not to find a bit of Raj Kapoor even in heavenly visions contained in the classic Yashji.

For his contribution to the development of Indian tourism nell'overland Bern, Yash Chopra was even made an honorary citizen; immortalized in scenes of sublime beauty, Switzerland is the ideal and perfect natural paradise, an oasis of silence and color all Indians dream, at least once in their lives, to visit.

How to create memorable characters
 
Kaala Patthar and Deewaar gives to Amitabh Bachchan two films that will define forever one of his most famous characters: Vijay, the restless and courageous man, later recognized and celebrated as the "angry young man". The superb presence of Bachchan definitely added to the supreme success of these two titles, but the major hand behind the success is definitely Yashji's. He had a great knack for identifying what actors best suited for characters and giving them free rein for their talent, exploring its potential fully, and surprising the audience. His direction sparked many-a-new trends.

The director was able to recognize precisely the talent needed to become future stars, bringing out the best skills and aesthetic qualities of his actors. Sridevi became an authentic sex symbol after working in his films like Chandni and Lamhe, and Shahrukh Khan got many of his greatest hits working under the Yash Raj banner.

Rekha in Silsila had a formidable character which has set her in the image of the lover par excellence, the mysterious and fascinating woman, as beautiful as a statue, but hopelessly unlucky. The movie in the 80s revisited on the big screen, the very real love triangle of Jaya-Amitabh-Rekha, the first two husband and wife in the film and in real life too, the third as the frightening, serious threat to the stability of the couple. The movie wove a strange web of fiction, gossip and reality, successfully stunning and intruiging entire crowds, leaving them with more than one question about what really were the limits of the film. Where reality stops and fiction starts?

Pulling the amounts...

Yash Chopra's films can be heavy, repetitive, predictable, redundant, boring to some, but despite it all, you can not help but notice that everything that can be found today in Indian cinema can be traced with many a minor threads to the work of Yashji. Yash Chopra's movies are emphasized by their classic completeness and aesthetic perfection, rearranging the formula of the multi-starrer movie with a new modern sensibility.

A list of just some of his unforgettable works include: Deewaar, Darr, Chandni, Dil to Pagal Hai, Kaala Patthar, Silsila, Lamhe, Veer Zaara, Kabhie Kabhie, Daag, Parampara.

Yash Chopra is also remembered for using a tagline along with the title, an English phrase which is simple yet vague. Some examples are: Daag - poem of loveDarr - violent love storyVeer Zaara - a love legendKabhi Kabhie - Love is lifeLamhe - Moments of passion, ecstasy and loveSilsila - love is faith and faith is foreverDil to Pagal Hai - someone, somewhere is made for you.

The death of Yash Chopra at the age of 80 on 21st October due to dengue fever and multiple-organ failure left B-Town shattered but he will always be remembered as a versatile director and producer, intense and of great expressive power, a giant of Indian cinema who brought love alive on the silver screens making us believe in soulmates and being the painter to many-a-girls' romantic dreams.

Editors: Neethi & Gunia M.
Graphics: Sano S.

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  • Posted on: 29 October 2012 at 9:39pmjotnenhatt

    he was very great man. i m seen his films many times.

  • Posted on: 29 October 2012 at 1:15amsamicute

    yeah yashg always be remembered for his awesome work n film

  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 3:24pmcimba

    he was young 80. I did not look 80 at all. Poor guy just announced his retirement and poof he goes. Sad some people are made to work till the end. He was great at what he did and sure he enjoyed it as well also. RIP yashji.
    His movies have fantastic songs, clothes and locations. he will be missed

    1 member(s) Liked the above comment :
    zeefan 1
  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 11:56am.Aisha.

    Yashji will always be remembered for his great work and dedication! R.I.P

  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 11:42amch0c0lates

    A very well written article.
    Yashji's movies will be missed.

  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 7:57amShaina_b

    Truly there can never be another Yash Chopra!!!!!

    May he continue to guide Bollywood!!!!!

    2 member(s) Liked the above comment :
    chowdhury27, dazzlinggirl
  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 4:28amAfghanLeena

    God blass his soul he made wonderful movies that ppl well always remember him they wouldn't forget him...

    Love Leena


    Edited on:28 October 2012 at 7:04pm

  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 4:21am.DarkParadise..

    There can never be another Yash Chopra. Will miss the king of romance. May his soul rest in peaceUnhappy

  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 3:29amkiwu

    really nice article..
    yash ji is legend..via his grt wok he vl alwayz remain in our heart...

  • Posted on: 28 October 2012 at 12:51amkoool_shikhii

    king of romance...may his soul rest in peace...:(

    3 member(s) Liked the above comment :
    kiwu, irene_c, Mohabbateinn

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