Yash Chopra: King of Bollywood Romance

Yash Chopra (1932-2012)

Today marks a very sad occasion in the tinsel-lined world of Mumbai filmdom. Legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra has passed away at the famous Lilavati Hospital in Bombay at the age of 80. A timeless pillar of Bollywood romance, Yash Chopra defined generation after generation of Indian love. From his earliest directorial super-hit Waqt (1965) to his later epic romances Veer-Zara (2004), Yash Chopra made the careers of dozens of stars that we know and cherish today. One of his most famous muses, struggling Amitabh Bachchan who starred in Yash Chopra blockbusters like Deewar (1975) and Kabhi Kabhi (1976), was given a new chance at a comeback with Mohabbatein (2001)–a film that led to the evergreen actor’s eventual rebirth as a grand figure in Bollywood once more. For that opportunity, Big B like many great actors remains ever grateful to the man and legend who supported him.

With Yash Chopra’s passing, the neo-golden age of Bollywood film comes as well to a sad close. Films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), and Kuch Kuch Hota (1998) that defined my childhood and that of a generation of hopeless romantics were produced by the Yash Raj banner and carry the hallmark of an era of innocent beauty and carefree romance that brought joy to millions world round. Thank you, Yash Chopra, for the memories and the love. You taught us how to give unconditionally and the precious, crazy things a person can do in the name of love. In the words of your own film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: tumne na jaane kya sapne dikhaaye

Here is a glimpse at some of Yash Chopra’s most famous films over the years as both director and producer:

Daag (1973)

Daag (1973) starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore.

Waqt (1965)

Waqt (1965) starring Sadhana, Sharmila Tagore, Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor, Balraj Sahni and Rajkumar.

Deewar (1975)

Deewar (1975) starring Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.

Kabhi Kabhi (1977)

Kabhi Kabhi (1977) starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhi, Rishi Kapoor, and Nitu Singh.

Silsila (1981)

Silsila (1981) starring Rekha, Jaya Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan.

Chandni (1989)

Chandni (1989) starring Sridevi and Rishi Kapoor.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge (1995)

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) starring Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan.

Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) starring Madhuri Dixit, Shah Rukh Khan and Karishma Kapoor.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Salman Khan.

Mohabbatein (2001)

Mohabbatein (2001) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.

Veer-Zara (2004)

Veer-Zara (2004) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta.

What was YOUR favorite Yash Chopra film moment and how have his films affected you? Let us know in the comments!

– Mrs. 55

11 thoughts on “Yash Chopra: King of Bollywood Romance

  1. Deewar, Silsila and Kabhi Kabhi are films I saw as a child (or rather parents watching them in the lounge room, and me lurking somewhere in the background), and don’t remember them well enough to comment on….I don’t know how I would respond to them if I saw them now..but apart from those the Yash Chopra film I am fond of is Lamhe…really well written film, often hilariously funny…(recently rewatched it and was laughing hysterically at Anupam Kher when he demands the puppy from the woman at the mall, in the course of thier London trip)..Anupam was awesome in that film, and there were very good performances all round…the parody of, or rather tribute to classic bollywood songs was also really funny in Lamhe….Parody’s, spoofs and tributes of sorts have become so common now….but it was less common then, and the one in Lamhe was really well done….it’s a nice film, and definitely a strong contender for top position amongst Chopra’s directorial ventures.

    • Thanks for the comments! Lamhe is a fantastic film and representative of the genius that was Yash Chopra. Give his older ones another shot! I bet you’d love them–you pretty much can’t go wrong with those classics, even if occasionally cheesy!

  2. I was shocked when I first heard the news yesterday. He made some great movies and his movies always had good music.
    My favourites are Waqt and Trishul. I dont remember much of Daag and Deewar, had seen them long ago. But literally grew up watching DDLJ, Dil Toh Paagal Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai…His movies have been such a huge part of our lives that it’s little difficult to imagine life without them.

  3. I love them all- difficult to point out a favorite movie or moment.Most of my memories of YRF are associated with the bewitching songs in those iconic movies.But still, let me try-

    1. Kajol invites Shahrukh for her wedding as they are taking leave of each other at the airport. He refuses and walks away with the trademark SRK swagger. And here, just as we are waiting for realization to sink into her with baited breath, the background reverberates with ‘Na jaane mere dil ko kya ho gaya, abhi to yahin tha, abhi kho gaya!’-Talk about striking when the iron is hot!

    2 .Amitabh’s sonorous voice over in Silsila- ‘Main aur meri tanhayi, aksar ye baatein karte hain, tum hoti to aisa hota, tum hoti to vaisa hota’- Haven’t we all felt the words to be our own many-a-times?

    3. Just when she is at her most despondent, SRK is visible to Priety Zinta singing ‘Jaanam dekh lo mit gayi dooriyaan, main yahan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan’ One cannot help but melt at the promise of everlasting togetherness. A reinforcement of commitment and belief in love like no other.

    4. Who can forget the ode to a departed lover sung with pathos by Vinod Khanna even as Sridevi looks on(And the oh-so-delectable Juhi gets drenched in rain in his imagination)- Lagi aaj saawan ki phir wo jhadi hai, wahi aag seene mein phir jal padi hai. Easily one of my all time favorite songs. I bet we all can identify with’ kuch aise hi din the woh jab hum mile the, chaman mein nahin phool dil mein khile the’.

    5.’Samne hain raste ham gujar jaye
    ya kisike waste ham thehar jaye
    ab yahna tak aa gaye hain ab kidhar jaye
    arey re arey ye kya hua koyee na pehchana
    arey re arey banta hai toh ban jaye afsana ‘
    A beautiful Madhuri Dixit looking at SRK(Again) playing with kids and wondering what to do…………….But ready for any notoriety!
    The last scene in the movie when SRK is walking away from her on stage to what he thinks is a lonely existence and she cuts in and continues to the satisfaction of all and sundry.

    6. Though this might be classified as corny, but I just cannot resist feeling all mushy and gooey inside whenever I hear the tinkle of bells tied to a cow followed by ‘Tujhe dekha to ye jaan sanam, pyar hota hai deewana sanam’. The pure white of Kajol’s dress against the lush yellow fields………….., SRK standing tall with arms wide open……Sigh. We grew up lapping up that kind of stuff.

    7. Deewar, kabhie kabhie and Chandni eminently re-re-re-rewatchable. But Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Mohobattein barely tolerable. Haven’t seen Daag, so cannot comment.

    Mr.Yash Chopra, May your soul RIP.

    • Haha what fantastic comments!! All of the points you’ve highlighted are among our faovrites–and there is no such thing as too corny! The prelude to “Tujhe Dekha To” is amazing! I also too particularly love the time and effect of the song “Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko” in DDLJ–classic Yash Chopra!

      Daag, Deewar, Waqt, etc. are so timeless and have so many fantastic moments, they will require their own posts!!

  4. What a tragic loss! His films defined my childhood and my experience with Indian cinema. The films he made are probably the most iconic films of Bollywood. We will miss you Yash Chopra.

    While it is hard to pick a favorite Yash Chopra film, I will indecisively settle on Kuch Kuch Hota Hai as mine. The love story between Rahul and Anjali is perhaps a typical Bollywood love story with a little twist, but the way the creativity and the artistic vision that went into the storyline is what sets this film apart. My favorite about Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is the young girl Anjali. As a witty, enthusiastic, and adorable girl, her character contributes so much to my enjoyment of the film. She makes what could have been an ordinary love story into one filled with laughter and surprises. I was so proud of how she got Rahul and Anjali back together! She is Yash Chopra’s adorable little genius!

  5. I agree with Eshwan on the brilliance of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, that movie was genius in plot, acting, music, direction…honestly you name it, he nailed it. That movie defined a generation of Hindi movie watchers without a doubt and continues to be loved even if it’s the 100th time you’ve watched it (Which for many it is at least that). However, my favorite, the movie that defined my life is Kabhi Kabhie. I know I wouldn’t be the same person without that film in my life. Though, Daag and Waqt are also so amazing, in 50 years they’ve hardly been topped. On that note, I have to say, your poll this month is one of the most difficult polls I’ve ever taken part in!!

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