By: Mohnish Singh
Chandni and Lamhe were Rani Mukerji’s favourite films growing up and the actor says she loved the way Yash Chopra presented his heroines on the screen.
The filmmaker’s legacy has been celebrated in a popular Netflix docu-series The Romantics, which takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the studio, its movies and the impact the filmmaker has had on Hindi cinema in the last five decades.
Mukerji, who is married to YRF’s Aditya Chopra, said she feels fortunate that she got to know him not just as a filmmaker but also as a father-in-law.
“From my childhood, my memory of my favourite films was directed by the one and only Yash Chopra… His name was synonymous with romance,” Mukerji said recalling the images of women in white chiffon sarees framed against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
“These were all part of Yash Chopra movies that were engraved in my mind from childhood! Chandni and Lamhe being my all-time favourites,” the actor said in a statement.
The actor, known for her roles in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Saathiya, Bunty Aur Babli, Mardaani and Hitchki, also features in The Romantics, which became the top trending title on Netflix within 48 hours of its release.
Mukerji said Chopra created aspirational characters, who were also believable at the same time.
“I truly believe it had to do a lot with Pam Aunty’s (Pamela Chopra) influence in his life that drove him to write such beautiful parts for women. I have always been in awe of how he presented his heroines on screen, and secretly always wished to be the quintessential ‘Yash Chopra heroine’! In Yash uncle’s films, the women always had an equal part or even slightly better part than the men. It speaks volumes about him as a filmmaker that he always listened to his heart rather than conforming to the norms! His immense respect for women always showed in the way he presented his heroines.” Mukerji said in real life, Chopra was “down to earth, humble, jovial and respectful”.
“He had a great sense of humour! He was always the favourite person at any get-together or function. He had this magnetic energy that always drew all of us towards him, he was full of life and always fun to be around. He never brought his towering personality of being ‘The Yash Chopra’ with him at any instance,” the actor said.
The Romantics has been directed by Smriti Mundhra of Indian Matchmaking fame and features 35 leading personalities from the film industry, who have closely worked with YRF.
The docu-series also features a rare interview with Aditya Chopra.