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THE CHOPRA BROTHERS - B. R. CHOPRA & YASH CHOPRA - Two of the key 'Trend-Setters' and 'Mind-Changers' in the Hindi Film Industry since the 1950s. (A brief account by Bobby Sing) (Part Two)

23 Oct, 2012 | Articles on Cinema

Coming back to YASH CHOPRA the younger brother, who though didn’t share the vision of his elder brother in exact terms, but he still gave his major contribution to the society in the form of films which made us witness our own suppressed emotion on the celluloid for the first time. The creative genius redefined every tender human emotion on the screen once again ranging from Anger, Aggression and Hate to Jealousy, Sacrifice and Love in a refined manner. Plus his films also had all the required elements of winning over the common man too.
Yash Chopra started his own banner in 1973 with the film DAAG which was initially released with less prints but then went on to become a top grosser within weeks. Here is a brief account of the maestro’s incomparable voyage of emotions in the world of Cinema post 1973.
DAAG: A POEM OF LOVE (1973) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – Based on an intense love story wherein a wife returns in the life of a reputed person who is now happily married again. It was an adaptation of British author Thomas Hardy’ novel published in 1886 titled “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and was a major musical hit of 1973.
DEEWAAR (1975) (Produced by Gulshan Rai, Directed By Yash Chopra) – Considered to be one of the most powerful films made in 100 years of Hindi film industry, it had an intense script talking about clash of values and self-pride of two brothers with a touch of atheism. The film is widely acclaimed as one of best movies of both Yash Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan till date. In fact no discussion on Indian Cinema is complete without mentioning DEEWAAR and its explosive execution on the screen.
KABHI KABHIE - LOVE IS LIFE (1976) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – Probably the most sensitive, thoughtful and loved films on eternal romance portrayed on screen with an incomparable soundtrack. The film is about true lovers of the past who meet each other after many years post their respective marriages with grace, dignity and honor without any guilt or shame. Along with a mature subject for the audience, it even had songs and content for the younger generation with an extremely intelligent script, direction & performances.
TRISHUL (1978) (Produced by Gulshan Rai, Directed By Yash Chopra) – A cult classic of Hindi Cinema based on a son’s revenge from his own father for betraying his mother. The film along with other action dramas from the Yash-Amitabh duo actually gave the title of “Angry Young Man” to Amitabh in those days. And the confrontation scenes between the two masters of their art, Sanjeev Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan are widely used as the text book material in the Film Institutes presently.
KAALA PATTHAR (1979) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – An off-beat, masterpiece directed by Yash Chopra with a multi-starrer cast and a tough subject which actually got its cult status after a while. Continuing with the famous image of Amitabh Bachchan it featured him as a Navy officer caught in the web of guilt and inner pain which was perfectly portrayed by the actor of the millennium superbly. It was one of the most difficult subjects coming from Yash Chopra filmed around the tough background of a coal mine. And this particular film proves how the maestro carefully selected new subjects for his projects, having a visible risk factor in them too with confidence and courage.
SILSILA (1981) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – A film which only Yash Chopra could have made with this particular star-cast in the entire film industry without any doubt. Reportedly based on the real life love triangle formed between its three key actors namely Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha, it was not only a bold move but also a hugely risky project to even think of. As a result, though the film had one of the best soundtracks on love theme, it still couldn’t win over the audience may be due to its predictable plot and lack of drama or pace.
MASHAAL (1984) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – Made on a realistic script about two people finding themselves on exactly the opposite roads of their actual vision of life after few years, this was another passionate film from the veteran, featuring Dilip Kumar and Anil Kapoor together. Now again, though it was not hugely successful too at the time of its release, still the film did have few well directed sequences which later reached a cult status like the one featuring Dilip Kumar shouting “Ae Bhai” on the lonely dark streets of Mumbai asking for help.
CHANDNI (1989) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – This was a trend-setting musical started in the times where there were mostly actions films being made in the industry featuring all the big stars. To break this monotonous pattern of films, Yash Chopra confidently came back with a love story revolving around sacrifice & true emotions moving ahead the limitations of a physical body. The film had 9 full length songs which were all Hits resulting in a musical revolution in the country post ‘Chandni’.
LAMHE (1991) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – A much ahead of its times film made on an unconventional love story between a young girl and a middle aged man, which at present is unanimously considered to be a path breaking film of its times. But unfortunately it was not accepted well by the audience in those years due to the socially rebellious nature of its theme. Yet many consider ‘Lamhe’ as one of the career best movies of the director with an outstanding performance by Sridevi.
DARR (1993) (Produced & Directed by Yash Chopra) – Bouncing back with a bang, Yash Chopra gave a new transformation to the conventional hero of Indian Cinema presenting him now with a negative persona. Partially inspired by western flicks made on similar themes, DARR not only established Shahrukh Khan as the new youth icon, but it also opened new avenues for Bollywood writers to think beyond the usual. Along with its melodious music DARR was purely about a one sided love affair reaching madness. And with such a universal theme, it hit the right chord with the audience and became a major hit.
But here post DARR, I personally don’t consider any of the further projects from the banner as YASH CHOPRA films completely (and many friends may like to disagree with this). The reason being that from here on, Yash Raj films started including many commercial elements into their scripts and execution forcibly which was not the feature of a Yash Chopra movie ever before. Honestly speaking the vision of making business projects more than films based on a particular theme and subject was clearly visible in these films i.e. DIL TO PAGAL HAI (1997), VEER-ZAARA (2004) the forthcoming JAB TAK HAI JAAN (2012). In this particular phase YASH CHOPRA repeatedly took a break, only to return back to give his banner a solid successful film as required.
However post DARR, Yash Raj banner also gave their most successful film ever, which was DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE (1995) (Produced by Yash Chopra & Directed by Aditya Chopra). And the other two appreciable projects from the banner, reminding you of their years old tradition of making thoughtful films were CHAK DE INDIA (2007) and ROCKET SINGH – The Salesman of The Year (2008). But other than that, post DARR it was just the ‘business of cinema’ taking over the ‘passion of art’ at Yash Raj films arguably, which might not be visible to the generation today who only knows the man through his last few movies.
Anyway, apart from the subject of diversified themes used in their films by “The Chopra Brothers”. The duo was also responsible for giving some of the most meaningful and hugely successful “Film Soundtracks” in their films, for which another detailed article needs to be written to justify their immensely valuable contribution in the history of Film Music.
But reaching the concluding part of this article, I would like to say that one strictly needs to study the kind of films made by both B. R. CHOPRA and YASH CHOPRA in their long, bright careers before giving them any kind of tags in a hasty manner. As per my vision, you need to know about that particular era of films made between 1956-1973 by “The Chopra Brothers”, before reaching any kind of conclusion about their set style of film-making in particular. And thats the reason why it is neither fair to ignore the contribution of B. R. CHOPRA (both towards the society as well as in the career of YASH CHOPRA), nor it is justifying enough to tag YASH CHOPRA only as the “King of Romance” vaguely. In fact calling him the master of only a particular genre of film-making is utterly wrong ignoring the kind of gigantic movies he made before this “Commercialization of Art” in the country post the 90s.
Putting it differently, firstly one needs to understand that in reality, it was the elder brother B. R. CHOPRA who helped in developing this distinct vision of cinema in his younger brother through those greatly important movies they made together. And then it was YASH CHOPRA who kept challenging himself with many new subjects and genres in the later years of his career ignoring any kind of defeats coming on the path.
So if one can call the director of Dhool Ka Phool, Dharamputra, Waqt, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Ittefaaq, Deewar, Trishul, Kaala Pathhar, Mashaal & Darr, a master of only Love or Romance then I honestly feel its like contradicting his creative versatility repeatedly proved throughout his shining career. Probably the reason here is that people today are remembering YASH CHOPRA more through his films made in the recent times only, forgetting all the milestones of Hindi Cinema, he delivered a few decades back.
But as per my love towards the masters,
“Considering YASH CHOPRA as only the “King of Romance” is like opening an important book completely ignoring its valuable “Foreword” (i.e. B. R. CHOPRA), then reading it backwards from its last chapter to the mid and then leaving it unread further in an irresponsible manner”

And as always, the choice is all yours!

Bobby Sing

(2012 All Rights Reserved – By Bobby Sing at BobbyTalksCinema.com)

Tags : The Chopra Brothers, B. R. Chopra and Yash Chopra,Two of the key 'Trend-Setters' and 'Mind-Changers' since 1950s, Social Film-makers of India, Articles on Cinema in India, Articles on 100 years of Hindi Cinema at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing.
23 Oct 2012 / Comment ( 2 )

YASH CHOPRA Extraordinary Film maker in India. NO doubt he made excellent movies in indian movie history. Dharamputra, Waqt, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Ittefaaq, Deewar, Trishul, Kaala Pathhar, Mashaal & Darr these are some of his movies.

Bobby Sing

Yes Maddy...but at the same time the role of B.R.Chopra in Indian Cinema should not be considered anywhere lower.
In fact if you study the films and subjects adapted by him many decades back then he surely comes out to be a much more important director of Indian Cinema in real terms.


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