Maverick filmmaker Yash Chopra is known to be Bollywood’s king of romance. But Yash Chopra has also directed a handful of films that are not precisely ‘love stories’ but the films have worked wonders for him as a director. (Excerpt from : ‘Yash Chopra’s 81st birth anniversary: His 10 popular films that were not ‘love stories‘)
Yash Raj Chopra (27 September 1932 – 21 October 2012) was an Indian film director, script writer and film producer, predominantly working in Hindi cinema. Yash Chopra began his career as an assistant director to I.S.Johar and his elder brother, B.R.Chopra. He made his directorial debut with ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ in 1959, a melodrama about illegitimacy, and followed it with the social drama ‘Dharmputra’ (1961). Encouraged by the success of both films, the Chopra brothers made several more movies together during the late fifties and sixties. Chopra rose to prominence after his commercially and critically successful drama, ‘Waqt’ (1965), which pioneered the concept of ensemble casts in Bollywood. ‘Waqt’ remains to be a classic movie till today, that brought ‘family’ as a major determinant of one’s happiness especially against the potency of time.
In 1973, Chopra founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films, and launched it with ‘Daag: A Poem of Love’ (1973), a successful melodrama about a polygamous man. His success continued in the seventies, with some of Indian cinema’s most successful and iconic films, including the action thriller ‘Deewar’ (1975), which established Amitabh Bachchan as the leading actor in Bollywood; the romantic drama ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ (1976) and ‘Trishul’ (1978). Chopra directed and produced the cult classic ‘Lamhe’ in 1991. Considered by critics and Chopra as his best work to date, the film became one of the biggest Bollywood hits in the overseas market, although under-performed at the domestic box office. Personally, I found ‘Lamhe’ story as a very mature subject to deal with, wherein it is established that age cannot be a barrier to romance. Anil Kapoor and Sridevi acted effectively, well above the expectations of the ‘class’ audience.
Yash Chopra founded and was chairman of the motion picture production and distribution company Yash Raj Films, which ranks as India’s biggest production company as of 2006, as well as Yash Raj Studios.