The biggest, three-decade-old enigma of contemporary Bollywood is about to drop his mask. Aditya Chopra has never given a TV interview, doesn’t attend glamorous filmy parties and even gave the cameras a miss at his own wedding. But a Netflix series called The Romantics will finally reveal that he really exists. He is not just a ‘rumour’.
The four-part docu-series is a tribute to the ‘king of romance’ Yash Chopra and will release on Valentine’s Day this year. Instead of being credited as a director, producer, or director, ‘Adi’ will be on camera.
The man who helms one of India’s most successful production houses, Yash Raj Films, is ready to drop the cloak of invisibility.
“Aditya Chopra is a rumour. He doesn’t exist,” says Abhishek Bachchan in the trailer of the docu-series, which is directed by Smriti Mundhra. She also directed the 2022 show Indian Matchmaking and a few episodes of the 2020 drama Never Have I Ever.
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Featuring the best of Bollywood
The Romantics will star Bollywood’s crème de la crème. The biggest names include Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Karan Johar, Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Katrina Kaif, and Anushka Sharma. Other actors who have worked with the father-son duo will feature as well.
Aditya has directed four Hindi films, including the 1995 blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and produced over a dozen films to date, skilfully combining Indian culture with Western ethos on screen. And he has managed to stay away from the public eye, barring two Filmfare interviews in the ’90s.
The dialogue from the 1997 movie Dil To Pagal Hai “Rahul, naam toh suna hi hoga” could just as easily work for Aditya.
A bespectacled, straight face with stubble, atop a black polyester jacket is what comes to mind when one thinks of Aditya Chopra. He remained invisible and unreachable in the glitzy world of stardom. But why? Is he media-shy or simply an introvert? Your guess could be as good as mine.
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House of Chopras — 50 years of legacy
What began with Daag (1973), Yash Chopra’s sixth directorial, catapulted into a 50-year-old heritage that has left an indomitable impact on Indian pop culture. While Deewar (1975) and Trishul (1978) became massive hits, it was Yash Chopra’s experiment with romance movies that cemented his legacy. Be it Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Silsila (1981), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Veer-Zaara (2004), and his last film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).
And Aditya took his legacy forward with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, which is still screened in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir cinema 28 years after its release.
“It was Yash Chopra’s cinema that caught my eye,” says Johar in the trailer.
The docu-series, smothered with heaps of nostalgia, comes at a time when ‘experts’ had written obituaries of Bollywood and Yash Raj Films. With the mammoth success of Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan and YRF Spy Universe, the production house has resurrected itself.
The Romantics, much like any competent masala film, seems to be loaded with star power, entertainment, and an intriguing climax.
(Edited by Humra Laeeq)