The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
All Indians are somewhere Bollywood-ish at heart. We can all agree that while we may show off our affinity for all other film genres regarding solace, our hearts always gravitate toward Hindi films. There have been many books, films, and short series which attempted to give an ode to Hindi Film Industry and the latest in the list is the web series called THE ROMANTICS which is currently streaming on Netflix.
Unlike other attempts to understand Bollywood dynamics and how it impacts Indian culture, The Romantics is a unique take on the Hindi Film Industry and its age-old aim of providing entertainment to not only Indian audiences but also international ones. The web series, which is a culmination of four episodes, is primarily based on legendary director Late Yash Chopra and his brainchild, Yash Raj Films. It further moves forward to talk about how Aditya Chopra, Yash Chopra’s elder son, took over the realm and took YRF to the pinnacle where it stands currently.
The unique thing about this web series is it not only typically talks about the films and actors involved but also how the changes in socio-eco-political situations in India have also brought a change in the quantity, subject, and stories of the films that were made. Like during Yashji’s time, the audience wanted films that were a culmination of family values, innocent love stories, and dramatic love triangles with melodious songs. Hence, films like Chandni (1989), Silsila (1981), and Darr (1993) worked tremendously well among the masses. Then came the year of the late 90s and early 20s, the beginning of Aditya Chopra’s career. This era marked youth-like films which centered around young romance, exotic locations, high energy, and vibrant, colorful songs. This era gave us some very iconic films which are still successful in skipping the heartbeat of almost every youngster. We still binge-watch films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil Toh Pagal Hai (1997), and Mohabbatein (2000) whenever they are aired on television.
The web series also reflects upon how the taste of the audience changed with the introduction of the New Economic Policies in the form of Liberation, Privatisation, and Globalization which was introduced in India in 1991. Indian consumers started to get more fascinated with foreign goods, modernizing machines, etc. So films like Dhoom (2004) and Dhoom 2 (2006) were massive hits among the audience; in fact, these were the films that brought in the massive craze of motorbikes among youths.
Along with successes, the web series also talks about the failures which both Yash and Aditya Chopra had to face. We don’t often see any production unit talk about its wrong choice in selecting a film. Still, in this series, the reasons why films like Lamhe (1991), Kabhi Kabhie (1976), and Befikre (2016) could not charm the audience at that time are perfectly explained.
All in all, this web series, directed by Smriti Mundhra is for all individuals who have flaunted his/her/their skills of playing the violin and playing Raj Aryan Malhotra of Mohabbatein. It’s also for every man in an arranged marriage who feels blessed to get the partner of their dreams, just like Surinder felt for his Taaniji in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) The web series is also for all the girls (including me) who wore a saree and felt like Sridevi of Chandni and for the girls who still beg their parents to send them on a trip as memorable as DDLJ’s Simran’s Europe trip.
Watch the web series to hear entertaining anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information from the man himself, Mr. Aditya Chopra, as these first-hand interviews are uncommon to hear or, I should say, in Bollywood-style: “Bade Bade Shehro Mein, Aise Chamatkar Bohot Kaam Aate Hai, Senorita.”