Remembering Yash Chopra

Posted by: Adhika | Posted on: November 9th, 2012 | No Comments

Yash Chopra's life, achievements and contribution to Indian Cinema


Mumbai: Bollywood’s King of Romance, Yash Chopra, who breathed last on 21st October, 2012 in Mumbai’s hospital, was cremated today at 3pm in a crematorium here. The legendary director/producer’s demise is considered as the end of an era of the Indian Cinema.

Here is a glance of Yash Chopra’s life and his iconic filmmaking:

He was born on 27 September 1932 in Lahore (now in Pakistan) in a Punjabi family. He was the youngest of 8 children in his family. He was the younger brother of the director and producer of Bollywood films BR Chopra.

Early in his life Chopra used to be a film journalist. To continue his education he went to Jullundur. After the partition took place in the country, he went to Ludhiana in Punjab. He was compelled to opt a career in engineering but his passion of filmmaking led him to Mumbai, where he initially worked as an assistant of the late director IS Johar and after that he served his own elder brother BR Chopra with his services.

His career first came in glow when he got his first directorial opportunity in 1959, in his own brother’s film ‘Dhool Ka Phool’, which became the fourth biggest grosser of the year. Both the brothers were charged up following the success. So, in 1961 they made the National Award winner film ‘Dharmputra’ which marked the debut of veteran actor Shashi Kapoor. The film was based on the partition and Hindu fundamentalism and the screening of the film was highly protested by the people with a lot of violence. Following the reason, Yash Chopra never made political films.

In 1965, Chopra along with his brother made gave another blockbuster ‘Wqat’, for which he got his first ‘Filmfare Award’ for direction. In 1969 he directed two films, ‘Aadmi aur Insaan’ and ‘Ittefaq’. First could not done a good business on box-office but the second one, which was shot in a very small period of one month and was of a low budget, was the first Bollywood movie without having a song or an interval. It was declared a semi-hit and was won another Best Director Filmfare Award to Chopra.

In the year 1971, Yash Chopra created a production house ‘Yash Raj Films’, which was made after his partition with his brother BR Chopra.

The first film of his production house was ‘Daag’, which was a big hit on box-office. After this flick, Chopra made some of the most iconic films all time with Amitabh Bachchan, in which Deewar and Trishul are popular even today. These were the films which broke out a new revolution in Bollywood and made Bachchan a superstar as angry young man.

The man who is well known for his love sagas also made some love stories with Amitabh Bachchan, as ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ in 1976 and ‘Silsila’ in 1981.

The eighties is considered as the setback of his career. He produced and directed several films during this period but all of them failed to make an impact on box-office.

The first film he produced and directed was ‘Mashaal’, which was his first movie with legendary actor Dilip Kumar went averagely on box-office. After this film he made ‘Faasle’ in 1985, which is considered to be his worst film of all time. He made another action oriented film ‘Vijay’ in 1988 which was also turned down by the audiences and was remarked as the remake of ‘Trishul’.

After a very tough time, he made a heroine oriented film ‘Chandani’ in 1989, which got a good going on box-office. The film won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film of that year. This was remarked as the comeback film of Yash Chopra. After this, he made ‘Lamhe’ in 1991 which got a good response from the audiences and became the biggest Bollywood hit in overseas market. Later, the film won the ‘Filmfare Award for Best Movie’.

In the year 1993, Bollywood witnessed the debut of a phenomenal actor Shahrukh Khan with Yash Chopra’s super-hit flick ‘Darr’. It was a suspense thriller which won the hearts of the audiences.

In 1997 the ‘King of Romance’ Yash Chopra made another film ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ with the ‘lover boy’ of Bollywood Shahrukh Khan. The film was a musical love story and the second highest grosser of year. The film was so successful that it seeped many awards including seven FilmFare awards and 3 national awards. Yash Chopra was the co-writer in the film.

In 2007 the veteran director/producer returned with another love saga ‘Veer-Zaara’. Once again Shahrukh Khan was showing the country how to do the romance. The film was a blockbuster on box-office.

Yash Chopra was directing his last venture ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ with Shahrukh Khan when said goodbye to Bollywood and all his fans.

He has also produced many blockbuster films of Bollywood. In those films Kala Pathar (1979), Dilvale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), Hum Tum (2004), Dhoom (2004), Bunty aur Babli (2005), Fanna (2006), Dhoom 2 (2006), Chak De India (2007), Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), Band Baaja Baraat (2010) and Ek Tha Tiger (2012) have been the biggest grosser of his career.

He got married to Pamela Singh in 1970. He and his wife have two sons Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra. Aditya is a film director and producer and holds the position of Vice-Chairman and General Manager of Yash Raj Films. Uday is an assistant director turned actor who made his Bollywood debut in 2000 in his brother’s film ‘Mohabbatein’.

Yash Chopra won many awards in his remarkable career. He won two National Film Awards for Best Popular film providing wholesome entertainment. He won eleven Filmfare Awards for his outstanding films. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2005.

He has been serving the post of Vice-President of film producer’s guild of India from the last ten years. Pusan International Film Festival had awarded him as the Asian Filmmaker of the Year in 2009. He was the Founder Trustee of Film Industry Welfare Trust since 1996. He won BBC Asia award twice in 1998 and 2001.

He has also won Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Millennium Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. He had won Priyadarshni Award and Dadasahab Phalke Award in 2001, which is the top award in Indian film industry.

He has taught Bollywood how to make love on screen without showing vulgarity. He has shown the intimate scenes on the big screen but those shots never looked offensive. This is the reason why he is called the ‘King of Romance’ of Bollywood.

Special thanks to Shubhanshu Sharma for her work in this article. Please drop us a comment with your favorite Yash Raj films of all time!


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