The Romantics

The Romantics



An affectionate love letter to YRF Entertainment, the iconic Bollywood film company that shifted the industry for the past 50 years


TV Show

English, Hindi
Aditya Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan

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I’ll have to rewatch just to list down all the films mentioned here.

What it's about

Through four parts, big names from modern Bollywood talk about the legacy and impact of media conglomerate YRF Entertainment and the father-son duo behind the company.

The take

Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, in terms of output. After all, the Indian film industry churns out 700-800 films per year. Because of sheer output, there are plenty of excellent hidden gems from the South Asian country, some of which we try to cover here in A Good Movie to Watch. However, for a fairly comprehensive introduction to the industry, the English-language miniseries The Romantics is a great place to start. There’s no better filmmaker to take notes from other than Yash Raj Chopra, whose media conglomerate shifted the industry for the past 50 years, so the show tackles his legacy through archival footage and interviews from India’s current roster of film stars. Footage of his films alone are already a compelling watch, but director Smriti Mundra keeps an excellent balance between these films’ personal impact, as well as the corresponding political and film history in which his works were released to. It’s an excellent introduction to the colorful and rich film history of India.

What stands out

With such an extensive history, it can be hard to condense the 50-year legacy of Yash Raj Films into a few hours. It’s no wonder that the crew opted to create a 4-hour documentary miniseries, rather than a documentary film. However, rather than feeling bloated with the runtime, the series feels personal. Without a narrator, the series is held up by its interviews – Chopra’s loved ones and fellow colleagues retelling how each production went, and younger stars retelling how they felt watching his films and how it shaped their life. In linking the idea of Bollywood and Chopra as inextricably linked, director Smriti Mundra makes her hefty compilation of clips and interviews feel like we’re getting to know Bollywood like a character, the same way these stars talk about Chopra and son as their friends. This personal touch makes the three-year-long effort of director Smriti Mundra all the more worth it.

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