22 years ago, Indian cinema witnessed a historic moment when Aditya Chopra’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge released in theatres. The film changed the acceptance of Indian cinema throughout the world and in India too, it went on to become a highly successful film that is still discussed. The love story, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, still enjoys a loyal base of fans and is sometimes credited for making an entire generation, die-hard fans of Shah Rukh Khan.
The music, the dialogues, the scenes, everything associated with DDLJ is considered iconic today. With the success that it still enjoys, the director of this film Aditya Chopra is still considered a prolific filmmaker. We ask why?
Undobutedly, Aditya Chopra made a fine film with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. With Yash Chopra, the ‘King of Romance’, producing his son’s first directorial venture, this was the film that redefined romance in contemporary mainstream Hindi cinema. But was the charm of DDLJ a stroke of luck?
We agree that a lot of factors go into making a film and it’s almost impossible to recreate the same magic again but from what we have seen since, it feels like Aditya Chopra just got lucky with DDLJ.
5 years after his first film, Aditya Chopra directed Mohabbatein. With a large ensemble cast being led by Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, this was a love story with several mini love-stories. Mohabbatein’s release was quite anticipated at the time. With the DDLJ director returning and a cast that comprised of SRK and Bachchan, the audience expected quite a lot from this film but sadly, it did not deliver as expected. Mohabbatein has found its audience, thanks to the multiple reruns on satellite television, but by no measure can one call Mohabbatein a great film.
Aditya Chopra’s next was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi that starred Shah Rukh Khan with Anushka Sharma. The plot in itself was quite weak as the audience could never get over the fact that a wife couldn’t recognise her husband without his moustache. In terms of storytelling, it was just another love story that did not particularly carve a space in our memories.
But what actually made us question the DDLJ director’s instincts was when he directed the 2016 film Befikre. The film was a strange attempt where a middle-aged man tried to tell the youth what their love stories look like and failed miserably. With Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor in lead roles, Befikre was heavily promoted for months but the content was so weak that the audience could see through it instantly. It was honestly quite difficult to believe that the man who once made us fall in love with DDLJ had now presented us this so-called love story.
Aditya Chopra heads YRF which is certainly the biggest studio in the country. Over the years, he has produced several successful films but calling Aditya Chopra a great director would be an exaggeration. Of course, he must be a wise producer and the success of YRF’s films can certainly vouch for the same but one great film doesn’t make anyone a great director.