“Our cinema is an inherent part of Indians."
Netflix is preparing to release The Romantics, which will explore the history of Bollywood romance movies and their impact on Indian identity.
Bollywood and the romance genre are arguably synonymous.
Yash Chopra and his studio Yash Raj Films are behind some of the most beloved romantic films in the last 50 years.
These films have captivated audiences, whether it be Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, other ’90s classics like Dil To Pagal Hai and Lamhe, or modern hits like Veer Zaara and Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Netflix is celebrating the genre’s legacy with The Romantics.
It will explore the history of Bollywood’s romance genre, featuring interviews with 35 Bollywood stars.
The Romantics pick the brains of Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Abhishek Bachchan, Bhumi Pednekar, Ayushmaan Khurrana, Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh and the late Rishi Kapoor, among several others.
All sit down to discuss Hindi cinema and the roles they have played in shaping it.
The actors said that colourful settings, love songs and beautiful dance numbers have come to define Hindi cinema globally and they’ve moulded how the world sees Indian culture.
Abhishek Bachchan says in the trailer:
“Films that come out of India are completely unique to our culture.
“They don’t try to be like anybody else.”
The opening question posed to the actors – “What do you think about the term ‘Bollywood’?” – is already a deep cut.
It’s a label fraught with conversations about exclusivity, colourism, nepotism and South Indian erasure in a Hindi-only medium.
Shah Rukh Khan said: “Our cinema is an inherent part of Indians.”
The trailer also reveals that Netflix had an extensive interview with Aditya Chopra, shocking the actors.
Typically away from the cameras and media interactions, the head of Yash Raj Films gave an interview on camera for the first time ever.
In the documentary series, he will be sharing facts and insights about Yash Raj Films.
The series is created by Indian Matchmaking creator Smriti Mundhra, who also directed a few episodes of Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever.
The new four-part series will trace the career of Yash Chopra, who many credit with pioneering the Hindi romance genre and launching some of the world’s most famous actors.
In addition to Bollywood actors, The Romantics also features interviews with stars such as Lilly Singh, who described Bollywood’s impact on her own life.
She said: “It was the first time I saw Western and Indian culture kind of merge together.”
Appropriately coinciding with Valentine’s Day, The Romantics releases on February 14, 2023.