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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Brand Watch: Yash Raj Films: Films forever

Brand Watch: Yash Raj Films: Films forever

The great legacy of Yash Chopra makes the brand stand out in a film industry bustling with creative talent and formidable competitors

Movie making is a very speculative business. With the same ingredients some of the films click with the audience while the others don’t. Filmmakers cater to a very eclectic and fickle taste of an ever-changing audience. An audience is always transient in its taste and will remain so in future too. In today’s India, a movie cannot hope to rake in never-before heard profits unless viewers see the same movie not once, but twice (or even thrice!).
If any movie banner has a truly strong positioning inside the Indian moviegoer’s mind it is Yash Raj Films (YRF). It’s a blend of romance, style, elegance, music composition and utmost panache with which their films captivate the Hindi movie lovers. International locations were made famous in India by YRF.

YRF was one of the first filmmakers in Indian cinema to realise the impact that the commercial mainstream cinema has on the audience in our country coupled with its spillover on the NRI audience that has a very strong market in the movie space today. No wonder, the typical Yash Raj kind of film began to give way at the turn of the new millennium with the emergence of Aditya Chopra, first as a director, then as the creative head of Yash Raj Films. Most films masterminded by Aditya cater to the multiplex audience.
YRF has successfully moved away from the formula-film trend prevalent in Bollywood in the 80s and 90s and experimented with diverse themes and with considerable success. The innovative storylines in ‘Hum Turn’, ‘Kabul Express’, ‘Chak De! India’ or ‘Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year’ are great proof of YRF’s diverse range of films. Though some of these movies have not set the cash registers ringing, still almost all of them have been high on entertainment value. YRF has given birth to the most talented actors, new composers and new singers, most of who have become the biggest shining stars in the industry. It is a dream for anyone to be working with YRF.
From directing all of their movies themselves, Yash and Aditya, in recent times, have started tapping upcoming talent for directing movies under the YRF banner. This strategy has had mixed results for banner.
Between 1973 and 1982, YRF made 9 films, out of which all the films directed by Yash Chopra himself – ‘Daag’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Kaala Patthar’, ‘Silsila’ – were very highly acclaimed. Between 1983 and 1997, YRF again produced nine films, out of which Yash Chopra-directed ‘Chandni’, ‘Darr’ and ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ and his son Aditya Chopra-directed ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’ were outstanding box-office successes.
Between 1998 and 2005, YRF again gave many successful movies. But this time around, the films were mostly directed by outsiders-albeit tightly supervised by the father-son duo. The successful among them include ‘Dhoom’ by Sanjay Gadhvi, ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Fanaa’ by Kunal Kohli, ‘Salaam Namaste’ by Siddharth Anand and ‘Bunti Aur Babli’ by Shaad Ali.
Riding on that confidence perhaps, in the last seven years, YRF has released ten more films. Out of them, only ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ (2008) by Aditya Chopra and ‘Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year’ (2009) by Shimit Amin are the only ones that have done well. Some of the recent releases such as like ‘Ishaqzaade’ (2011) directed by Habib Faisal, ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’ by Maneesh Sharma, ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ (2011) by Ali Abbas Zafar, ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ (2010) by Maneesh Sharma, ‘Lafangey Parindey’ (2010) by Pradeep Sarkar have been forgettable ones.
Yash Chopra’s YRF Studios (the only privately owned Studio in India) has expanded to distribution of films all over the world – its own as well as films made by other well-known Indian names. In recent times, the Studio has also forayed in to production of television software, ad films, music videos, and documentaries – with its enviable creative team always at the fore. YRF launched a youth films studio, Y-Films in 2011 with a vision of being a platform for new talent. Y-Films has aggressive line up of releases for 2012 and will be a launch pad for new directors and stars.


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