In a special episode of Star India’s ‘The Front Row with Anupama Chopra,’ the eminent film critic spoke to Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma about their upcoming film Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Moreover, they shared their experiences on what it was like working with the film’s director, Mr Yash Chopra, who sadly died three weeks ago. This is Yashji’s last film in a career spanning over fifty years and twenty-two directed films. The interview was both intriguing to watch and full of anecdotes about this legendary filmmaker, whom many consider to be one of the finest to have ever surfaced from Indian cinema.
When Shah Rukh was asked how Yash Chopra’s view of love and relationships evolved whilst he was working with him for the past twenty years, he gave this response. “I think the expressions of love (in his films) changed but love inherently didn’t change. Over twenty years, whether I have played an obsessive lover, he (Yashji) would describe it the same way ‘just love her!’ Whenever he said ‘love her,’ I actually felt the love. I would say Yashji’s language, dialogues, songs may have changed a little, but the inherent quality of love I think needed no evolution. His love is eternal, that’s what he believed in.”
When asked what it means to be a Yash Chopra heroine, Katrina gave the following answer: “I don’t think it’s about the physical beauty or the appearance of his heroines. I think it’s the character, the way he presents his women. He always gives them a lot of depth; he doesn’t see them as just one-dimensional. They have a lot of strength, a lot of substance. I think they’re also slightly idealistic. The way he sees women, the respect he had for women and more than that, the love he had for women. He saw a woman as creatures that should be adored!”
In her response to Anupama’s question of what is her abiding memory of Jab Tak Hai Jaan and of Yash Chopra, Anushka stated the following: “It was the best experience I have ever had of filming a movie, even better than my first film (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi). The thing I will remember about Yashji most is a visual memory. Every morning when I used to pull into the sets, and I used to just watch him from ‘door se’ (afar) because they used to be setting up the shot. I just remember a man who was wearing a couple of jackets, because it used to be usually very cold where we were shooting. He had this body language of like an enthusiastic kid who is just about to take his first kick in a soccer match. I will always remember that enthusiastic, childlike image of Yashji.”
In addition, both Shah Rukh and Anushka were asked if there are any differences between Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra’s method of filmmaking, given that they are two of few actors who have been fortunate enough to work with these two notable directors (who happen to be father and son also). Anushka responded to this question with the following
answer. “Yashji makes films about love, whereas Adi’s (Aditya) films are about goodness and righteousness. Other than that I think Yashji is quicker when shooting films. Whereas Adi would say ‘ek safety take kar lete hai’ (let’s do one safety take).” Shah Rukh gave this answer to the same question: “Adi, he is a man’s director. Yashji is a woman’s director. It’s as simple as that.”
Jab Tak Hai Jaan releases in cinemas worldwide on 13 November 2012! Just a few more days to go and then we will all be able to witness what Anupama Chopra described in this programme as “Yash Chopra’s last fantasy.”