The production house Yash Raj Films (YRF) was founded on September 27, 1970, also the birthday of its founder Yash Chopra. In the initial decades the production house churned out gossamer dreams and champagne love, a cinematic universe which initially had little space for the ugly, and the grime. Its recent turn to films like Chak De! India, Titli, Aurangzeb, and the yet unreleased Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar under its current head Aditya Chopra brings out yet another dimension to the litany of films. The production house, also a bonafide institution of cinema, has evolved over time.
To celebrate 50 years since its founding, YRF released a new logo where stills from its films- the beauty and the beastly- are stacked one behind the other and fall like dominos to form the logo, which now has polished gold and '50' added. Aditya Chopra also posted a note declaring his gratitude to everyone involved in the making of the films, the company, and thus, the legacy .
At Film Companion, we meditated over the five decades of films to curate three lists. One about the best films, one about the best soundtracks, and one about the most iconic fashion moments.
Anupama Chopra listed her 5 favourite films among the 80 odd films they have produced.
"On a shady, tree-lined road in suburban Mumbai, stands a sprawling bungalow in which there used to exist the gadda room (it might still be there but I haven't been in years). The gadda room, called thus because it had an outsized gadda at its centre, was where Yash Chopra liked to write and brainstorm. He also did music sessions there. Some of Hindi cinema's most enduring films and songs originated in the gadda room. I have a distinct memory of Aditya Chopra showing me the trailer of Darr on a VCR system in the room sometime in the early 90s. He had made it. I remember thinking – this guy is really talented…"
Akshay Manwani writes about the Yash Raj music album, listing his favourite soundtracks.
"That the voice of Lata Mangeshkar introduces the Yash Raj Films banner at the beginning of each of their feature presentations, is in itself a ready testament to the high music quality that the production house has come to represent over the last 50 years. Beginning with their very first film Daag (1973), to Chandni (1989), up all the way to Kill Dil (2014) and Sultan (2016), YRF has always known the audience's pulse when it comes to music…"
Kimi Dangor writes about Yash Raj's best fashion moments, the ones that have captured the imagination of the hoi-polloi.
"Bollywood lore speaks of a time when Yash Chopra's 1965 directorial venture Waqt released, and women across the country bought movie tickets for their tailors so that they could replicate the on-screen style of its leading ladies Sadhana and Sharmila Tagore. The two heroines, styled by Academy Award-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, donned sleeveless figure-hugging kurtas with crisp churidars and chiffon saris with knotted blouses…"