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8 Yash Chopra Films You Should Not Miss

Yash Chopra an icon of Indian Cinema passed away on Sunday and there have been eulogies and articles galore written about him since then. Not wanting to do the standard biography but yet appreciate his work, I thought I’d make a list of my favourite YRC films through the 50+ years of his work.

You can read more about Yash Chopra and his career here.

Waqt (1965) – Waqt was one of the first multi-starrers in cinema with Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Sadhana, Balraj Sahni, Madan Puri, Sharmila Tagore, Achala Sachdev and Rehman – That’s a lot of big names!
The story is about how time can change situations. Sahni plays a well-to-do businessman with three sons. He does not believe in fate and mocks it at a birthday party. Soon after the family gets split up in an earthquake. The movie is about what each character goes through over the years before they unite again.
Famous Dialogues: Jinke apne ghar sheeshay ke hon, woh dusron par pathar nahi phenka karte (Those whose own houses made of glass do not throw stones at others) and Jani, Yeh bachon ke khelne ki cheez nahi, haath kat jaye toh khoon nikal aata hai (This is not a child’s plaything. If the hand is slashed, blood oozes out)
Popular Songs: Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu sung by Asha Bhosle, and Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen, sung by Manna Dey

Kabhi Kabhie (1976) – This is a story of estranged lovers Amit and Pooja who fall in love in college but go on to marry other people. Amit marries Anjali and Pooja marries Vijay. Years later Pooja’s son Vicky falls in love with Pinky – Anjali’s illegitimate daughter from a pre-marital relationship. Pinky gets to know about her birth mother from her adoptive parents and tries to get close to her. This sets off a chain of events that brings the old flames back together as friends.
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Raakhee, Neetu Singh, Rishi Kapoor
Popular Songs: Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar sung by Mukesh, Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein sung by Mukesh and composed by Khayyam, with lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi

Silsila (1981) – Two brothers Shekhar and Amit lead independent lives with Shekhar in the Air Force and Amit a struggling writer. Shekhar falls in love with Shobha while Amit woos Chandni. Both brothers plan to marry together but disaster strikes and Shekhar is killed in a plane crash, leaving poor pregnant Shobha devastated. Amit takes pity on Shobha and marries her, and writes to Chandni to forget him. A heart broken Chandni marries Dr. Anand. Shobha loses her child in an accident and with no child in the picture Amit and Shobha drift apart. Then Amit and Chandni happen to meet and they rekindle their romance secretly. They decide to go away together and live happily ever after but destiny has one more play in store for them and Dr. Anand’s plane crashes making them go back to the crash site and face their spouses.
Aside: By the time of this movie there were rumours about an affair between Rekha and Amitabh. The triangle of Jaya, Rekha and Amitabh in Silsila fueled the rumours even more.
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda
Popular Songs: Rang Barse Bhige Chunar wali lyrics by poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan sung by Amitabh Bachchan, Dekha Ek Kwaab sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, and Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum sung by Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar

Chandni (1989) – A woman centric film Chandni is the story of a girl Chandni who is wooed by Rohit. For Rohit it is love at first sight and he relentlessly woos Chandni to date him and finally they get engaged to be married against Rohit’s family’s wishes. One day while trying to impress Chandni by throwing rose petals at her from a helicopter, Rohit falls and is hospitalized. His family blames Chandni for the accident but when Rohit also blames her she cannot bear it and leaves to start a new life in Mumbai. In Mumbai she gets a job with a travel agency. Over time the head of the agency Lalit falls in love with her and Chandni agrees to marry him. Rohit in the meantime has undergone treatment and regained use of his limbs. One evening he turns up at her doorstep. Chandni now has to choose from two men.
Cast: Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna
Popular Songs: Mere Haathon Mein by Lata Mangeshkar, Main Sasural Nahi Jaaungi by Pamela Chopra, Chandni O Meri Chandni by Sridevi, Jolly Mukherjee and Lagi Aaj Sawan Ki by Suresh Wadkar

Lamhe (1991) – Viren travels to Rajasthan where he meets Pallavi and falls in love with her. However she is older than him and loves another man Siddharth. Viren is hear-broken but when Pallavi’s father dies he arranges their wedding to fulfill the dying man’s wishes and leaves for London. A year later Pallavi and Siddharth die in an accident leaving behind a baby girl Pooja. Pooja is brought up by Dai Jaa, Viren’s governess in Rajasthan. Viren visits India for Pallavi’s death anniversary and brings Pooja gifts but doesn’t pay her any more attention. Years later he meets her and is shocked to see that she is a splitting image of her mother. Pooja falls in love with Viren who she calls ‘Kuwarji’. As the movie progresses Viren has to come to grips with his loss of Pallavi and Pooja’s love for him.
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Waheeda Rehman, Anupam Kher
Popular Songs: Churiyan Kanak Gayee sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Ila Arun, Kabhi Main Kahoon sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hariharan, Mhaare Rajasthan Ma sung by Moinuddin

Darr (1993) – Darr is a romantic psychological thriller about an obsessed lover and all he will do to get the girl he loves who is already engaged to another man. What makes this movie stand out is the levels of obsession, Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of an obsessed lover and how he is not a villain but a revisionist hero.
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Sunny Deol, Juhi Chawla, Anupam Kher
Popular Songs: Tu Mere Saamne by Udit Narayan and Lata Mangeshkar, Jaadu Teri Nazar and Udit Narayan

Dil Toh Pagal Hai (1997) – Is a story about three dancers in a musical dance troupe. Rahul who does not believe in love, Nisha who believes that love is friendship and Pooja who believes that some somewhere is made for her. Rahul and Nisha are best friends and Nisha secretly loves Rahul but doesn’t manage to tell him. When Nisha hurts her leg, Rahul is forced to find another lead dancer and stumbles upon Pooja dancing. Pooja agrees to join his troupe and over time they fall in love. But Pooja is promised to Ajay who is in London. Ajay returns to India and Rahul is heartbroken when he learns that Ajay is Pooja’s fiancé. He changes the end of his play to match his devastation. However things change on the night of the play.
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Karisma Kapoor, Akshay Kumar
Popular Songs: ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, ‘Are Re Are’ and ‘Koi Ladki Hai’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan, and ‘Le Gayi’ by Asha Bhosle and Udit Narayan

Veer-Zaara (2004) – The story is set against the backdrop of conflict between India and Pakistan, the unfortunate love story of a Squadron Leader Veer and a Pakistani girl Zaara from a rich political family of Lahore, who are separated for over twenty years. Saamiya, a Pakistani lawyer, finds Veer in prison, and on listening to his story, tries to get him freed.
Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji
Popular Songs: Tere Liye sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Roop Kumar Rathod, Main Yahan Hoon by Udit Narayan, Do Pal sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Sonu Nigam

How many of these have you seen? Do you recommend any other Yash Chopra films to me?

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  • Wow… am glad that from your list, I have not seen just one movie of YC, and that’s Waqt. Lamhe, Silsila, Veer Zarra are my favorites here.

  • freya3377

    Looking forward to Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Are you planning to see it?

    And you should watch Waqt. Its a beautiful movie and some good acting too!

  • Brand SRK

    no words describes these movies…..
    the purity, innocence, freshness…
    all movies are gems…!!!