Transformation of damsels into divas through the magic wand of Yash Chopra

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Yash Chopra's career in cinema can be divided into three phases; the first phase was when he was directing under the baton of his brother in the era of black and white films. Second phase of his cinematic oeuvre started with DAAG and it had a rather successful run with such wonderful hits like DEEWAR, TRISHUL KABHI KABHIE etc. But with SAWAL, NAKHUDA and MASHAL not making grand success at the box office, he went low and then started his most successful phase in his cinematic oeuvre, which established him as the cult producer and director of Hindi cinema for all times to come.

This phase was launched with CHANDNI and the characteristic feature of this phase was the predominant role the female film stars were given in the films being made under the Yash Raj Films banner. In fact, so ethereally and so beautifully where they packaged in his films that all heroines of substance yearned to act under the banner. Here is a look at the third phase through the heroines who got transformed and gained cult status after acting under his banner.

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CHANDNI AND LAMHE: Till the time Sridevi acted under YSR banner, she was known more as a siren from the South but she evolved into a pan-Indian heroine with CHANDNI and with LAMHE she became the heartthrob of the nation never to look back. The element of aesthetics that was lacking in her persona found manifestation through these two iconic films.

DARR AND AAINA: Juhi Chawla as an actor was grace personified but the innovative manner in which she was presented in both the films by YSR Films again pushed Juhi Chawla into reckoning as amongst the top stars.

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YEH DILLAGI AND DILWAALE DULHANIYA LE JAENGE: Kajol was looking for a footing to make her place and she found the opening through YEH DILLAGI but it was through DILWAALE DULHANIYA LE JAENGE, especially in the scenes which were set in Punjab set the hearts of Romeos around the countryside flutter in anticipation. Kajol never looked as radiant as she did in the YSR films banner and KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM along with FANAA was a testimony to the fact that YSR Films indeed knew how to present and package a female star.

DIL TO PAAGAL HAI : KARISHMA KAPOOR AND MADHURI DIXIT TRANSFORMED: Though Karishma Kapoor had been a success, but her transformation into a Diva awaited her association with Yash Chopra and she indeed came into her own with DTPH. Same was the case with Madhuri Dixit as well, who, though was a success, needed this graceful transformation and DTPH provided her that opportunity.

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SAATHIYA, BUNTY AUR BABLI and VEER ZAARA: These are the three cult films which have made Rani Mukherji what she is today, and where it not for SAATHIYA, which though was directed by Shaad Ali, was presented in the same manner as the earlier heroines were presented. Rani Mukherjee never looked so overpowering and oozing with energy as she did in these films.

MOHABBATEIN AND DHOOM:2:Transformation of an actress has been the hallmark for the heroines who have been presented through YSR Films. The transformation however has been more a process of packaging the heroine in the Indian hues, but for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan it was a different story, she was presented as a typical Indian beauty but in DHOOM:2 she was a western babe and she set the screen on fire, thanks to YSR Films.

VEER ZAARA and SALAAM NAMASTE: For Preity Zinta it again was a different story where she was presented as a conventional girl in VEER ZAARA but in SALAAM NAMASTE she was a girl of the modern times, and both these films are the most successful films of her career.

One predominant motif of all these transformations of the heroines has been the manner in which they have been packaged in the color white, otherwise considered a color of sobriety which Yash Chopra transformed into a color connoting romance, probably drawing inspiration from his idol Raj Kapoor.

It would be interesting to watch whether JAB TAK HAI JAAN also uses white as motif to provide an element of transformation for romance associated with Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma.

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