His fans were shell-shocked when Yash Chopra announced on the eve of his eightieth birthday yesterday that JAB TAK HAI JAAN would be the last film that he would be directing and he would be hanging his boots as the director after this film.
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There are two kinds of reaction associated with this announcement. One reaction is that indeed he should step back and enjoy the laurels of the monumental work that he has created. The other view is that icons like Yash Chopra who work in the field of creativity do not come with a date of expiry and that he should continue to practice his craft so that more and more followers and students from the coming generation is benefited. After all he is an institution who made his debut in the world of Hindi cinema more than five decades ago and has been at the forefront of disruptions that have defined the contours of Hindi cinema.
Be it a DHOOL KA PHOOL or a DEEWAR, a KABHIE KABHIE, DILWAALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE, or a DARR each of these films have created a new lexicon in the world of new cinema, a new paradigm of film making, having its own defining dynamics. Take for instance the introduction of Shiamak Davar as a choreographer in DIL TOH PAAGAL HAI; it could have been visualized by a master like Yash Chopra and after DTPH, the manner in which dances were composed in Hindi cinema were never the same again.
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Yash Chopra created an angry young man with DEEWAR, an anti-hero with Shahrukh Khan and the present crop of actors who are trying to carve their own niche would have an anticipation that possibly they could get a chance to star in a Yash Raj banner film and get an identity that would provide longevity to their career. Even a Dilip Kumar when he was in the process of switching to career roles, had indirectly or directly been benefited by the acumen of Yash Chopra as a director through MASHAAL.
Yash Chopra’s films have been trail blazers and have been way ahead of their times, and it is precisely for this reason that actors of all kinds look for an opportunity to work in his films in one form or the other. A tag of being directed by Yash Chopra for an actor is a certification that an actor has arrived as a performer and for him or her sky is the limit as its kind of a hallmark certification.
Therefore those who aspire to make a mark in the world of Hindi cinema would be hoping in their heart of hearts that Yash Chopra would reconsider his decision of hanging his boots as the director. But the call on the issue has to be taken by him only, and it is too early to reconsider it as the decision was made only yesterday.