Aditya Chopra Birthday Post! Pick Your Favorite Yash Raj Movie Part 1, Mere Shaadi to Bachne Ae Haseeno

Ready for me to be lazy? All I’m gonna do is list off all the Yash Raj movies produced since Aditya took control. And then you can pick your favorite. And maybe I’ll review it or something. And I am going to start with the first era of YRF under Aditya, 2002 when he took control and started cranking out multiple films a year (instead of his father’s system of one film every few years), to 2008 when he started having multiple flops a year and decided to re-tool.

How about this? In a comment, you can pick your favorite and/or your least favorite and/or the one you think was the biggest artistic risk, and you can say which one you most want me to review that I haven’t reviewed yet!

Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi

Jimmy Shergill, Uday Chopra, and Tulip Joshi remake My Best Friend’s Wedding and everyone forgets about it the next day.

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Mujhse Dosti Karoge

Another love triangle, Hrithik and Rani and Kareena in a Cyrano situation.

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Saathiya

Yash Raj’s first southern remake, and another Rani movie, and their first AR Rahman soundtrack.

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Hum-Tum

When Harry Met Sally remade with Saif and Rani, which is kind of perfect casting.

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Dhoom

Motorcycles, hot guys, great songs, the perfect movie!

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Veer-Zaara

Yash Chopra returns to directing, not exactly a love triangle with Rani and Preity and Shahrukh. And really terrible old age make-up.

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Bunty Aur Babli

The best Ranishek movie, peak charming young people, and peak charming fun directing. Plus bonus Aishwarya item song.

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Salaam-Namaste

Preity and Saif, in a cute romance that takes a surprising turn. And also, Arshad Warsi.

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Neal n’ Nikki

Good, bad, and fun, Uday Chopra and Tanisha Mukherjee flirt in Canada.

Fanaa

Aamir and Kajol’s only love story together! A bit of a strange and winding tale, but their chemistry is great.

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Dhoom 2

The biggest Dhoom yet! Trains, bungee jumping, Hrithik and Aish.

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Kabul Express

The forgotten one. A songless drama about two reporters, Arshad Warsi and John Abraham, traveling to Kabul.

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Ta Ra Rum Pum Pum

A dramatic remake of an American spoof comedy (Talladega Nights), such an odd concept. And there is an animated song sequence. That’s it, that’s the only nice things I have to say. Oh, and in some scenes I like Rani’s hair.

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Chak De! India

Yash Raj’s first sports movie! Successful commercially and artistically. And their return to the studio’s main man, Shahrukh Khan.

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Laage Chunari Main Daag

Rani, Abhishek, Konkona, and Kunal Kapoor! Worth a watch just for the cast. Oh heck, let’s be real, worth it just Kunal Kapoor’s hair.

Aaja Nachle

Madhuri’s big comeback that wasn’t! But still a fun movie, with more great Kunal Kapoor hair. Plus early Irrfan Khan, Divya Dutta, and Nawaziddin Siddiqui.

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Tashan

Yash Raj’s first Victor Acharya movie!!!! Weird, epic, multi-starrer. Also, the first time Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor worked for YRF under Aditya’s control.

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Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic

Saif and Rani reunite for an odd remake of Mary Poppins.

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Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

Abhishek, Preity, Bobby Deol, and Lara Dutta, playing realistic NRIs, shopgirls and bootleg DVD salesman.

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Bachna Ae Haseeno

Ranbir Kapoor finally makes a hit movie! And so does Deepika Padukone after a series of flops.

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Roadside Romeo

An animated movie? With Saif Ali Khan doing the voices? This just sounds weird.

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Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Aditya’s return to direction, the string of flops just released forcing him into it. And Yash Raj’s return to Shahrukh, again.

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Of the films listed, let’s see. My favorite would be a tie between Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, both romances that are magical because they take place in the real world with real people.

Least favorite would be Ta Ra Rum Pum Pum by a MILE. I hate those spoiled rich folks who think they are so special just because they lost all their money.

Biggest risk, Tashan. That is a strange strange movie with a lot of interesting meta-commentary on film.

And I won’t answer the “which should I review” question, I will leave that for you all!

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28 thoughts on “Aditya Chopra Birthday Post! Pick Your Favorite Yash Raj Movie Part 1, Mere Shaadi to Bachne Ae Haseeno

  1. I won’t be very original here but: favs: RNBDJ and Veer-Zaara
    Least favourite: I haven’t seen all the movies from the list, but from what I saw, I think I liked the least Aaja Nachle
    Biggest risk: Laage Chunari Main Daag. I liked it, but do they really believe it will be a hit with this plot?

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    • Is it that you didn’t like Aaja Nachle, or just liked it least? Because looking at this list, it really was mostly winners, wasn’t it? Actual solid enjoyable films.

      Good choice with Laage Chunari Main Daag. Every once in a while we will get one of those “issue” films about prostitution, and I think “didn’t Yash Raj address this in a big happy song and dance number love story movie?”

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 8:27 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I liked it least. Also because I had very high expectations ad the movie wasn’t as I thought it would be.

        Btw – Fanaa’s cover you posted is in polish đŸ™‚

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  2. My answer is also pretty unoriginal: RNBDJ, Veer-Zaara, and Chak De! India because…. SRK.

    Though, full disclosure, the only other ones I’ve seen on this list were Dhoom and Dhoom 2. Both really fun movies and I enjoyed them but still no competition.

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    • Then this should be a helpful watching list for you! Especially in this era, there was a particular Yash Raj “look” to movies, and if you liked Veer-Zaara and Rab Ne, you will probably like at least a few of the others here.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 9:07 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Yeah, all ShahRukh movies for me too. Sorry, so predictable.
    I have one sad and terrible story to tell – when my kids were little they loved TaRa Rum Pum so I had to watch it over and again, to help with the subtitles. You think watching it once is bad? Try watching it about 8 times…… aaaarrrgghhhhhh!!!!

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    • That is a terrible TERRIBLE story!!!! I am so sorry for you!!!!

      Oh, and what are your favorite/want me to review/most risky choices?

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 10:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. `
    I’m embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed almost all of these! Does that make me shallow? And, full confession, I really liked Hum Tum. It has my favorite line, “This is my Tom Cruise look” (did I get it right?).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved a lot of these, especially Fanaa, Bunty aur Babli (hilarious), Saathiya, Hum Tum
    He’s written some really good stories like DDLJ and Dil toh pagal hai, esp DDLJ

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    • I suspect he has a hand in story creation for pretty much everything YRF puts out, even if he isn’t officially listed as scriptwriter. Maneesh Sharma talked about how he kept discussing Fan with Adi and getting notes for almost 10 years before he got the go ahead.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 12:33 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. It looks like I have seen all these movies and enjoyed them for many and varied reasons. All of SRK movies are my favorites, that goes without saying.
    But Fanaa and Kabul Express were different in an intriguing way. Odd events in the stories make for surprise twists. The theme from Kabul Express is one of my favorite musical themes. I would say these two are the ones I would pick as “favorites”.
    The least favorites are Neal “n Nikki and Roadside Romeo.
    A risky one, I think, would have been Aaja Nachle. Thinking it would draw in Madhuri’s fan base for a hit with her return to films and then when it didn’t, must have been a disappointment.

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    • Good point about Aaja Nachle. And on top of betting that the audience would still want Madhuri, they were betting that the audience could accept a divorced middle-aged heroine whose story did not revolve around a romance. Obviously the audience could NOT accept that, but it was still a noble attempt.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Isn’t it interesting how RNBDJ was this clear massive leap in quality and imagination among these films, and yet Aditya’s next movie Befikre felt kind of the same as all the other Yash Raj Films? I don’t know if that means Aditya got worse, or Yash Raj films got better, or what.

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 8:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I like so many of these. My favorite is probably a toss-up between Bunty aur Babli and Chak de, but Veer Zara, Acha Nachle, and Laage Chunari Main Daag are also favorites. Oh, and Bachna ae Haseeno. Veer Zaara and LCMD have credibility problems for me–in Veer Zara it’s often mentioned that Shah Rukh and Preity are all wizened in the last scene when they are approximately in their early forties. I mean, Shah Rukh was in prison a long time, but still. In LCMD I don’t really buy that Rani HAS to be a prostitute. But it gets extra points for Konkona, as does Aaja Nachle, which also gets extra points for Kunal Kapoor. But then he’s in a turban in Bachna Ae Haseeno, so, I just don’t know.

    Probably unfair, but I gave up on Jhoom Barabar Jhoom pretty early in the movie. And Hum Tum, I don’t know, it was pleasant enough but didn’t grab me for some reason. So those are my least favorites.

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    • Okay, I think we can officially say that it’s not just nostalgia for this era, YRF really did make better films back in the early 2000s. There are so many good ones on this list!

      For me the problem with LCMD isn’t that Rani “has” to be a prostitute, it’s that somehow she magically goes from broken and desperate to expensive high class call girl and we don’t really have clarity on how she managed that. Once I get passed that big leap, then I am fine.

      I think JBJ is one of those films where if you don’t get caught up and start enjoying it by about 15 minutes in, you never will. So you have my permission to never finish it!

      On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 11:16 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Have seen some but not all of the films. Tashaan looks interesting.

    I use a Rewatch Scale: twice=good but I may have missed something; three times=very good or not that good but OMG, the hero! Four (yes four) times=the best movie ever.

    I’m actually on my fifth time with Chak De which also happens to be the first Indian film I ever saw. It was the all-time fave until I discovered Prabhas and the Bahubalis. I loved both Dhooms; two viewings for #1 and three for # 2. Also, I’m on my second time for Kabul Express (John Abraham). I didn’t much like SRK in Rab ne bana de jodi. Like with Fan and Zero, I don’t care to see it again, and I hated the Saif/Rani match up in Thoda pyaar…; turned it off before the predictable end.

    From the list, I can see that poor Uday (why do I always use that adj?) has made quite a few movies. Were they all with Yash Raj? I found his comedic acting okay, his persona earnest and a little strange altho apt for most of the roles he was given, and his later ripped body inappropriate. Then he sank. The gossips point to unrequited love. But it looks more like incipient pathology. Why can’t he get treatment and come back? He has the lineage to re-launch and the fans seemed to like him.

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    • Your rewatch scale reminds me of back when I was in college and money was tight but DVDs were cheap. It cost $3 to rent a DVD usually, and for most of them only $10 to buy. So if I was going to rent a DVD 3 times, I decided to buy it. Or, alternatively, if the DVD was on sale for $4 it was cost effective to buy instead of rent and take the gamble I would want to watch it at least twice.

      I honestly have no idea if you would like Tashan or not! It is a strange strange movie. An odd mixture of spoof and hyper-real, and serious deep emotions. I find it fascinating because of all the meta statements it makes about films, the new age westernized hero versus the old age action hero, the way we see women, and all that stuff. Plus, the songs are good.

      Everyone uses “Poor Uday”!!! And I don’t know why. I can’t tell if he sincerely wanted to be an actor and is heartbroken that he failed and now has a pity job at YRF, or if he was never super interested in acting, and is now happy enough working in another area of film. Anyway, I really liked the movie he wrote, Pyaar Impossible. It was a good script, fun and bouncy and interesting. It made me hope that he has something to bring to the backside of YRF and is happy in that role. Although the biggest thing that I know he coordinated was a disaster, the Nicole Kidman Grace Kelly movie was YRF’s first Hollywood co-production (arranged by Uday), and it was not great.

      On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 9:01 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  9. For movies to review, I suggest Bachna Ae Haseeno and Kabul Express. Bachna Ae Haseeno because it would be good to hear your perspective on how the two leads have matured since then. Plus, it is a decent afternoon timepass type of movie. Kabul Express because I think that was Adi’s big risk. A road movie set in war-torn Pakistan with very little plot. The cinematography is pretty great. Does it really not have any songs? I watched it a long time ago so I don’t remember, but the soundtrack definitely has songs on it – and I really like that entire soundtrack. I think that movie did bring in some innovations in terms of how movies were shot in India – especially for long outdoor shots.

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    • I haven’t seen Kabul express, but from what I can tell from song DVDs and stuff, there is only one real song video, and it is just John and Arshad lipsynching the title song. I really should watch it for a lot of reasons, for one thing it was made back when John was still dismissed as just a pretty face for silly movies, but now that he has turned producer, it is the films like Kabul Express that he is choosing to make.

      Bachne Ae Haseeno I think I have seen twice, which is more than enough times for me to write a review! Now that I think about it, there is kind of an interesting trend in the movies from this era of the worthless hero who finds redemption, and I think they almost all have the problem of the hero being a bit too worthless for me to find the redemption sympathetic. Same problem with Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic and Salaam Nameste.

      On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 9:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. I think my favorites have to be Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, and Hum Tum though there are a bunch of really solid movies that came out during this time period.

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    • There really are!!!! I think this was also before the studio got so diversified? Fewer ad films, no online series, like that. So all the creativity and talent was poured into the movies.

      On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 11:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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