Monday, December 17, 2012

Where is Raj in Yash Raj Films?

The header of this post is a fairly simple question I've wondered about for quite a while now, a number of years, in fact. Back in the day, going back perhaps 5-6 years, to the beginning of my Hindi film fascination, you would often find old Raj Kapoor and B.R. Chopra films on DVD that were released under the Yash Raj Films label. In fact, my own copy of Shree 420 is produced by none other than the YRF label itself.

So what happened? At what point did YRF decide that putting money into producing decent quality DVD's of the old classics was not worth the trouble? Did the rights revert back to somebody else? Or did the company just decide to look ahead instead, and promote everything new - newer films, newer stars, newer talent. I'm all for invigorating the scene, and lord knows I've enjoyed quite a few of the latest YRF releases. On the other hand, I love my oldies, too, and considering the calibre of films by Raj Kapoor, it seems a shame that their legacy is less promoted by the company than that of the other giant in their company name - Yash Chopra.

I really wonder what the reasoning is, and meanwhile I can just have my own baseless speculations. Perhaps it was simply that they sold the rights elsewhere. (Then why keep Raj in the company name?) Perhaps there's filmi politics at play here, and the company is more interested in preserving the Chopra legacy than that of Kapoor (who hardly needs the promotion, I guess). Still, as a consumer, I'd quite like for quality DVD's of Raj Kapoor's oeuvre to be released (re-released?) - there's still quite a few I've yet to see, and YRF DVD's were at least somewhat reliable when it came to release quality.

If you know anything about this, please share! I'm very interested in behind-the-scenes goings on like this.

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