Chandni also starred Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna.

Chandni also starred Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna.

Yash Chopra was in major debt when he decided to make Sridevi starrer Chandni.

For producers and directors, filmmaking is a risky venture because no one knows if their work will be received well by the audience and the box office. However, one filmmaker, regarded as one of the greatest makers in Bollywood, experienced continuous failures and decided to take a risk by releasing a romantic drama.

That man was Yash Chopra, known as the “magician of romance” in the Indian film industry. He created one of the top production houses in the country, which has films like Kabhie Kabhie, Silsila, Deewar and many more to his name. There was a time when he had to go through bankruptcy due to back-to-back failures.

As per reports, after releasing several superhits, Yash Chopra decided to work on films as a producer. As a producer, he invested in films like Nakhuda, Sawaal while also working as a director in Silsila, Faasle and Vijay. All five of his projects turned out to be box-office bombs. Even though Silsila gave better collections, it was below average for a director of his stature as well as the actors involved.

Radio City reported that due to these failures, Yash Chopra was pushed into debt, almost becoming bankrupt. Despite the circumstances, he decided to make another film, deemed as “the biggest gamble of his life”. The 80s was a time of masala entertainment for Bollywood and amidst that Yash Chopra decided to make a romantic musical, which was titled Chandni.

Initially, Yash Chopra decided to cast Rekha in the film, but she reportedly suggested the name of Sridevi. Netflix show The Romantics featured an old interview of the late filmmaker with Karan Johar, where he discussed the struggles, he went through for Chandni. The Sridevi-Rishi Kapoor starrer was considered “too long with too many songs” which became a reason for the distributers’ refusal to release it. Yash Chopra revealed in the interview, “A lot of messages were passed that another flop is coming. Don’t give them theatres.”

However, Chandni became a blockbuster hit upon release, garnering immense love and support from the public. The film is credited with reviving the romantic era in Bollywood. It starred Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna in the lead.

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