I've learned almost everything in life from Dad - Ravi Chopra


Living upto the Chopra surname is no mean task. After taking on the mantle from his illustrious & legendary father B R Chopra, Ravi Chopra has defintely emerged onto his own and carved out a niche for himself as a successful filmmaker and a television producer.

When we get Ravi Chopra talking about his father, there's obviously affection and awe in his voice- Very nonchalantly, he says, "though I have come onto my own, dad has always been and will always be a great influence in my life. And this is not just professionally but even in shaping up my values and determining the kind of person. Apart from being a very doting and loving father, he has been a guiding force all my life. As creative professionals we not just share ideas but sometimes even run down ideas."

He further continues, "Of course, since I was born into the Chopra family, I was destined to join the film industry. But what Dad taught me is that filmmaking and television is not all about entertainment - but entertainment that is socially relevant. So, if its a film like Zameer, then it dealt with a man's conscience, Mazdoor, was based on the eternal conflict between labour-vs-capital and in the recent times Baagban which was about old age and family values."

Chopra who is currently putting his final touches for his next television property called Viraasat, recalls his early life and how dad really helped him shape up all the way.

I have beautiful memories of living in a joint family

I have some very beautiful memories of staying in a joint family. As a three old, I remember, we lived in a close-knit and a traditional household. I can still vividly recall our old house. It was a very small & beautiful two BHK house in Juhu, called Sangeeta apartments. Even Yash Uncle used to stay with us. After coming here from Pakistan, Dad had shifted here during the 1950s.

We used to pay a rent of Rs 230 there. A small and cozy nest which we loved so much that even when our new house was built in 1970s, we didn't want to shift there. Those were the struggling days for my father and the only time we used to find time together was during our holidays. He used to take us for family holidays during our holidays.

Education and family values are very important

During his struggling days, Dad used to be very busy. I used to try and help him at the shoots. I assisted him on Humraaz while I was still in college and later on Aadmi Aur Insaan. In fact, I was all ready to leave college and do films with him. But, somehow, he always wanted me to study further. The value of good education has always stayed with me. Later, when I fianly joined him as an assistant,it was a great high. I learned almost everything about film making from Dad. Films for the family audience, social issues have also been themes close to out heart.

Dad doesn't keep too well nowadays

Dad formed BR films in 1955 to do meaningful cinema. So, no matter what others in the market keep doing, he was committed to social themes and family values.

Till date, I have tried to carry his vision and passion forward. Nowadays, since Dad doesn't keep too well, he doesn't really come on the sets. But I always seek his advice. Whenever I have an idea, I tell him and vice versa.

On the making of the epic Mahabharat

On a creative level we share camaraderie. I worked very closely with Dad on the making of Mahabharata. I think, it became more interesting and popular because it was more contemporary as well as relevant to people's mindset. Mahabharata was addressed to the man of today trapped in the throes of a war-like situation in the society. Now, I desire to make a remake of Mahabharata as a movie and release it internationally.

Baghban was influenced by my parents

My mother and father share a very strong and loving relationship. As a husband and wife they share a special bond. The character of Amitabhji and Hemaji was actually etched from my life. Till date my parents enjoy their ritual of having a cup of tea together. I would say Baghban was really a gift to my parents.

Creative differences with Dad

I wouldn't call them differences but sometime we do have different ideas and as creative people we take a call on what goes best with the story. For Baghban, Dad wanted a different ending. He wanted the story to end in the court but someone that's not what I had visualised. So, finally I went ahead with my idea.

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